Embracing a low FODMAP diet can be difficult.
Unlike going vegetarian, it’s not meant to be a permanent change. It’s also difficult to do without professional guidance. In this week’s blog post, we’ll revisit how a low FODMAP diet works, and how a low FODMAP coach such as a trained dietitian can help you make the switch.
What is a low FODMAP diet?
FODMAPs are carbohydrates that – when not digested properly – stay in your large intestine, causing pain, bloating and other issues. (Read our blog post from May for a more detailed explanation of what FODMAP is.)
You’ll find FODMAPs in fruits and vegetables, dairy products and artificial sweeteners. And because they lead to digestive troubles, a low-FODMAP diet can benefit people with chronic gastrointestinal illnesses.
Low FODMAP foods include gluten-free breads, cereal made from oats, lactose-free yogurt or Greek yogurt and roasted, grilled or steamed low-FODMAP vegetables (these include carrots, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes and zucchini.)
How can a low FODMAP coach help?
According to the FODMAP-centric website A Little Bit Yummy, a FODMAP-trained dietitian can help in several ways:
1. They can ensure that you’ve had the proper medical tests before you start
Before you begin a low FODMAP diet, it’s important to get tested for celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. These both have symptoms similar to IBS, but require different treatment. It’s important that your doctor diagnoses you with IBS – and not another digestive condition – before you start a low FODMAP diet.
2. They can design a diet that fits your needs
Depending on how severe your symptoms, your low FODMAP coach can determine how strict your diet needs to be. And if you’re already on some sort of diet to deal with other illnesses – such a celiac – your dietitian can help tailor your low FODMAP diet to suit your needs.
3. They can help you transition to low FODMAP foods faster
“The low FODMAP diet is complicated and it is easy to make mistakes,” writes A Little Bit Yummy founder Alana Scott. “Your dietitian can give you some tips and guidelines to help you transition to low FODMAP foods, with fewer hiccups, (especially when it comes to choosing safe processed foods).”
And that means you can gain better control over your symptoms in a shorter amount of time
4. They can make sure you get enough nutrition
Unless you eat a wide range of foods, you might find yourself not getting enough nutrition on the low FODMAP diet. Your low FODMAP coach can give you strategies to help you focus on the right food groups to ensure you get enough nutrients.
This is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, as many vegetarian staples are high FODMAP foods, but also reliable sources of iron, protein, vitamin B12 and zinc.
5. They can spot other dietary triggers
There are a lot of trigger foods for IBS, and some of them may also be on your low FODMAP list. A dietitian can spot your triggers – such as insoluble fiber – reviewing your medical history and food journal – if you’ve kept one – to decide what might need to be cut from your diet.
6. They can plan for life after FODMAP
As we said at the start, a low FODMAP diet isn’t meant to be forever. Your low FODMAP coach can help you come up with a long-term plan to lessen your IBS symptoms while increasing the types of foods you can eat, so that you’ll have a diet that gives you adequate nutrition and a healthy gut.
And even though your dietitian may not be available 24/7, there is a way to track your low FODMAP diet wherever you go. Monash University has developed a low FODMAP app that provides accurate information about foods that can trigger IBS, to help you better manage your symptoms.
If you’re looking for additional ways for dealing with digestive ailments, turn to Proper Nutrition. Our dietary supplements are made from protein-rich white fish, and contain bioactive peptides shown to decrease symptoms and improve gut integrity in patients with illnesses like IBS and Crohn’s.
Visit our website today to find a product that works for you, and subscribe to our blog for more ideas for people living with digestive disorders.