IBS / FODMAP: Tips and Information

The solution for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

With our Low-FODMAP Meal Plans, you stack the odds in your favour. To take maximum advantage of our meal plans, take the time to read the information below.

Gagnants DUX 2017

Important Advice and Useful Tips

What you SHOULD do

  • Stress plays an important role in the apparition of IBS symptoms, so it is important to manage it well. You should include antistress activities as well as physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Start with the FODMAP elimination phase by following the low-FODMAP diet for 4-6 weeks to eliminate symptoms. Then, move on to the food challenge phase, to identify which FODMAP cause your symptoms and at which quantity. Then, and only then, move on to the long-term maintenance phase, by making sure to reintroduce into your diet all foods containing FODMAP that you tolerate well, as they are essential to a healthy microbiome and your long-term wellbeing. The resources available to our PREMIUM subscribers allow most people to go through the food challenge phase successfully by themselves. However, those who would find it difficult or wish to stack the odds in their favour, may subscribe to our VIP plan to receive one-on-one guidance from one of our Registered Dietitians specialized in the FODMAP diet.
  • Favour small meals over larger ones and keep a regular meal schedule.
  • Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly.
  • Drink enough fluids, i.e. 1 to 2 liters/quarts each day, including water, milk or substitutes, soup, tea, coffee, juice, etc., distributed throughout the day.
  • Thoroughly check the ingredients list on products you buy (bread, cereals, etc.) to ensure that they don’t contain any high FODMAP ingredient. Remember that not all Gluten-Free products are Low FODMAP!
  • The low-FODMAP meal plans have well-balance carb distribution and are appropriate for people with diabetes.
  • Consult your Doctor if you have a medical condition. We also recommend that you consult a Registered Dietitian and tell her/him that you follow the SOSCuisine Low-FODMAP Meal Plans.

What you should watch out for

  • Moderate your consumption of caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.)
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. Aim for no more than 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.

What you should NOT do

  • Avoid sweet alcoholic beverages (dessert wines, cocktails and liqueurs), as they usually contain a lot of sugar and can exacerbate symptoms. Choose more nutritious beverages or water instead.
  • Avoid habits that could promote aerophagia (meaning increasing the amount of air that goes into the digestive tract), like chewing gum and drinking sparkling water or soft drinks.
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FAQ: FODMAP

Questions about portions on the Monash app

  • To find out the FODMAP content of foods, the only reliable source is the application from MONASH University. Simple and practical, it uses a system of tricolor lights: Red means High in FODMAPs, Yellow indicates a Medium amount of FODMAPs and Green signifies being Low in FODMAPs.

  • ► Are LOW FODMAP portions indicated for food that is raw or cooked?

    Unless otherwise stated, the application contains the consummation quantities for raw foods before they are cooked.

  • ► Are green portions allowed per day or per meal?

    Green portions represent the amount of food that can be consumed during a meal. It is therefore possible to eat a green portion of the same food several times a day, if you leave a few hours between each meal.

  • ► Can I eat several green portions of different foods in the same meal?

    YES, For the vast majority of people with an irritable bowel and who are following a low-FODMAP diet it is quite possible to consume several green portions (low in FODMAPs) of different foods in the same meal.

 

Questions about ingredients

  • It is not always easy to know the exact FODMAP content of foods, as in some cases it may depend on the transformation (ex: dry legumes vs. canned legumes) or which part it is of the food (ex: green and white parts of green onions)

  • ► Can I eat already cooked rotisserie chicken?

    NO, because chicken is very often seasoned with garlic and onions. Even when removing the skin, this is not recommended, as FODMAPs are water-soluble carbohydrates that can be transferred during cooking to the flesh of the chicken as it contains water.

  • ► What kind of noodles can I eat?

    Here are your noodle options with the permitted quantities:
    Rice sticks: 1 cup (113 g) cooked, or about 33 g before cooking
    Soba noodles (made from wheat and buckwheat): 1/3 cup (90 g) cooked, or about 35 g before cooking
    Konjac noodles: 125 g (cooked or raw as they have the same weight!)
    Kelp noodles (algae): 1 cup (113 g) cooked.

  • ► Which bread should I choose? Is any gluten-free bread also low in FODMAPs?

    Many gluten-free breads are low in FODMAPs, but it’s very important to check the ingredient list first! The following should be avoided: honey, inulin, dried fruit, chicory root, molasses, fructose, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), agave, glucose-fructose, apple and fruit sugar. Amaranth, coconut, legumes, chestnut and cassava flours should also be avoided as they are high in FODMAPs. For more info on how to choose bread, read this article 

  • ► What fruit juices can I drink?

    Few fruit juices have been tested by the Monash University. However, it seems logical to think that the juices of fruits and vegetables which are high in FODMAPs should be banned. This means avoiding juices containing apples, pineapples, beetroots, celery… Also beware of other ingredients that may end up in these juices. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from making a good fresh orange juice at home. Why not mix it together with carrot juice and ginger. A glass of cranberry juice (200ml) is also a good option. Few fruit juices have been tested by the Monash University. However, it seems logical to think that the juices of fruits and vegetables which are high in FODMAPs should be banned. This means avoiding juices containing apples, pineapples, beetroots, celery… Also beware of other ingredients that may end up in these juices. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from making a good fresh orange juice at home. Why not mix it together with carrot juice and ginger. A glass of cranberry juice (200ml) is also a good option.

  • ► What flour can be used?

    You can replace your all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour mixtures (you’ll need to avoid wheat, barley and rye flours because they are high in fructans). Be sure to examine all of the ingredients to make sure they are FODMAP-free. Watch out for flour made from legumes and the addition of inulin

  • ► Is tofu low or high in FODMAPs?

    There are several kinds of tofu. On the one hand, the so-called «  regular  » tofu, whose textures vary from extra-firm, firm, medium and soft, is low in FODMAPs, up to a 170 g per serving. On the other hand, silken tofu, which is mainly used in desserts, with a smooth texture that easily dissolves, is high in FODMAPs (fructans and GOS). It is not surprising that it has a high FODMAP content because it contains a lot of water (and FODMAPs are water soluble).

  • ► Why are some soy beverages low in FODMAPs but not others?

    It is necessary to differentiate between beverages made from soy beans, high in FODMAPs, and those made from soy protein, low in FODMAPs. The vast majority of soy beverages and all organic beverages are made from soybeans and therefore need to be avoided. To know more about the FODMAP content of soy products please read this article 

  • ► Can I drink kombucha?

    Notwithstanding its health benefits , kombucha is high in fructans for a 250 ml serving. On the other hand, a 180 ml serving is considered low. So, if you want to drink it, prioritize the smaller quantities and pay attention to the list of ingredients and anything that is being added to it.

  • ► Can I eat foods that contain spices, artificial and/or natural flavors?

    The answer to this question is complex. We invite you to read the article Spices, Flavours and a Low-FODMAP Diet 

  • ► Are alternatives to meat (meat-less) good options?

    These products are often made from textured soy protein (TVP) which is high in fructans and GOS. In addition, these fake meats often contain garlic and onions. Therefore, they need to be avoided. To know more about TVP, please read here 

  • ► Is pea protein low in FODMAPs?

    Monash did not test pea protein or pea protein isolates specifically, but did test some products that contain them and categorised them as being low in FODMAPs in certain portions. This means that a certain amount of pea protein is low in FODMAPs, but it is not known which amount. For this reason, it is best to avoid consuming it.

 

Questions about specific diets and the long-term impact

  • It can be difficult to combine the restrictions of a low-FODMAP diet with those of a vegan, vegetarian or ketogenic diet.

  • ► I am vegetarian/vegan, can I follow a low-FODMAP diet?

    Of course! Adopting a vegan/vegetarian diet that is low in FODMAPs can be difficult because most staple foods in vegan and vegetarian diets are high in FODMAPs. However, with proper planning it is quite possible, especially if you follow the SOSCuisine specialised meal plans . In order to make sure you meet all of your nutritional needs we recommend that you consult with a dietitian  You will find useful tips in this article 

  • ► Is it possible to follow a ketogenic diet which is also low in FODMAPs?

    The ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates. Grain products, legumes and the majority of fruits and vegetables are therefore excluded. As a result, the total load of fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) consumed is reduced. However, some foods which are very high in FODMAPs continue to be consumed such as cauliflower, avocado, garlic, onion and dairy products. Thus, the variety available with a ketogenic diet that is also low in FODMAPs is very limited which means there is a very high risk of nutritional deficiencies. To learn more about ketogenic diet for IBS read here

  • ► Is there a risk of deficiencies if you follow a low-FODMAP diet in the long term?

    A low-FODMAP diet excludes several foods, so it is normal to question the potential impact of nutritional deficiencies. During the FODMAPs elimination phase, which is only followed for a short period of time (3 to 6 weeks), you’ll need to make sure to eat as varied as possible. If you follow our meal plans , you’ll have to need to be concerned about nutritional deficiencies. Once you’ve finished reintroducing different food families and observing the effects of those that don’t suit you, you’ll then need to find alternatives to these foods to help you maintain your nutrient requirements. If you want to make sure your diet is balanced, one of our dietitians  will be happy to help you.

 

Questions about SOSCuisine's low-FODMAP recipes

  • At SOSCuisine we have over 500 delicious recipes that are low in FODMAPs, which we use to create our varied and balanced menus: A simple and effective solution to help you follow the low-FODMAP diet without needing to drive yourself crazy examining and calculating everything.

  • ► How do you interpret the quantities of ingredients in your recipes? Are inedible parts included?

    Unless otherwise specified, the quantities in our recipes are written as ingredients in the state at which you buy them. For example, when we write that a banana weighs 150 g, we take into account the weight of the skin because you’ll be buying the banana with its skin. Once the skin is removed, the edible part weighs 100 g, which is the green portion specified in the Monash app. In the same way, we specify the weight of the pasta before cooking. Don’t worry, everything is calculated so that the quantities of FODMAPs in the cooked meal corresponds to those recommended in the Monash application.

  • ► How to store garlic-infused oil?

    Our Garlic-Infused Oil recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. To store it longer, you can put the oil in ice cube trays and freeze it.

 

Questions about the reintroduction testing phase

  • When a low-FODMAP diet has significantly reduced or even eliminated your symptoms, you’ll be ready to re-introduce FODMAP families for testing. You’ll find more about reintroducing FODMAPs, in this article

  • ► When do I need to do the reintroduction tests? Between meals, with meals?

    To analyse your symptoms more easily, it is best to do the reintroduction tests between meals (about 2 hours). However, if you can’t do that, for example, because you don’t eat a snack, you’ll find it difficult to test certain foods between meals such as pasta, garlic and onions. In the case of foods like these, you can test them during your meal by making sure to eat the test food with foods that you are certain you tolerate well and that are low in FODMAPs.

  • ► For reintroduction tests, should I eat cooked or raw food?

    Unless it is specified otherwise, the quantities are given for raw foods. If for your reintroduction tests you want to cook the food (ex. when testing onions), weigh them raw and then you can cook them.

 

General questions about the diet

  • The low FODMAP diet is an effective approach to reduce digestive symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Since this is a restrictive diet, you need to be well informed before starting it.

  • ► What does FODMAP mean?

    The FODMAP acronym stands for:

    F = Fermentable;
    O = Oligosaccharides;
    D = Disaccharides;
    M = Monosaccharides;
    A = And;
    P = Polyols

    These are carbohydrates that ferment in the gut

  • ► Who invented the Low FODMAP diet?

    The diet was developed by two Australian researchers, Peter Gibson, Gastroenterologist, and Sue Shepherd, Registered Dietitian, from Monash University in Melbourne. Their first publication was in 2005. Since then, scientific data on the effectiveness of the diet has accumulated, leading to more and more gastroenterologists and dietitians around the world prescribing it successfully.

    In March 2015, researchers from the University of Michigan published the results of their analysis of 139 studies on IBS in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluding that there was enough evidence to confirm that a Low FODMAP diet is effective in diminishing symptoms considerably in 75% of cases:
    Chey, W. D., Kurlander, J., & Eswaran, S. (2015). Irritable Bowel Syndrome – A Clinical Review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 313(9), 949.

  • In people suffering from IBS, certain FODMAPs are only partially digested and absorbed. This leads to distension of the intestine and the production of gas, which creates pain, cramps, and flatulence. To ease these symptoms, it’s recommended to limit the intake of fermentable carbohydrates, i.e. FODMAPs.

  • ► Is the Low FODMAP diet appropriate for me?

    It all depends on your health condition! The FODMAP diet is ideal for you if you meet the following criteria:

    • You have one or more of the following symptoms: intestinal gas, bloating, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea and/or constipation
    • You have not been able to solve these symptoms with simple changes to your lifestyle (eat more fiber, drink more fluids, exercise, manage stress, sleep more, etc.)
    • You consulted your doctor and he/she diagnosed IBS after excluding all other possible causes for your symptoms
    • Your doctor or dietitian recommended the Low FODMAP diet to get rid of your IBS-related symptoms

     

  • ► What foods should I avoid?

    See a list of the main High-FODMAP foods.

    Remember that several other foods do contain medium amounts of FODMAPs and should be limited to avoid problems. This is exactly what our Low FODMAP meal plans do for you.

  • ► What foods can I eat ?
  • ► What’s the difference between a ‘Low FODMAP’ diet and ‘gluten-free’ diet?

    A gluten-free diet is indicated for people who suffer from Celiac Disease. They have to eliminate gluten from their diet. Gluten is a protein in many grains and it’s why these people have to avoid wheat, rye, barley, etc. On the Low FODMAP diet, wheat, barley, and rye also have to be eliminated, but due to their fructan (a type of carbohydrate) content, not gluten. Furthermore, the Low FODMAP diet also limits the consumption of other types of carbohydrates (lactose, polyols, etc.) that are not limited in the gluten-free diet.

  • ► Is it advisable to follow the Low FODMAP diet over the long term?

    Our low FODMAP meal plans are based on the Mediterranean diet, known to help reduce the risk of several cancers, prevent diabetes, prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia. However, it is not recommended to follow a low FODMAP diet over the long term so as not to deplete the microbiota. In fact foods which contain FODMAPs also contain prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in our guts.

 

Questions about the FODMAP Diet at SOSCuisine

  • Following a Low-FODMAP diet is not too easy, since FODMAP rich foods must be completetly avoided while foods with average FODMAP content must be limited. Having low-FODMAP meal plans make following this diet a complete no-brainer.

  • ► What is the difference between your program and the information that I can find on the internet or in books about the Low FODMAP diet?

    Following this diet without help is a real challenge, because you have to eliminate all foods that are high-FODMAP and limit those that contain moderate quantities of FODMAP. With our program, not only do you have meal plans and recipes that fully meet the demanding criteria of this diet, but you also have simple tools to make this diet your own: our book, articles on the blog and a dietitian-led support group on FACEBOOK. In other words, you have at your disposal a truly reliable and effective source.

  • ► Do I have to buy specific foods to follow this program?

    Absolutely not! Our meal plans are made with common ingredients that you can easily find in supermarkets, all-natural or organic grocery stores, or at your local grocers and markets.

  • ► If I have questions, will your team be available to answer?

    Of course! We want you to reduce your symptoms and we’re here to help. As a subscriber to our Low FODMAP program, you’ll have access to our private forum moderated by our team. You can ask your questions and our dietitians will respond. If you need more complete support, we offer the VIP dietitian service which includes, among other things, 3 one-on-one consultations with a dietitian.

  • ► Are SOSCuisine Meal Plans reliable?

    Our Low-FODMAP Meal Plans comply fully with the recommendations of the experts in the field, the main ones being the following:

    1. Monash University, The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App
    2. Health Canada, Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – January 2019
    3. Health Canada, Dietary Reference Intake Tables
    4. USDA – USA, ChooseMyPlate
    5. National Health Service (NHS) – UK, The Eatwell Guide

    The nutritional data is from the Canadian Nutrient File, and completed by the French food composition table Ciqual (France), the USDA Food Composition Database (USA), and the Fineli base (Finland).

  • ► What is that DUX Award that you won in 2017?

    DUX is a Canadian program aimed at rewarding companies, organizations and institutions for their leadership and innovation in improving the health of the population. We won the 2017 Award in the Projects – Non-Food Business (SME) category for our initiative the “FODMAP Diet”! read this article .

 

Other questions

  • ► I have a cold, sore throat… what can I take to relieve my symptoms?

    When you are sick, special attention should be paid to FODMAPs which are hidden in some medication ingredients. Read the list of ingredients for syrups or lozenges for example, and avoid polyols (sorbitol, isomalt, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol), honey and fructose. Choose syrups and lozenges that contain sucrose, glucose, dextrose, sucralose or other low-FODMAP sweeteners. In addition, you can take Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen. And don’t forget to eat good hot meals which are low in FODMAPs to help you get over your cold as quickly as possible.

  • ► Instead of eating lactose-free products, is it possible to take lactase enzymes (such as Lactaid)?

    Although Lactaid is an option that can help lactose intolerant people, these enzymes may not be as effective as lactose-free foods. It is therefore recommended not to use them during the elimination phase. You can use them after the reintroduction tests if you have observed a lactose intolerance in your body.

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Articles: FODMAP

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Learn more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IMPORTANT: The information provided on this website does not replace a medical consultation and is not intended for self diagnosis. We recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a change to your diet or lifestyle. See Terms & Conditions.

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