I get a few emails each week asking me questions about IBS and the low-FODMAP diet and I thought it might be helpful to post some of them in case they are helpful for other readers. If you have a question, just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try my best to answer it. Please remember though, that I’m not a doctor or nutrition expert, so always ask your GP if something is affecting your health.
I ran across your website when I was searching for a Risotto recipe. I had a doctor tell me last week to try to eat a low-FODMAP diet. What seemed kind of straight forward last week has quickly become confusing!
Firstly, do you have any ideas for what to eat to get started? Any favorite recipes? Meals you like? etc.
Secondly, I’ve been following a lactose-free and gluten-free diet and then I saw on a another site that low-FODMAP does not necessarily mean gluten-free – So, are things like Cheerios ok then?
Also, some sites have almonds listed as being ok and others say to avoid them. At this point, I don’t know what to eat!
Starving Shelly in Oregon
Thanks so much for your email. In terms of getting started and finding recipes, as well as checking out some of mine :) I would recommend getting one of these books, since they have a lot more information than I can provide. There are also a number of FODMAP related blogs about – just Google around or check out the list on the left hand side of this blog. Pinterest is also a great place to find recipes – just search for FODMAP and whatever it is you’re after.
Yes, you’re right – Low-FODMAP does not mean gluten-free, but it does mean cutting out wheat. Wheat and gluten are different so, for example, rye bread contains gluten but not wheat, so technically it’s ok. It’s the same for some kinds of oats. I think the confusion comes from that fact that’s easier to check for and request gluten-free on packets and in restaurants, since it has become more well known in recent years. Cheerios though – I’m not sure, I would check the label.
Nuts are another complicated one. Almonds should be fine in small quantities. It’s pistachios and cashews that are high in fructans. But as with anything, listen to your body and if you feel like they are causing you problems, avoid them.
If you’re struggling I suggest printing out a list and carrying it around with you everywhere so you can double check everything you buy and eat. I found this one really helpful: http://www.ibsgroup.org/brochures/fodmap-intolerances.pdf
I hope that’s helpful!