Low FODMAP and Whole30

Low FODMAP and Whole30

There are many eating regimens out there that promise to make your body feel healthier inside and out. A low FODMAP regimen has helped many people reduce their discomfort from irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and other digestive issues. However, if you are on the low FODMAP regimen and are still having some discomfort, then perhaps a Whole30® reboot of your diet may help.

What is Whole30®?

The Whole30® regimen is very much like it sounds. It focuses on minimally processed, whole foods for the most part. Most of the diet focuses on proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. It promises to help you gain a healthier perspective and gain a more positive relationship with food.  The Whole30® regimen calls itself an elimination diet of sorts to help reduce inflammation in the body. Resources such as meal plans, and a blog are available on the site to help support those on the regimen, and tough love advice is given to encourage those who start the regimen to stick to it 100-percent for 30 days so that the body can fully experience the health benefits of the diet. Some basic guidelines of the Whole30® regimen include:

  • Do not consume added sugar, regardless of whether it is real or artificial, with the exception of added fruit juices which are allowed.
  • No alcohol in any form.
  • No grains, whether they are gluten-free or not.
  • No beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, or any bean-based products such as soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, or foods that contain additives such as soy lecithin. Green beans, snow peas, and sugar snap peas are however allowed.
  • Do not eat any dairy products, with the exception being ghee or clarified butter since it is considered dairy-free.
  • Check the ingredients label and avoid any foods with carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
  • Even if it contains only approved ingredients, no eating baked goods or junk foods.
  • All vinegars, except for malt vinegar are allowed. Also, feel free to flavor foods with coconut aminos as a soy sauce substitute, or salt.
  • It is suggested to only weight yourself before and after the 30-day regimen, but no time in between since you are supposed to focus on the way you feel during the regimen, not what the scale says.

How to follow low FODMAP on Whole30®

The major foods that you are asked to give up on Whole30® that is allowed on low FODMAP include dairy products, grains, and added sugars.  When combining both regimens, the following guidelines apply:

  • Consume plenty of vegetables with the exception of garlic, onions, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, and scallions.
  • You can eat fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, except for apples, apricot, avocado, ripe bananas, peaches, pears, plums, mangoes, raisins, and watermelon. Also, limit intake of grapefruit since it is slightly high in oligo-fructans.
  • No grains or foods that contain grains.
  • Get healthy proteins from nuts and seeds, except for cashews and pistachios, which are high FODMAP.
  • Eliminate all dairy products, with the exception of ghee or clarified butter.
  • Avoid any added sugars, whether they are real or artificial. Stick to natural fruit juice to act as a sweetener for any recipes you may create. Just be sure to stay away from high fructose drinks such as coconut water, apple, pear, or mango juices, as well as any drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

Trying to follow one healthy regimen can be difficult enough. Therefore, if you plan to combine two regimens both low FODMAP and Whole30®, be sure to plan meals and snacks. Also, clean out your kitchen, or at least a few shelves in your pantry and fridge, to keep your allowed foods organized so that staying on track will be a little bit easier. It sounds like a lot of work and dedication, but your body and overall health will thank you. for extra tips and tricks, check out resources for the low FODMAP and Whole30 diet. 


Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.

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