Are you finding that every time you eat a meal, you feel gassy, bloated, and overall uncomfortable? Or maybe you’re running to the bathroom with unpleasant side effects like constipation or diarrhea? Whatever it may be, if eating makes you happy, but ultimately leaves you feeling icky, then you’re probably searching for answers to soothe your sensitive stomach. And while there are quick fixes that can act as band-aid solutions, something more long-term – like the Low FODMAP diet, can make a world of difference to your gut health.
If you’re interested in getting started, Fody is here to guide you through the Low FODMAP diet for beginners.
What is the Low FODMAP Diet?
The Low FODMAP diet is the go-to remedy for the 45 million Americans (and 1 Billion individuals worldwide) suffering with IBS. Studies show that following a Low FODMAP diet can provide complete symptom relief for up to 75% of people with IBS, which is characterized by recurrent episodes of lower abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation.
First invented in 2004 by researchers at Monash University, it categorizes FODMAP foods that trigger gastrointestinal problems according to the type of carbohydrate they contain, i.e., Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.
Is The Low FODMAP Diet Plan Right For Me?
Since the Low FODMAP diet is recommended for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the first step is to determine whether or not you suffer from IBS. Take a closer look at the symptoms, which include:
- Pain and cramping
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- Changes in Bowel Movements
- Gas and bloating
- Food intolerances (IBS is often linked with gluten and lactose sensitivity, for example)
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and depression
Keep a food diary or log to try and discover how often you’re experiencing any of the above IBS symptoms. If it’s fairly regular, and you think you may be suffering from IBS or general stomach discomfort, the Low FODMAP diet is definitely worth trying. Of course, just to be safe, you can always speak to a healthcare professional before making any decisions.
How to Start a Low FODMAP Diet
Getting started is easy! First off, you’ll want to get to know the 3 phases of the Low FODMAP diet.
The Elimination Phase
During the “elimination phase,” take a look at these lists of high FODMAP foods to avoid vs. Low FODMAP foods to enjoy. For the first 2-6 weeks, this will be your guide on what to eat and what to eliminate. Follow these food lists as closely as possible, carefully documenting how they make you feel, and noting anything that triggers those ‘ole familiar IBS symptoms.
Since they can be a little bit difficult to remember (not only are they long, but you also have to keep up with serving sizes), resources like a Low FODMAP grocery list and Low FODMAP recipes can be super helpful in ensuring that you’re sticking with Monash University’s recommendations on a day-to-day basis.
The Reintroduction Phase
The reintroduction phase, as the name suggests, is where you start bringing back the high FODMAP foods that you identified as IBS trigger foods in the elimination phase into your diet. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a necessary step to determine the FODMAP groups that you’re intolerant to. Since FODMAP groups vary, it’s essential to start reintroducing foods that are from the same group of FODMAPs. Do this little by little, and eventually you’ll get a feel for what foods trigger your IBS symptoms and which ones don't.
The Integration Phase
Now that you’ve figured out which FODMAP groups trigger your IBS symptoms, you can start developing your own Low FODMAP diet plan. Whether you need to enlist the help of a dietitian, or you can do it on your own, this is the most exciting phase, as you’ll finally be able to eat freely without being weighed down by Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
That’s where Low FODMAP food brands like Fody come in. To help make this process an easy one, Fody has developed gut-friendly foods for individuals on the Low FODMAP diet. All of our packaged goods are specifically-formulated for sensitive stomachs and are certified Low FODMAP by Monash University – making them easily digestible, and positively enjoyable!
Ready to get started on the Low FODMAP diet? Shop Fody’s Low FODMAP foods today.