Here are 17 Bright Ideas for How to Stick to a Low FODMAP Diet . If you’re following a strict diet like one that is low in FODMAPs, the festive season can be a difficult time of year; Christmas parties, family get-togethers, eating out and plenty of delicious food to tempt you. There are some clever ways to shop, entertain and eat out with peace of mind over Christmas, while making sure you manage your symptoms and still feel great but these tips are also great for the whole year. Dr Sue Shepherd, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietician and Founder of the FODMAP Friendly food certification logo has written for us her 17 Bright Ideas for How To Stick To Low FODMAP Diet:
Know your staples – Don’t avoid your favourite baked goodies this festive season; just make sure you’re aware of your FODMAP friendly baking staples. Those crucial ingredients including butter, sugar, gluten free flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and other spices are all safe to use in your baking, along with lactose-free milk to substitute regular milk.
Alcohol – Limit your intake to two glasses of dry white or red wine (sweet whites and sparkling wines are high FODMAP), beer; or eg. vodka, fresh lime and soda water for a refreshing alcoholic beverage.
Turkey stuffing – Omit the onions entirely from your stuffing recipe, and use gluten free breadcrumbs that are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores.
Gravy – Try making your own gravy from scratch with roast meat juices and gluten free cornflour; it’s easy and delicious. If you prefer a pre-made version, look for a powdered gravy mix that does not contain onion and garlic.
Boost your salads – When ordering or making a salad, use the green part of spring onion instead of regular onion and consider dressing with vinegar, lemon juice and/or olive oil. These are FODMAP friendly suggestions and very tasty.
Add flavour – Given you’ll probably be entertaining more than usual during this period, you might want to prepare low FODMAP dishes to share with others. No-one will notice your FODMAP-friendly dish doesn’t have any onion or garlic if you flavour up your food with fresh herbs such as mint, coriander, basil, chives, sage, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass and chilli. Also, spices are also great and consider asafoetida powder – a bright yellow Indian spice that’s a great replacement for that onion or garlic taste.
Avoid dried fruit – Snack on gluten free shortbread (available in supermarkets) instead of fruit mince pies and allow yourself only a thin slither of Christmas pudding as dried fruit are high in FODMAPs. Enjoy pavlova and lactose free trifle (with cornflour sponge base) as low FODMAP Christmas desserts.
Bring a dish – If you’re visiting someone’s house and aren’t sure if there will be a low FODMAP meal option for you, suggest bringing a dish to help out and contribute to the Christmas spread.
Eating out – There’s no need to avoid eating out during the festive season, as long as you do it with some diligence. Look up the menu online before going to a restaurant, so that you can spend time working out which dishes are suitable.
Food to go – Don’t be caught out at the lunchtime Christmas bash with colleagues in the workplace – pack some low FODMAP snacks and take them with you when attending finger-food parties in case none of the food is suitable. Examples include handful of nuts (not cashews or pistachios), plain or sesame rice crackers, cheese, most gluten free sweet biscuits.
Hidden ingredients – Know where high FODMAP ingredients are hidden. Many pre-made sauces are often high in FODMAPs, so, if possible, try to find out what the ingredients are. If you can’t be certain of the ingredients, you might choose to not eat it at all or try to scrape away the suspect sauces to do your best to avoid these with your Christmas meals.
Cook in bulk –
To save you time and money over Christmas, cook large batches of your favourite low FODMAP recipes and freeze what you don’t eat. You can also use these frozen meals to take with you when visiting family and friends.
Prepare – As an extra precaution over the busy and sometimes difficult festive season, if you have found any strategies to manage unplanned symptoms, put them into place. This might be as simple as wearing clothing that is loose and comfortable in case you get an unexpected bloat!
Shout out – Don’t be afraid to let your friends and family know you’re following a low FODMAP diet and ask that they keep this in mind when preparing their Christmas menu. Alternatively, offer to bring a dish that you’re able to eat.
Money smart – Christmas is an expensive time of year and maintaining a low FODMAP diet over this period can sometimes add to the stress. Some low cost hints include: consider rice as a less expensive alternative to gluten free pasta, frozen vegetables and fruit might be cheaper than fresh (when fresh is out of season), and if possible, when items are discounted in the shops, buy them in bulk.
Search for low FODMAP recipes – There’s loads of recipe ideas on the internet – many are low FODMAP. Or, seek a dedicated low FODMAP cookbook such as those I have written including “Low FODMAP Recipes” and “Food Intolerance Management Plan” (published by Penguin books) available online and in book stores.
FODMAP Friendly logo – Look for the green FODMAP Friendly logo on supermarket shelves and enjoy a great range of pre-packaged foods with confidence. The FODMAP Friendlycertification is an easy way to identify and select food products that are low in FODMAPs, and will save you time looking at ingredients and packaging. You can already find the FODMAP Friendly logo on Kez’s Low in Fructose Cereal and snacks, a large range of Well and Good baking mixes, Bayview chicken and fish products, and Sue Shepherd All Natural Confectionary.
- The Low FODMAP diet is proven to be an effective dietary treatment for the vast majority of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome Consuming foods that are “FODMAP Friendly” complies with the low FODMAP diet. The FODMAP Friendly food logo can now be seen on supermarket shelves, helping people who are dietary-conscious, or who have been told to follow a low FODMAP diet, easily identify and choose food products that are low in FODMAPs.