Common Pitfalls on the Low FODMAP Diet
Everyone who diets experiences pitfalls along the way. Here are the common pitfalls on the low FODMAP diet and how to avoid them.
Everyone who diets experiences some pitfalls along the way. It's hard to change your thought patterns about what you're eating. This is especially challenging if you need to modify your favorite recipes, figure which restaurants you can eat at, and tackle the grocery aisles with ease.
The Low FODMAP diet is great in so many ways, helping people manage their weight, and more importantly, ease troubled digestive systems. But, it can be a little bit tricky to get the hang of the FODMAP diet plan.
Here's a look at some of the common pitfalls on the low FODMAP diet and how you can overcome them.
Starting the Low FODMAP Diet Plan with No Medical Advice
First things first, you shouldn't self-diagnose IBS. If you're experiencing digestive issues or are finding that a lot of foods irritate your stomach, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. After you've received a diagnosis, consult with a registered dietician with FODMAP experience, they'll be your best resource for starting your journey with this new diet.
Making too Many Changes at Once
The low FODMAP diet plan is a process of elimination diet, meaning there's an extensive process of elimination and eventual reintroduction. So, if you're drastically changing your diet, on top of adding supplements and new medications, you won't have a good sense of what is working for you and what's not.
MYTH: All Gluten Free Foods are Low FODMAP
The low FODMAP diet plan is not entirely grain or gluten-free. Gluten itself is a protein and therefore, not part of the FODMAP acronym. However, many grains contain a substance known as "fructans" short-chain carbohydrates that are high FODMAP. Gluten-free products are a natural choice for many people following the diet, as they eliminate wheat, rye, spelt, and barley--which are high in fructans.
That said, trace amounts of wheat or spelt should not be a problem unless you have Celiac disease. Additionally, wheat-based sourdough bread may be a good choice for low FODMAP dieters.
One more point on gluten-free products--many GF bread and baked goods contain fruit juice concentrate or inulin which are high in FODMAP and aren't part of the diet.
MYTH: You Need to Avoid Dairy
Another common pitfalls on the low FODMAP diet to avoid— Unless you are allergic to milk or follow a vegan diet, there's no real reason to eliminate all dairy from your diet. The low FODMAP diet plan is often associated with a no-dairy lifestyle, but this is something of a common misconception. This is because the "D" in FODMAP stands for di-saccharides and lactose is a disaccharide. That said, many hard kinds of cheese are low in lactose and full of calcium, and there are plenty of lactose-free dairy products available for sale.
You Can Pick High FODMAP Foods Out of A Dish
Unfortunately, picking out pieces of onion and garlic from a dish is akin to those with a dairy allergy scraping the cheese off a piece of pizza. Some people wrongly believe you can still cook with those pungent aromatics--flavoring a soup or sauce, for example--and just pull them out. The problem is, these items contain fructans, which are water soluble and counteract the benefits of following this diet in the first place.
That said, you can make garlic-infused olive oil if you find yourself wanting for more flavor. How does this work? Well, fructans are not oil soluble--meaning, they won't leach out into your food when prepared in oil.
For example, you can sautee onion and some garlic cloves in oil and pull them out before adding the other ingredients. Additionally, the green part of a scallion can be used as an onion substitute, while things like ginger, citrus, and fresh herbs are fair game.
You're Eating Too Many Convenience Products
Maybe you're a frozen burrito fiend, or you love energy bars and snacks that come in bags. Hey, that's okay, but one of the major pitfalls of a low FODMAP diet plan (or any type of diet, really) is eating too many processed foods.
Relying too much on premade options is an easy habit to fall into--especially if you're on the go and need to grab something quickly. Instead, try to stay true to nature. Have a handful of almonds, a scoop of natural peanut butter, a stick of cheese, or a handful of berries. These are all convenient snack items you don't need to prepare.
As far as meals go, you may want to dedicate an hour or two a week to chopping up veggies, making a big pot of soup, and portioning out lunches for the work days ahead. Getting ahead of your cravings or the inevitable hunger crash will keep you eating the right stuff.
You're Not Getting Enough Fiber
Because the low FODMAP diet plan is a diet low in grains, many people stop meeting their fiber needs. Unfortunately, this takes a bit of rewiring if you're used to getting your fiber from cereals and wheat-centric foods. Look at things like berries, seeds, peanut butter, potatoes (skin on), quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, oatmeal--the list goes on. Here's a list of
Now, some people can't tolerate too much fiber, so we'd advise consulting with a dietician before diving head first into a fiber binge.
Just Getting Started?
A low FODMAP diet plan doesn't need to be boring. At Casa de Sante, we've created a range of low FODMAP sauces, salsas, salad dressings, and more--designed to keep you eating the foods that keep your IBS at bay.
Browse through our recipe ideas, check out our products--and be inspired.
Do you still know other Common Pitfalls on the Low FODMAP Diet? Let us know!