easy low fodmap swaps
easy low fodmap swaps

EASY LOW FODMAP SWAPS

Struggling with gut issues? You are not alone! It is suggested that 2 out of 10 people in the UK suffer with IBS issues at some point in their life! Following a Low FODMAP journey doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour or variety in your meals. In fact, it’s an opportunity to discover delicious alternatives that can keep your digestive symptoms at bay. In this article, we’ll explore my easy Low FODMAP swaps that not only cater to sensitive stomachs but may also get you trying new foods! 

 

WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET?

The Low FODMAP Diet is a therapeutic dietary approach designed to alleviate symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other gut health issues. Developed by researchers at Monash University in Australia, this evidence-based diet focuses on reducing the intake of specific types of carbohydrates that can ferment in the gut, resulting in the following symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Irregular bowel movements 

 

THE 3 STAGES OF THE FODMAP DIET

 

STAGE 1- ELIMINATE

The Aim: Aiding symptoms by removing high FODMAP foods from the diet

Duration: Typically lasts 2 to 6 weeks

Key Steps:

  • Strict avoidance of high FODMAP foods
  • Monitoring symptoms and writing down any improvements or changes
  • Seeking guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure proper implementation and understanding.

STAGE 2- REINTRODUCTION

The Aim: Reintroduce specific FODMAP groups to work out your individual tolerance levels whilst expanding variety in the diet. 

Duration: Typically over several weeks, depending on the individual

Key Steps:

  • Gradual reintroduction of specific FODMAP groups, one at a time, in varying amounts.
  • Careful monitoring of symptoms to identify personal triggers.

STAGE 3- MAINTENANCE

The Aim: Establish a personalised, sustainable, and well-balanced long-term diet that does not trigger symptoms.  

Duration: Ongoing

Key Steps:

  • Customisation of the diet based on individual tolerance levels identified during stage 2
  • Incorporate  a wide range of diverse foods to pack in as much nutrition as possible whilst enjoying your food 

 

THE DIFFERENT FODMAP GROUPS:

 

  • Oligosaccharides – Fructans and GOS- Found in: wheat, rye, pulses, legumes, cashews and various vegetables such as garlic and onion
  • Disaccharides – Lactose- Found in: dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt, milk, custard and soft cheese 
  • Monosaccharides – Fructose- Found in: Honey, fruit juice and fruits such as figs and mangoes 
  • Polyols – Sorbitol and Mannitol- Found in some artificial sweeteners, and certain vegetables and fruits including blackberries and lychees 

It can be challenging to avoid foods that contain FODMAPs, as many foods contain them. However, some FODMAP-containing foods only become problematic when consumed in large quantities or when multiple sources of FODMAPs are consumed in one sitting. That is why some people can tolerate smaller amounts of certain FODMAP food groups.

 

Some of my favourite low FODMAP swaps include…

 

ONION

  • Onion is a big one when it comes to bloating, so I recommend swapping red and white onion for the green part of the spring onions, which are lowest in FODMAPS or chives.

GARLIC

  • Garlic is a known high FODMAP culprit, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavour when it comes to cooking. I recommend using garlic-infused olive oil, as the FODMAPs responsible for digestive issues are not soluble in oil. This way, you can still enjoy the essence of garlic without the unwanted symptoms. (make sure it doesn’t contain pieces of garlic).

GRAINS

  • Swap grains such as couscous, wheat and barley for quinoa, a super versatile and nutritious grain that serves as an excellent alternative. Quinoa makes the  perfect base for salads, stir-fries, or as a side dish and is packed with plant-based protein and fibre. 

PASTA

SOY SAUCE

  • Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, making it a higher FODMAP condiment. However, tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or coconut aminos are great flavorful alternatives that shouldn’t trigger digestive issues.

DAIRY

  • Dairy can be a hard one to swap in your diet, but do not worry! Lactose free options are still available and easier for many to digest! Or alternatively, there are some low FODMAP plant based alternatives available:
  • Plenish almond milk (240ml serving), Cashew or Coconut milk (250ml serving), Nush dairy free yoghurt (100g serving), Coconut yoghurt (125g serving), Nush dairy free cream cheese (30g serving) or Nutritional yeast as a cheesy alternative. 

VEGGIES

  • Swap out higher FODMAP veggies such as Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and asparagus for rocket, spinach, courgette, carrots, cucumber and peppers.

FRUIT 

  • Fruit is delicious and nutritious, but many of my clients find that large servings of high FODMAP fruits are a big trigger! Typical high FODMAP fruits include apples, cherries, mangoes, figs and dates.
  • Swap to low FODMAP fruits such as blueberries, kiwis, and oranges. 

CEREAL

  • Swap your All Bran, shop-bought granolas, Weetabix and Alpen for Puffed buckwheat/ buckwheat flakes, cornflakes, muesli made with GF grains and suitable fruits, gluten-free granola or porridge oats.

SWEET TOOTH

  • Honey and agave are high FODMAPs, so opt for maple syrup or rice malt syrup as your liquid sweetener of choice.

SNACKS

 

It’s important to note that following a low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean that you have to give up on tasty and satisfying meals. By incorporating some simple swaps into your diet, you can better manage the challenges of IBS and improve your gut health.

However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you’re considering trying the FODMAP diet. It’s important to remember that the FODMAP diet is not a long-term solution and can cause more harm than good if done for extended periods of time.

While making small easy low FODMAP swaps in your daily food choices may help alleviate bloating and gut irritation, it’s crucial to seek advice from a specialist if you have any concerns. You can even book a free discovery call with me for further guidance.

Please note, Clarissa Lenherr Nutrition Limited uses affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you.

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Hi there

London Nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr

I’m Clarissa, a registered nutritionist (mBANT) and workplace wellness expert. In my practice, I have helped hundreds of clients reach optimal health through creating sustainable, effective habits and dietary adjustments. My aim is to empower people with the skills, tools and knowledge to take their health into their own hands and feel the happiest, healthiest versions of themselves. Featured in The Daily Mail, Women’s Health, The Telegraph, and more.

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