The low Fodmap diet for irritable bowel syndrome is complex, and you could inadvertently be making mistakes that are sabotaging your efforts to get symptom free. There are many different possibilities, but I have isolated a few that I see again and again with my clients. Watch my video to find out what they are.
Transcription of Mistakes on the Low Fodmap Diet
Today, I want to talk to you about a few mistakes that you might be making with the low FODMAP diet. I know a lot of you are on the diet and you’re not necessarily having 100% success, so I thought I’d just go through a list of things that I see with my clients that could be going wrong for you. We’re starting off with inulin. Inulin can be found in several yoghurts so you do have to look out for that. It’s high FODMAP. It’s not only in yoghurts but it also can be in stevia, which is a low Fodmap sweetener. It can contain inulin as an ingredient – and that would make it high FODMAP. So check out your stevia if that’s what you use because it’s not always that pure and even the processing of it can cause some problems. Not everybody is okay with stevia.
While we are on the question of yoghurt – hopefully most of you know this by now – that you should not be using soy yoghurt because most of them are made from the whole bean. If you are lucky enough to find one made from the soy protein only then that would be fine. The lactose-free yoghurts are best. Sugar free and, if possible everything free: just the yoghurt and the culture that’s in there. Because some of the fruits would be high FODMAP, but also that could constitute a fruit, which means that you wouldn’t be able to have too many other fresh fruits during the day. Coconut yoghurt is too rich, so I would stay away from that one.
Moving on. Coffee. Not all coffee is created equal. Hopefully you’re making your coffee from the beans, and you’re not using too strong a coffee, because that will be a gut irritant for you. And maybe limit it to one cup a day. Also, some coffee has chicory in it and chicory root is high FODMAP. We have to stay away from it. So, again, check those ingredients. It’s so important to do that with everything.
The next one is dairy. We talk about the lactose in dairy, and that, of course, as we know, is one of the high FODMAP groups. But you could have a problem, possibly, with the casein, which is the protein part in dairy. So just because you’ve taken all the lactose out of your dairy does not mean that you’re going to be okay with it. It could be a good idea to do a test with removing all dairy from your diet for a period of time to see if that helps.
Nuts. For example, I can’t eat many nuts at all, and I suspect it’s the phytic acid in the nuts, which is actually a natural protection that the nuts, which are the seeds of plants that are going to grow into new plants, have to protect itself from animals eating them because it’s toxic. And so, if we have too much, we can have a toxic reaction to it. And it’s possible that I have a particular sensitivity to the phytic acid and I know a lot of other people have problems with nuts as well. So do watch out for that, and perhaps test cutting all the nuts out of your diet.
Next, ham and bacon, and all deli meats, in fact – all the meats that you get from delicatessens that are already sliced. A lot of them have sulphites on them and you’d very surprised if you asked for the list of ingredients of those couple of slices of roast beef that you’ve just bought because it can be quite a long list. So it’s best, if possible, to avoid deli meats, and buy only hams and bacons that you know have been processed in a completely natural way, without any additives, and definitely not one that’s been honey cured. The best idea, if in doubt, is to stay away from the deli meats completely and any kind of processed meat, even the hams and bacons, and have fresh meat, instead.
Oats and other cereals. Oats are wonderful for fibre and I have them every morning because I have IBS with constipation. But not everybody can tolerate them. So if you’re finding you’re getting issues after eating oats, just stop them and replace them with something else. Many, many cereals are not good for us because they have too high a content of sugar and other processed elements, like preservatives and colourings and so on. So if you can’t find one – perhaps in your health shop – that is healthy for you without all the additives, then don’t have it for breakfast. Change it to a breakfast of perhaps eggs – one to two eggs – with one starchy carbohydrate and one vegetable, and that would be a nice balanced breakfast.
Canned fish. This is an easy one. Always buy your canned fish in water, not in oil, because oil is a gut irritant, and even though we need it, that would be too much if you were eating oily fish like salmon with oil on top of that. That would give you a gut ache.
And my last one is the spacing of meals. Make sure that your meals are three to four hours apart. Three hours so that the motility cleansing wave can pass through – so you’re not putting food in the gut too often. No more than four hours. You could stretch that to five but then the body starts to feel that it’s fasting. And apart from at night when we’re asleep, our bodies with IBS react badly to fasting. So keep your meals – five meals a day – three to four hours apart.
I think that’s enough for you to absorb all in one go.