Reintroducing Foods


Reintroducing Foods

Tummy, this is corn. Corn, this is my tummy. Please make nice.

It’s been wonderful to feel good on the FODMAP diet, but it has been tricky to share meals with my friends. Besides, when I started FODMAPing almost two years ago, I gave up quite a few other foods – anything with thick peels, woody seeds, or heavy husks.

Also, the new FODMAP book has “legalized” – in small quantities – some foods I’ve been avoiding. (Which ones? Please just buy the book. Yes, I’m serious. No, I don’t get a commission.)

So how are we supposed to reintroduce foods we’ve been avoiding? In the new book, Dr. Shepherd calls this “food challenges.” Here are some of her suggestions:

  • Test one new food at a time. For FODMAP sugars, she gives specific instructions group by group: test foods, and portion sizes, and to start with the Polyols.
  • Don’t try just a bite. Eat a normal portion. If you have a reaction, try that food again several days later, eating HALF a portion. If that still causes a reaction, avoid that group for now. “Your sensitivity to FODMAPs,” she writes, “may change over time.” Note this is for reintroducing FODMAP sugars, not suspected food allergies!!
  • Don’t change your diet in other ways while you’re trying to reintroduce foods.

Last week – just in time for the harvest! – I reintroduced fresh raw tomatoes. With peels. The verdict: stick with just one slice, for now. This week – crossing my fingers – cornmeal. It’s supposed to be FODMAP friendly. Here’s hoping!

Resources for the Low-FODMAP Diet

1) Dr. Sue Shepherd, a specialized dietitian, developed the Low-FODMAP diet in 1999 while she was engaged in groundbreaking gastrointestinal research. Here is her FODMAP page.

2) If you’re wondering which foods/ingredients are high in FODMAP carbohydrates (worth avoiding), and which are considered FODMAP-friendly, here’s a printable list that’s suitable for posting on your refrigerator. It’s been on mine since January 2012. I also keep a copy in my car to carry into the grocery store. Obviously, I don’t yet have the new iPhone app.

3) Here’s that iPhone app for FODMAPs! If you have an iPhone, you’re halfway there. This will be a fantastic tool.

4) WebMD, a highly respected medical information site, suggests that IBS sufferers give the low-FODMAP diet a two-week trial. That’s a solid endorsement.

5) Natalie Nott’s blog, cookbook, and information page has Aussie ambience—and that’s only natural, since Natalie has “met with and learned from” some of the pioneering FODMAP diet researches at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Her recipes look scrumptious.

6) Another FODMAP-knowledgeable dietitian is Kate Scarlatti. On her excellent blog, she offers a Low FODMAP cookbook (approved by Monash University!) as a $10 download via PayPal. Out of that $10, a dollar goes right back to Monash University for FODMAP research. I just downloaded my copy. The recipes are a little more gourmet than my CCF collection. You might love this!

7) FODMAP-Free Living includes links, recipes, and an enjoyable blog that’s also based Down Under, in that great land where FODMAPS were named. They’re on Facebook, too.

8) This nutritional analysis site could help you decide what foods are high in the sugars you need to avoid—or any other nutrient you’d like to monitor.

9) And here’s a bonus, if you know someone who simply cooks gluten-free. Karina’s magnificent “Gluten-Free Goddess” site is full of first-rate recipes and lyrical narratives. Warning to FODMAPers: Her emphasis is avoiding gluten, not FODMAPs. Still, there are some delicious wheat-free starting points for our experimentation.