Low FODMAP Diet and IBS management
Low FODMAP Diet and IBS management
Alarming statistics show that one in seven people now suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a gut condition characterized by chronic abdominal discomfort and bloating, and is often accompanied by either diarrhoea or constipation. What causes IBS is still debated within the health community, however it is believed that the primary cause of IBS is due to an individuals’ inability to digest and absorb foods that contain FODMAPs.
What does FODMAP mean?
The term FODMAP is an acronym for ‘Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols’. Now I know that is a mouthful, but in more simplistic terms, that basically just means any foods that are regularly fermented by bacteria in the small intestines. The reason we want to avoid these foods is because the fermentation process attracts water to the bowels, resulting in bloating, diarrhoea and malabsorption of nutrients.
FODMAP containing foods are commonly found in sugar sources such as; fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols. These types of sugars are regularly found in everyday foods that we eat. The table below shows which foods should be avoided in order to achieve a Low FODMAP diet.
High FODMAP Foods
Fruit: Apples, pears, peaches, mango, sugar snap peas, watermelon, canned fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice.
Sweeteners: honey, high fructose corn syrup
Dairy: Milk, ice-cream, soft cheeses (ricotta, cottage etc), custard, condensed milk, yoghurt, sour cream, whipped cream
3) Fructans & Galactans
Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, garlic, leeks, okra, onions, peas, shallots
Cereals: Wheat, rye, barley
Legumes: chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, baked beans
Other: Pistachio nuts, cashews
Fruits: Apricots, cherries, lychee, nectarines, plums, prunes, blackberries
Vegetables: Avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms
Sweeteners: Sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol, isomalt
A low FODMAP diet has been proven to help over 70% of patients with the management of their IBS disease. It is important to note that a low FODMAP diet is not cure for IBS, it is instead a way to help manage symptoms by decreasing the regularity and intensity of abdominal discomfort.
Once you have eliminated the above foods from your diet, you should see symptom improvements within 2 weeks. It is then recommended to maintain the Low FODMAP for another 2-4 weeks, before slowly re-introducing those foods back into the diet one by one. As you re-introduce these foods into your diet, you should record a food and symptom journal, as this will allow you to highlight particular foods that cause flare ups in abdominal discomfort. It is then recommended that those foods be permanently eliminated from the diet, with suitable food alternatives provided.
Low FODMAP CORN THINS Recipes
Given that CORN THINS slices do not contain wheat, rye or barley, they are a suitable food to eaten while on a Low FODMAP diet. Below are a couple of CORN THINS’s recipes that contain low FODMAP toppings:
Banana and Peanut Butter & CORN THINS
- Ingredients: 2 CORN THINS slices, 1 banana, 2 tsp. peanut butter, small handful of walnuts
- Directions: Spread 1 tsp of peanut butter onto each CORN THINS slice. Next slice the banana up and evenly distribute over the CORN THINS slices. Finally sprinkle with some walnuts.
Tuna Salad & CORN THINS
- Ingredients: 2 CORN THINS slices, 1 can of tuna, 1 tsp low fat Mayonnaise, cracked pepper, 2 lettuce cups.
- Directions: In a small bowl, mix together tuna, mayonnaise and cracked pepper. Next place a lettuce cup on each CORN THINS slice and then full that lettuce cup with tuna salad mixture.
BLT CORN THINS
- Ingredients: 2 CORN THINS slices, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 2 slices of tomato and 2 lettuce cups
- Directions: In a frying pan, cook turkey on both sides until crispy. In the meantime, thinly slice the lettuce and create a bed of lettuce on each CORN THINS slice. Next put a slice of tomato on each CORN THINS slice, followed by a slice of crispy turkey.
*For more advice on how to manage your IBS symptoms and adopt a low FODMAP diet, I would recommend you see a dietitian or look at the Monash University Low FODMAP diet app/booklet.
Article by: Rachel Parfitt @TheNutritionPlayground