In the 90’s Dr. Sue Shepherd developed a form of fructose malabsorption diet. Subsequently a team at Monash University, led by Professor Peter Gibson and including Dr. Shepherd and others, developed the low-FODMAP diet. Since then, various books, apps and blogs have been published to help people navigate the diet and also update all on new research pertaining to FODMAPs. If you are already a part of the FODMAP community then you know different findings and discrepancies exist from the U.S. to the U.K. Doctors, researchers and registered dietitians from all over have slightly different points of view. The best thing you can do is to work with a FODMAP expert that you trust and like – the same way in which you would choose a doctor for any other need. An expert will help you to navigate the diet based on research and facts and will take into consideration how your own body reacts to food, stress, environmental pollution, etc. We (those suffering from IBS, IBD, GERD, gastroparesis, Celiac and other digestive/inflammatory issues) are all very different – so what works for you, might not work for another person.
With that said, I have decided to start taking some of your questions from our Facebook page and asking some of my favorite FODMAPs experts from the U.S. and abroad. If you have a question you would like answered, please post it to our wall and I will do my best to get it answered. Thank you FODMAP Life fans!
Expert: Patsy Catsos, RD
Question: Personally, I have a question – as I’m two days in: If I slip up and have something bad, does my FODMAP 6 week start all over again (like it does with Whole30?) Meaning, if I’m good for a week, but eat an avocado on day 7, am I starting all over or will I just potentially feel uncomfortable and that’s that?
Answer: The FODMAP elimination diet is a learning diet, not an exercise in following rules. Here is what I tell my patients: You will learn more the closer you stick to eating the foods on the elimination phase of the diet, but the whole project is not ruined if you make a mistake.A “mistake” would be realizing you just ate a sliver of avocado in your sushi, not eating a whole avocado because you feel like taking a break from the low FODMAP diet. Or accepting a sliver of cake at your daughter’s wedding, not deciding to eat a bagel for breakfast. Make your best effort and you will lower the FODMAP load in your diet enough to learn something.
You’re an adult. Its your call. If you choose to make a lot of big, deliberate exceptions, accept that you won’t learn as much about whether changing the types of sugar and fiber in your diet can help you manage your symptoms. “Starting over” is not likely to add much to the learning process at that point.After you’ve figured out which types of FODMAPs are problems for you, you can make all the exceptions you can stand!
I want people to have less anxiety and stress around food and IBS, not more.
Unlike a 100% gluten-free diet, cross-contamination is not an issue when it comes to FODMAPs.
Bio: Patsy Catsos is a registered dietitian, medical nutrition therapist, and author of IBS—Free at Last! Change your Carbs, Change your Life and the Flavor without FODMAPs Cookbook. In her Portland, Maine practice, she helps patients with gluten-related disorders, IBS, and other gastrointestinal problems manage their symptoms and experience a better quality of life. Patsy is a frequent speaker at community and professional events. She is active on a variety of social media platforms including www.ibsfree.net, where she blogs about low-FODMAP living.Patsy completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University and earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition at Boston University. She interned at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She is a professional member of the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of American, the Celiac Sprue Association, the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Expert: Emma Carder, RDN
Question 1: What can one use in place of onions in recipes?
Answer: This has to be one of the most common questions that I get asked by my clients along with what can I have in place of garlic! In terms of buying foods like ready meals, sauces, condiments, soups, gravies etc…it can be very tricky to find anything onion /garlic free. If you are able to make your own meals though then there are some great alternatives out there to use. These are the main swaps that I would recommend;
Garlic, basil or chilli infused oils, finely sliced (green part) spring onions, finely sliced green leek leaves, chives (dried or fresh) or asafoetida powder ‘hing’ (an Indian spice) are all suitable for getting a lovely onion/garlic flavour without the FODMAPS. Asafoetida powder can sometimes contain traces of wheat so for anyone of a completely gluten free diet it’s vital to read the ingredients on this spice. It is also VERY pungent …a little goes a long way!
Question 2: I love zucchini! And I thought they were low fodmap.. but now I read that they are high fodmap… are they?
Answer: Zucchini or courgettes as we call them in the UK are FODMAP friendly. Monash indicate that 1 serve (1/2 a cup or 66g) is low in fodmaps. A serving > 100g does contain oligo fructans though and may not be tolerated by everyone
Bio: Emma is a friendly & highly motivated Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist with over 19 years of post graduate experience. Emma graduated from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh in 1995 and has since gained dietetic experience in both the NHS and private freelance sector. Throughout her 15 year NHS career Emma specialised in a number of key clinical areas including nephrology, gastroenterology, upper GI Cancer surgery, bariatrics, critical care, neurology and elderly care.