If you’re on the low FODMAP diet and are looking to lose weight, you may wonder how to do two special diets at once. One diet in particular that has been popular for weight loss is the keto diet. Because this diet can be restrictive, sticking to this plan as well as the low FODMAP diet may seem nearly impossible. However, if you read below, you will see that there are plenty of foods that you can eat on a combined diet like this.
A little background on the low FODMAP diet
The low fodmap diet is an eating routine that limits fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, or FODMAPs. In other words, this eating plan limits foods that contain types of sugars that are not absorbed well in the digestive tract, especially by those with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. This eating routine involves three phases: elimination, reintroduction, and personalization.
The first phase will eliminate all foods that contain moderate to high levels of FODMAPs. This phase lasts for about two to six weeks and gives your gut a break. The next phase involves reintroducing foods that may be higher in FODMAPs one at a time. This phase lasts about eight to twelve weeks and lets you figure out which higher FODMAP foods your gut may be able to tolerate without triggering digestive symptoms. Finally, the third phase is a long-term maintenance phase which includes avoiding those foods that you have figured out your gut cannot tolerate.
About the keto diet
The keto diet is not designed to help those with digestive conditions. However, it has been used to help people lose weight. It basically works to help your body switch to using fat instead of carbohydrates for the body’s primary source of energy. Some have found that this way of eating can help people lower blood glucose levels.
This type of diet involves eating very low amounts of carbohydrates, while having moderate levels of protein and high levels of fats. This usually comes out to about 55-60-percent of calories from fat, 30 to 35-percent of calories from protein, and 5 to 10-percent of calories from carbohydrates.
The basic guidelines of the keto diet involve avoiding certain food groups. These food groups include sugary foods, grains and starches, most fruit, root vegetables, beans, and alcohol. It is also suggested that people avoid sugar alcohols on this diet plan since they have been found to affect ketone levels in some cases.
Foods that meet keto and low FODMAP guidelines
Following one restricted diet can be hard enough without having to remember two sets of guidelines. So, read below for a summary of foods that meet both keto and low FODMAP guidelines in case this type of diet sounds like the right fit for you.
- Meats: Choose meats that are not processed with high FODMAP ingredients like molasses, honey, garlic, or onion.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel can be antioxidant-rich food sources on this combined diet.
- Eggs: The keto diet suggests choosing omega-3 whole eggs if possible.
- Butter: Butter is high in milkfat, so does not really contain any FODMAPs. However, some people with digestive conditions cannot tolerate high fat foods like this. Therefore, consume butter with caution.
- Cheese: Cheeses like cheddar, Colby style, feta, brie, mozzarella, Havarti, and Swiss contain just trace amounts of FODMAPs. Therefore, 2-3 ounces of cheese may be consumed daily for those on a low FODMAP diet.
- Nuts and seeds: Consume safe servings of low FODMAP nuts and seeds for more healthy fats in your keto diet. Avoid pistachios and cashews, and also limit almonds and hazelnuts to no more than 10 pieces a day. In addition, limit flaxseeds to one tablespoon a day, hulled sunflower seeds to two teaspoons a day, and pumpkin or chia seeds to two tablespoons a day.
- Healthy oils: Olive oil and coconut oil are great ways to healthfully cook or flavor food on the keto and low FODMAP diet. Also, low FODMAP garlic oil or scallion oil can be a delicious addition to your diet.
- Low-carb vegetables: Since this list of low FODMAP, keto-friendly vegetables can be long, pretty much any vegetables that are not corn, potatoes, or beans are safe on this list. Green beans can be eaten in small amounts such as in 15-20 bean servings. However, avoid starchier beans like chickpeas, kidney, pinto, or black beans, to name a few. Also, avoid high FODMAP vegetables like onions, garlic, artichoke, asparagus, fresh beetroot, cauliflower, celery, leek bulb, certain mushrooms, and sauerkraut. Be sure to visit the Monash University app for low FODMAP safe amounts of such foods.
- Condiments: Salt, pepper, allspice, curry powder, cumin, and cardamom as well as fresh herbs like basil, oregano, bay leaves, cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, or thyme are all safe ways to flavor your food on this combined diet.
- Beverages: Stick to low-sugar, non-alcoholic beverages like water, teas like rooibos, green, or white teas, as well as waters infused with low FODMAP produce like cucumbers, lemon, limes, or strawberries, to name a few.
Is this type of combined diet right for me?
The keto diet may not be right for everyone. If you have a sensitivity to fats, such as some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or have a liver or kidney condition, then the keto diet may not be the right fit for you. In these cases, a high fat diet may make your symptoms worse. Therefore, be sure to talk with a qualified healthcare provider before starting this eating regimen.