The low FODMAP diet isn’t your typical diet, instead it’s more like a tool that can help you figure out what foods are triggering your IBS symptoms.

This diet isn’t as scary as it sounds and you can divide it into three simple phases: the Low FODMAP Diet Phase, Re-Challenge Phase, and Adapted FODMAP Diet Phase. It is recommended that each phase of the low FODMAP diet be undertaken with the guidance of a FODMAP trained dietitian.

1. The Low FODMAP Diet Phase

Identify and reduce the amount of FODMAPs you are eating to settle your symptoms.
After 2-6 Weeks

2. Re-Challenge Phase

Test high FODMAP foods to understand what FODMAP foods you can enjoy
After 6-8 Weeks

3. Adapted FODMAP Diet Phase

Reintroduce the FODMAPs you tolerated well to back into your diet.

1. THE LOW FODMAP DIET PHASE

The low FODMAP phase is all about identifying if limiting FODMAPs in your diet will significantly and consistently reduce your abdominal symptoms.

This stage of the diet lasts for 2 to 6 weeks, and the goal is to reduce the amount of FODMAPs you are eating to settle your symptoms.

While you are in the low FODMAP phase here a few key steps you need to take:

  • Remove high FODMAP foods from you diet
  • Focus on eating low FODMAP portion sizes of foods (some become high FODMAP in larger serves)
  • Watch out for sneaky FODMAPs in packaged products.
  • Stock your pantry with low FODMAP products and foods so you don’t feel like you are missing out Avoiding all these foods can be challenging, particularly when purchasing packaged foods, because FODMAPs are often found hidden in the ingredients list. And just to further complicate things, the quantity or serving size also impacts on the level of FODMAP triggers.

Our goal is to take away those difficulties and make a low FODMAP diet as simple and symptom-free as possible – without forgetting about flavour and convenience.

Check out the FODMAPPED range to get you going..

CLICK PHASE 2

2. THE RE-CHALLENGE PHASE

Once you know that reducing FODMAPs helps manage your symptoms it’s time to re-challenge each FODMAP group. You might be thinking: ‘Why on earth do I want to test eating high FODMAP foods when I’m feeling so good?’

Well FODMAPs contain prebiotics (2) These prebiotics are food for our gut bacteria and are important for our long-term health. This means we need to figure out which ones we can add back into your diet. This is important.

During the 6 to 8-week re-challenge phase, you will systematically try high FODMAP foods that only contain one FODMAP group (1, 2) This part needs to be quite structured so that you can identify which FODMAPs you are most sensitive to. A low FODMAP trained dietitian will help you determine which high FODMAP food and the dose that is right for you to re-challenge with.

 

The challenges are structured around the different FODMAPs. Remember the acronym:

Fermented Oligosaccharides
There are two types of Oligosaccharides
1. Fructo-oligiosaccharides (Fructans or FOS):
Found in many fruits, vegetables, dried fruit and grains (wheat, rye, barley)
2. Galacto-oligiosaccharides (Galactans or GOS):
Found in legumes (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy beans) and some nuts

Disaccharides Challenge
Lactose – found in milk and milk products

Monosaccharides Challenge
Fructose – it is important to know that Fructose is only a high FODMAP when it is in excess of glucose. The challenge therefore is excess fructose. This occurs in some fruit and vegetables

Polyols Challenge
Sorbitol
Mannitol

Combination Challenge
This is when more than one FODMAP is present in a food for example Apples and pears contain fructose and polyols. The combination would need to be challenged also.

 

 

For the re-challenge phase here are some key pieces of information:

  • As you work your way through each FODMAP challenge, even if you don’t react to the food, you need to remove that FODMAP group from your diet again until you have completed all of the re-challenges.
  • If you react to a food, you can stop the challenge and return to the low
    FODMAP phase 2.
  • Each re-challenge test, has different quantities that you need to progressively increase over 3 days or every second day. You are assessing your tolerance to that FODMAP group. Start with the smallest quantity and move to largest quantity.
  • Oligosaccharides take a bit longer to go through your system. It is for this reason that you should wait a day in between each challenge for this group. Other FODMAPs can be tested each day.
  • It is suggested to do one challenge group each week. Choose one challenge food.
  • It’s really important that during this challenge phase you continue to eat low FODMAP food so you can see clear reactions when you eat the high FODMAP food 2. The FODMAPPED range of foods can help you with this. Use them as a base and add a challenge food each day or second day.
  • Consult a dietitian to have your challenges tailored and personalised

Here is an example of a challenge schedule from Joanna Baker, registered practising dietitian from Everyday Nutrition.

Our goal is to take away those difficulties and make a low FODMAP diet as simple and symptom-free as possible – without forgetting about flavour and convenience.

Check out the FODMAPPED range to get you going..

CLICK PHASE 3

3. THE ADAPTED FODMAP DIET PHASE

Once you have completed the re-challenge phase and you have a good understanding of what FODMAP groups you can enjoy and how much you can eat, it’s time to move onto an adapted FODMAP diet.

You are now able to reintroduce the FODMAPs you tolerated well to back into your diet <sup>(1)</sup>. The goal is to figure out what combinations you can enjoy while keeping your symptoms settled. You will most likely continue to limit the FODMAP groups that you reacted to, however tolerances do change over time, so it’s a good idea to go back and re-challenge FODMAP groups to see if your threshold levels have changed <sup>(1)</sup>.

Our goal is to take away those difficulties and make a low FODMAP diet as simple and symptom-free as possible – without forgetting about flavour and convenience.

Check out the FODMAPPED range to get you going..

CLICK BACK

FINAL THOUGHTS

The low FODMAP diet is a great way for you to discover what foods are triggering your IBS symptoms.

The low FODMAP phase isn’t for life, so make sure you re-challenge and reintroduce some high FODMAP foods and create an adapted FODMAP diet that’s right for you. If you are struggling, then focus on creating delicious low FODMAP meals that help make this process more enjoyable. To make cooking simple, try using FODMAPPED  products in every phase of the low FODMAP diet.

References:

  1. Dwyer, E. The 3 Phases of the Low FODMAP Diet. Monash University: FODMAP Blog.
    Retrieved on 22/02/018. Retrieved from: https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/3-phases-low-fodmap-diet/
  2. Tuck, C. & Barett, J. Re-challenging FODMAPs: the low FODMAP diet phase two. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2017, Volume 32, Issue S1, pages 11-15. DOI 10.1111/gjh.13687 Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgh.13687/full