When you’re trying to heal your gut with diets like the low FODMAP diet and AIP, you’re likely willing to try anything to help relieve your digestive symptoms. However, one fear you may have is that you’ll have to cut out certain food groups to reap the benefits of such healing. Fortunately, even though a combined diet like the low FODMAP and AIP diet may seem restrictive, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on delicious foods. For example, you may think carbohydrates are off limits on gut healing regimens. The good news is that there are still some carbohydrates up for grabs on the low FODMAP and AIP combined diet. Let’s talk a little bit about these diets and what carbohydrates you can have when combining these gut-healing regimens.
All about low FODMAP
The low FODMAP diet is an eating regimen designed to reduce intake of compounds known as FODMAPs that can trigger symptoms in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). FODMAPs are fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Consuming foods high in such compounds can trigger symptoms like abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea in those with IBS. Some common foods that should be avoided on the low FODMAP diet include:
- Wheat, barley, and rye
- Certain vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, Brussels sprouts, celery, leek, button mushrooms, or onions
- Cow’s milk and related milk products
- High fructose fruits like apples, cherries, mangoes, pears, or peaches
- Products containing sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, or xylitol
- Products containing high amounts of high fructose corn syrup
Research shows that many people with IBS that followed the low FODMAP diet had improved symptoms.
All about AIP
AIP, or the autoimmune protocol, is an eating regimen that research shows may help those with digestive conditions like inflammatory bowel disease as well as other autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It’s based on the paleolithic diet that avoids such foods as grains and dairy. However, the AIP diet is a bit more restricted. Here are some of the basic tenets of the AIP diet.
- Avoid any and all grains
- No legumes, beans, or peas
- Do not consume any nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers
- Stay away from any dairy products
- Avoid certain proteins such as eggs, nuts, and seeds
- Do not drink any coffee or alcoholic beverages
- No refined/processed sugars, oils, and food additives
Carbohydrates allowed on the low FODMAP and AIP combined diet
When it comes to carbohydrates on the low FODMAP and AIP combined diet, there won’t be any sliced bread or pasta dishes. However, there are still plenty of delicious choices. Here are some of those carbohydrates and how you can add them to your meals and snacks.
- Leafy greens like arugula, spinach, kale, salad greens, Bok choy, broccoli, and collard greens. Add these greens to your salads, in stir fries, or wilted in soups for extra fiber and nutrients.
- Green beans: Roast with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt for a delicious side dish, or just enjoy steamed in salads or soups.
- Cabbage and fermented cabbage like sauerkraut or kimchi: Enjoy sauerkraut stewed with pork or have raw cabbage in your salad for extra color and fiber.
- Carrots: Enjoy roasted with olive oil and sea salt or eat raw as a crunchy snack.
- Cucumber: Enjoy alone in slices for a snack, infused in water for a refreshing beverage, or in salads.
- Sweet potato: Enjoy roasted with olive oil and sea salt as a side dish, puree and use as a creamy base for soups, or mash with some cooked carrots as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Unripe banana: Eat alone as a portable snack or slice up and place in coconut milk-based yogurt as a sweet topping.
- Clementines or oranges: Enjoy these citrus fruits as a portable snack or enjoy slices on your salad for a bit of tartness.
- Grapes: Eat alone as a snack or slice in halves to top on salads, coconut milk yogurt, or to add some sweetness to chicken or tuna salad creations. Use coconut milk yogurt as a mayonnaise alternative with shredded chicken or tuna, add some grape halves, and toss in some diced veggies like Daikon radish, rhubarb, or shredded carrots to add extra fiber to your protein salad.
- Kiwi fruit: Eat alone as a snack or peel and slice up for a unique addition to salads.
- Plantain: Slice and pan-fry in some coconut oil for a delicious and healthier alternative to French fries or chips.
- Strawberry: Enjoy alone as a sweet snack, or slice on salads or coconut milk yogurt for a sweet addition. You can also blend up the strawberries with coconut kefir and baby spinach for a nutritious and delicious smoothie.
If you’re craving baked goods, you are in luck. There are still some carbohydrate sources on this combined diet for you to use to create gut-friendly baked goods. These carbohydrates include:
- 2/3 cup of arrowroot flour, tapioca starch, yam flour, or green banana flour
- ½ cup of sweet potato, pattypan squash, or spaghetti squash
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 2/3 cup of Japanese pumpkin
Take home message
Although this is a restrictive diet, the combined low FODMAP and AIP diet still provides many nutritious and flavorful sources of carbohydrate. The key is to be creative, allow for prep time, and be open to trying new foods. For more tips on how to take care of your gut, as well as many gut-friendly products, be sure to visit the Casa de Sante website.