Deciphering the Labelling for a Low FODMAP Diet
*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.
How to use nutritional labels to your benefit
Look closely at the Percent Daily Value and try to increase the amount of fibre, vitamin A, calcium and iron and decrease the amount of fat, saturated and trans fat and sodium. In particular:
1. Choose high-fibre foods
Why? Because fibre contributes to satiety, regular bowel movements and can help reduce blood cholesterol. If you can’t decide between two similar products, it’s preferable to opt for the one that contains the most fibre (the one with the highest % DV) in a single serving. You should ideally consume around 20 to 35 g of fibre per day. Some people with IBS may be more sensitive to fibre, so go with your individual tolerance.
2. Increase protein
Proteins play an essential role in several body functions. A person requires around 0.8 to 1 g of protein per kg of body mass. For example, a man weighing 70 kg will need between 56 to 70 g of protein a day.
If you’re hesitating between two breads for example, choose the one that contains more protein per slice.
3. Limit sugar and salt
Excess sugar and salt in our diet is partly responsible for the development of chronic diseases. Although the recommended value for sodium is 1,500 mg per day, the average Canadian consumes 3,400 mg, which is more than double our requirements! Pick items at the grocery store with low or reduced sugar and salt content by reading the labels. It’s not so much about completely eliminating salt and sugar in our diet, but more about reducing our consumption of foods that contain lots of it.
Want to make your life easier? Cut down on processed food as much as possible and favour fresh produce. Our low FODMAP menus can help you make healthy food choices!
For more information on nutritional labelling, visit the Healthy Canadians website.