The FODMAP diet is a good way to find out which FODMAPs you are sensitive to. It is a demanding and complex diet that you should always follow under the guidance of a dietitian or other health professional. The diet usually consists of three phases:
- In the elimination phase, you will eliminate or replace all foods that are high in FODMAPs. The goal of this phase is to reduce your symptoms in 2-6 weeks.
- In the reintroduction phase, one by one, the FODMAPs are added back to your diet. After introducing each new FODMAP you can see whether it gives you intestinal symptoms, and if so, how much. In this way you discover which FODMAPs you are sensitive to.
- In the personalization phase you will (together with your dietitian), put together a personal diet. In this diet you take into account the FODMAPs that cause complaints and the quantities that you can tolerate.
The FODMAP diet is not an easy diet, it takes time and energy, so below you will find ten different tips that can help you follow the FODMAP diet.
- Support from a dietitian
The FODMAP diet is not an easy diet, so it is recommended to follow it under the guidance of a dietitian. The dietitian can ensure that you eat low FODMAP, but still get all the needed nutrients. After following the FODMAP diet, a dietitian can help you create a personalized diet that will not cause any symptoms.
- The low FODMAP-diet, (not the ‘NO’ FODMAP diet)
The low FODMAP diet does not mean avoiding FODMAPs completely, it means reducing your amount of FODMAPs during the elimination phase of the diet.
- Monash University application
This app, from Monash University in Australia, lists which products are low-FODMAP and which products are not. The list gets regular updates and is therefore always up-to-date. In the Monash University app you can look up products and immediately see which and how many FODMAPs they contain.
- A complaints diary
It is a good idea to keep a ‘complaints diary’. In this, you can write down when, what and how much you eat each day and whether this gives you any complaints. This will give you an easy insight into your symptoms and you can quickly see if you are unknowingly eating a product that is not low-FODMAP.
- Remember it’s temporary
The FODMAP diet is temporary. After going through your reintroduction phase you will know which FODMAPs give you symptoms and which you can tolerate well. You only have to be careful with products you can’t tolerate well. After following the FODMAP diet you can eat more products again.
- Portion control
Portion control is very important in the FODMAP diet. All foods vary in FODMAP content so the amount of FODMAPs going into your diet will depend on how much or how little you eat of a particular food product. Look carefully at the green list, in the Monash app or at the advice of your dietitian to see how much you can eat of certain products.
- Eat enough
With the FODMAP diet, especially in the elimination phase, there are many products that you should avoid. As a result, you may (unintentionally) eat less than normal. Therefore, make sure you have six small meals or snacks per day, so you have enough opportunities to maintain energy levels.
- Eating with friends and family
It’s helpful to tell friends and family about your low FODMAP diet, so that they can take your dietary requirements into account. Let them know which products you can and cannot eat and show them by cooking together.
- Focus on the positive aspects
While following the FODMAP diet, there are many things that you are not allowed to eat. This can be very difficult, but the more you focus on this, the harder it becomes. Try to focus on the positive. Find the food you can eat, and make the most delicious meals possible.
- Karlijn’s Kitchen
On this website you will find a lot of information about the FODMAP diet, but also tips and recipes. If you find the FODMAP diet difficult or if you are looking for inspiration, take a look at this website.
Hopefully following the FODMAP diet will be a little easier with these tips.