Eating Out on the Low FODMAP Diet
When you get started on the low FODMAP diet to avoid your IBS, it's easiest to eat at home. You can control your ingredients and preparation when you're using your own groceries. But that doesn't mean you can't eat out; plenty of menus have something safe for you to eat. Follow these tips to learn how to eat out at different types of restaurants while sticking to low FODMAP food.
Fast and Casual Food
Finding fast, convenient options on the low FODMAP diet isn't as difficult as it sounds. French fries, for instance, are usually safe, as are potato wedges. Just make sure they haven't been seasoned with onion or garlic. Salads are another safe option -- just watch out for dried fruits, apples and croutons, which are commonly added to salad. Casa de Sante portable low FODMAP Certified salad dressings fit easily into your purse and are great on the go. Gluten-free bread on sandwiches helps make them low FODMAP, and grilled chicken and salmon are also safe.
When you're headed out for Chinese food, stick to rice and rice noodle dishes. Rice paper rolls are a yummy alternative to traditional egg rolls as an appetizer. Just watch out for garlic and onion seasonings, which may be common. On the curry menu, stick to choices that use coconut milk, and ask them to hold the onions. Regular soy sauce has gluten, but Tamari soy sauce is safe. You can also season your dish with salt, pepper, or other safe herbs.
Pizza and Burgers
Pizza might sound out of the question, but you're in luck. Many places now have a gluten-free crust. Most pizza sauce contains garlic and onion, so be sure to ask what's included in the marinara before you order -- it is likely unsafe. If the sauce isn't OK to eat, you can ask that your pie be topped with simple tomato paste, or just hold the sauce and have your pizza brushed in olive oil. The cheeses used on most pizza, mozzarella and Parmesan, are low FODMAP so you're free to add as much as you want. Safe toppings include meats and olives.
At burger joints, the main consideration is getting a gluten-free bun or wrapping the meat in lettuce instead. Leave onions and mushrooms off your burger, and stick to hard cheeses (no goat cheese). Ketchup is low FODMAP as long as you stick to a single packet, which is about 2 tablespoons.
It's true that an Italian restaurant is carb city, but you can still find something tasty that is safe on your FODMAP diet. Stick to gluten-free noodles, and ask them to hold any sauce with onion and garlic. Not sure if the sauce is safe? Ask the chef to toss your noodles in olive oil and fresh herbs instead. You can always add sliced tomatoes to the dish too. Garlic bread is not an option, but a fresh side salad or steamed veggies make a great addition to the plate.
When you're craving Mexican food, you have lots of options. Tacos made from corn tortillas or hard shells with lettuce, tomato, meat and hard cheese are a great choice. You can have up to three corn tortillas as a part of the low FODMAP diet. Carne asada may also be safe as long as it's not seasoned. Just be sure to avoid cream cheese and beans. Up to 1/8 avocado is safe.
With a little practice, you'll be a pro at ordering off the menu in no time. No matter what you crave, you can make the menu work for you without breaking your low FODMAP commitment.