This post is for all who suffer with digestive discomfort out there who are looking to follow the Low FODMAP diet (LFD). As a health coach I’ve spoken to many IBS sufferers who have been concerned about what they can or can’t eat, whether meals are easy to cook, that the whole family will enjoy or they have just completely given up on the Low FODMAP diet altogether due to lack of guidance.
Although with thanks to the new book by Dr Barbara Bolen and writer and health coach, Kathleen Bradley, CPC titled ‘The Everything Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet‘ the IBS community is saved and is able to have some light shed, with regards to understanding of the LFD. Fortunately, Dr Barbra Bolen was able to provide me with some answers to many of your questions with reference to the LFD.
Q & A With Dr Barbra Bolen
Q. Is the low-FODMAP diet too complicated for the average person?
A. The diet is complex, there is no doubt about that. For best success, a person should work with a dietary professional to ensure that all nutritional needs are being met. Also, it does take time to figure out what one can eat and what one shouldn’t eat. That said, once a person is on the diet for a week or so, they start to get the hang of it. They get into a routine, they develop a new set of comfort or go-to foods and find places where they know they can get FODMAP-friendly foods.
Q. Some people find that some of the foods on the Allowed list are problematic. Why is that so?
A. The Allowed lists typically are comprised of foods that have been tested and found to be low in FODMAPs. However, every body is unique and it may be that certain foods trigger people for reasons other than their FODMAP content.
Q. Why do some foods come up on the Restricted list on some lists and the Allowed list on others?
A. It is important to remember that not all foods have been specifically tested for their FODMAP content. Some lists contain foods that were characterized by “best guesses” at the time. The most up-to-date resource for the FODMAP content of food is Monash University, either through their website, their publications or their mobile app.
Q. What about foods that do not show up on FODMAP food lists?
A. Keep in mind that FODMAPs are carbohydrates. Therefore, there are no FODMAPs in foods comprised of protein or fat. A person on the low-FODMAP diet can eat these foods freely. When in doubt about a food that does not show up on FODMAP food lists, one can make a guess based on the FODMAP content of similar foods.
Q. Is the low-FODMAP diet safe for vegetarians and vegans?
A. The diet can be challenging for vegetarians and vegans due to the restriction of many legumes. The diet can be safely followed as long as there is a concerted effort to take in adequate protein. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can meet their protein needs through eggs, hard cheeses, and lactose-free milk products. For those who do not eat eggs and dairy products, low-FODMAP nuts, seeds, milk substitutes and grains can provide some protein. Tofu, tempeh and seitan (non-celiacs only) are also allowed in all phases of the diet. Last, small amounts of well-rinsed canned lentils and chick peas have been shown to be low-FODMAP. It is advisable that vegetarians and vegans work with a qualified dietary professional to ensure that they are consuming safe levels of protein.
Thanks to professionals like Dr Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley we are able to see this baffling diet delivered into a coherent one, in this companionable book that every IBS sufferers’ kitchen should have!
In terms of Low FODMAP recipes, I’ve been making my own for some time now and it’s always good to be able to try out other peoples and luckily I was fortunate enough to be invited, to review a recipe from the ‘The Everything Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet’ book. I was quite interested in trying out the Niçoise Wraps. They were really quick, easy and healthy to make, not to mention the yumminess was off the charts. Click the link below to see my review.