The low FODMAP and AIP regimens combined can be a great way to help heal the gut of those with digestive distress. However, since this eating plan is very restricted, it can be challenging to plan meals, let alone snacks. If you find yourself hungry in between meals, it can be difficult to find something that fits both diet plan’s guidelines. Let’s look at the basic guidelines of both eating plans and see what snacks would be safe on this combined diet.
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
This diet protocol is very restrictive, but this very restrictive elimination phase usually only lasts about 30 to 60 days. Thereafter, the maintenance phase is a time where people can slowly add in foods that have been avoided to test the body’s tolerance. It’s thought that by the end of the maintenance phase, a person should know what foods they can and cannot tolerate to prevent digestive distress symptoms long-term.
Low FODMAP-AIP safe snacks
Because of the many restrictions when combining both diets, you may wonder what snacks would be available to eat. Use the following tips to create delicious snacks on the combined low FODMAP and AIP diet.
- Pick up some portable fruits like unripe bananas, citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, or mandarin oranges, as well as grapes, kiwi fruit, or some strawberries for snack time.
- Crunch on some carrot sticks, raw broccoli, gherkin pickle, or sliced cucumber for a snack. Sprinkle some low FODMAP and AIP friendly seasoning for extra flavor like the Casa de Sante taco seasoning.
- Create a small side salad with some salad greens and/or baby spinach, red cabbage, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumber. Sprinkle on some sea salt and drizzle on some olive oil and vinegar for extra flavor.
- Enjoy a glass of coconut kefir with a piece of AIP and low FODMAP friendly fruit.
- If you’re craving protein, try a few slices of smoked salmon (as long as it isn’t prepared with high FODMAP spices like garlic or onion).
Take home message
Just because you’re following a restrictive diet like the low FODMAP and AIP diet, that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. By using the tips above, and allowing yourself some prep time each day, you can create flavorful and delicious snacks while letting your gut heal. For more gut health tips, visit the Casa de Sante website.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD by LighttrackNutrition.com