We all know how to make sandwiches, right? But how about Low FODMAP sandwiches? They are no harder to make once you have the right bread, condiments and chosen fillings. Let’s take it step by step.
The Low FODMAP diet is not gluten-free, but because many grains such as wheat and rye contain both FODMAPs and gluten, it is often easier and more streamlined to shop for gluten-free bread rather than Low FODMAP bread. The key is making sure that you do not buy bread that has other high FODMAP ingredients included. Read labels and keep an eye out for honey, agave, inulin and high FODMAP dairy, in particular. (The bread we used to make the sandwiches in our photo is Udi’s White Sandwich bread.)
If you consult your Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Smartphone App, you will see that some breads that contain gluten are still allowed, even on the Elimination phase of the diet, at 1 slice. You could make half a sandwich!
Some sourdough bread, made with wheat flour that does contain gluten, are also considered Low FODMAP. This is because during the process of fermentation that produces sourdough, many of the fructans are consumed, making it naturally Low FODMAP. Again, use your app and also discuss your approach to bread with your dietitian.
You can have many different Low FODMAP condiments in small amounts, and these can make your sandwich sing! Mustard, mayonnaise and even chutney are all allowed, but why not get a little adventurous? Fody Salad Dressings make great sandwich condiments. How about our Maple Dijon with turkey and Swiss? Or use the Caesar Dressing for a vegetarian sandwich with tomato, lettuce and sprouts? Fody BBQ Sauce takes a shredded pork sandwich to the next level. The combos are endless. A ham and Camembert sandwich with Fody French Dressing sustained me while I wrote this article. It was really good. Like, no-I-won’t-share good!
Which brings us to Low FODMAP sandwich fillings. You could make a peanut butter (2 tablespoon/32 g allowed) and strawberry jam (2 tablespoons/40 g allowed) sandwich. Or, how about some lactose-free cream cheese with sliced strawberries nestled on some sourdough? Now let’s get even more creative.
We are fans of roasting extra chicken and meat when we are on dinner duty, so that we have leftovers for sandwiches, but you can find appropriate sliced meat in the deli - if you read labels and ask questions. Look for poultry and meats that are not seasoned with onion and/or garlic. Also, beware of extra fillers that might be high FODMAP. Best-case scenario is that the product is the meat/poultry itself with maybe a little salt and possibly a preservative. Carrageenan is often used for texture in deli meats and it is Low FODMAP.
Canned tuna is a great bet; watch out for water-pack tuna as they are often packed in broth and we have no idea what’s in that component from one brand to another. A little mayo, fresh lemon juice, black pepper and dill is our favorite way to make tuna fish salad. Add a small amount (1/4 stalk/12 g) of chopped celery per serving, or try a greater amount of chopped cucumber or even bok choy!
As far as cheeses you have plenty to choose from: start with a slice or two (or a hefty schmear) of cheddar, Swiss, Havarti, goat cheese, Camembert or Colby style cheese.
And don’t forget the veggies. A leaf or two of lettuce, some sprouts, a slice or two of tomato - even sliced cucumber - add freshness, color and crunch to your sandwich. Just take a look at the sandwich in the image. It’s hearty, colorful, packed with texture and flavor and in no way hints to being “diet” food.
A sandwich is by its very nature a product of layering several things up together to eat all at once. This means you have to be mindful of FODMAP stacking. This is when you take individual foods that might be Low FODMAP by themselves, but create a high(er) FODMAP load when combined. Again, your Monash FODMAP smartphone app can be your best friend as can your registered dietitian for developing your personal strategies.