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!

“Patient Attitudes” toward diet can make a difference

doctorHere’s another “translation for the rest of us” of a FODMAP-relevant science article: Sunanda Kane of the Mayo Clinic, “What physicians don’t know about patient dietary beliefs and behavior can make a difference,” published in 2012 on It’s an evaluation of an article published in the journal Inflamm. Bowel Dis. also in 2012, by Zallot C, Quilliot D, Chevaux JB, et al. That makes this blog report third-hand.

It’s frustrating when our doctors don’t seem to care what we eat. This study presents that problem from a different point of view. It was a wake-up call to physicians, telling them it DOES matter how their patients feel about what they’re eating. According to the article, more than 50% of IBD sufferers in one study felt sure that food “could” play a role in relapses. Quoting Dr. Kane: “Interestingly, nearly half of the patients in each disease group believed that raw vegetables could improve their symptoms…[but] Only 36% believed that their dietary behavior could lead to … nutritional deficiencies.”

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