Summer is here and whether you are just embarking on the diet or are an old-hat at this point, the summer can present its own set of challenges when it comes to low FODMAP diet success.
There are cookouts and potlucks and outdoor parties and get-togethers seemingly every weekend and when you do not control the menu, it is more difficult to make sure that you are eating low FODMAP foods.
We have a few thoughts and suggestions below - though we can tell you right now that it is possible to have a fun-in-the-sun summer without compromising or sabotaging your low FODMAP diet success!
- Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables! So many people mistakenly believe that fruits & veggies are off limits. Nothing could be further from the truth! Sure, they are carbohydrates and so are FODMAPs, but one look at your Monash University Smartphone App (you do have it, don’t you?) and you will immediately see at-a-glance all of the farm-fresh produce you can eat that is at its peak this time of year. Lettuces and cabbage, bell peppers and eggplant, green beans and kale, radishes and tomatoes, corn and summer squashes…too many low FODMAP vegetables to list, really. And did we mention that white potatoes, cucumbers and carrots all have NO DETECTABLE FODMAPs! That’s right - use the app to gauge low FODMAP serving sizes, but you can go veggie crazy all summer long.
- How about fruits, we hear you ask? It is true that the stone fruits - peaches, plums, cherries and apricots - are high FODMAP foods, but you can have blueberries and raspberries, kiwi and pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, to name a few. And did we mention that strawberries, rhubarb and papaya all have NO DETECTABLE FODMAPs! Right again. And even fruit like grapes can be eaten in very generous 1 cup (150 g) amounts. Fruit rules even in our low FODMAP diet universe.
- Burgers & Dogs - This is a toughie. If you have seasoned the hamburger, then you will know for sure whether it's low FODMAP-friendly. Many people (in their backyards) and chefs (in restaurant kitchens) will be grilling burgers seasoned with all kinds of high FODMAP ingredients, especially garlic, so you have to ask. Ground beef with a little salt and pepper makes a great burger (or use FODY's Low FODMAP Steak Spice Blend!) - and you could even add a piece of Swiss or cheddar cheese on top for a low FODMAP meal - and use low FODMAP hamburger buns, of course. Hot dogs are more problematic. You have to get a hold of the packaging to read the ingredients. Many do include onion and/or garlic and you have to look out for high fructose corn syrup, as well, and possibly fillers like inulin.
- BBQ Chicken, ribs, brisket, etc. - Okay, there's bad news and good news. The bad news is that chances are a commercially prepared dry rub or wet BBQ sauce will contain garlic and/or onion. Homemade, same deal. But here’s the good news! This is one reason our FODY Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce is so popular! Order some to have on hand; all the BBQ flavor you want with no FODMAPs and it works on any protein of your choice. We even like it brushed on low FODMAP vegetables!
- Chips & Dip - Corn chips and classic corn tortilla chips are low FODMAP and go great with our low FODMAP Salsas - we now have Mild and Medium, for those who like a little more heat. Plain potato chips are okay, too.
- We are dessert people and we bet you are, too. Let’s talk about what works - fruit popsicles made with plain white sugar and low FODMAP fruits, such as strawberry, lemon, lime or raspberry flavors are good bets. A bowl of strawberries with up to 1/2 cup (125 ml/60 g) of whipped cream is a fine low FODMAP snack. A slice of pineapple brushed with maple syrup toasted on the grill. A wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew is perfect - try a squeeze of lime on top. Summer in every bite. Just steer clear of watermelon - it’s a triple threat with 3 FODMAPs (fructans, excess fructose and polyols)!