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FODMAPs toolkit: Your complete guide to going low-FODMAP

Scientific studies have shown that a low-FODMAP diet can significantly relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms for many sufferers. This complete guide to the low-FODMAP diet is intended as a resource only. A low-FODMAP diet is used to help symptoms of certain gastrointestinal conditions and should only ever be undertaken with the supervision of your doctor or relevantly-qualified dietitian. The strict elimination phase of the diet is intended to be followed for two to six weeks only, followed by long-term transition onto a modified diet that lets you return to enjoying high-FODMAP foods you can tolerate.

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a ‘functional gastrointestinal disorder’. This means it causes changes in the function of the gut but doesn’t have any features such as ulcers, inflammation, thickening of digestive tissues, lumps and bumps or abnormal blood tests – all of which would indicate a different condition. Read more

Food triggers for IBS

People with IBS often know that certain foods will trigger their symptoms. It has been shown that dietary change is the major way in which people with IBS attempt to help themselves. Read more

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are part of the food group, carbohydrates (starchy food). They’re the favourite food for bacteria that live naturally in the digestive system. Read more

Is a low-FODMAP diet suitable for you?

You might benefit from a low-FODMAP diet if:
• You’ve been diagnosed with IBS by your doctor
• You have symptoms of IBS and no other medical cause has been found
• You’ve been diagnosed with bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Read more

What can I expect from a low-FODMAP diet?

There are three stages to the low-FODMAP diet: elimination, food challenges and food reintroduction. Read more

Your 12-week low-FODMAP plan for IBS

Before you get started on this diet, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor. There are many conditions that have similar symptoms to IBS. There may be other reasons, including medication interactions, that mean changing your diet may be best supervised by a specialist dietitian or doctor. Again, this information is produced for education only and is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis.

Weeks 1-4: Elimination
The aim of the elimination stage of the diet is to reduce the total number of all FODMAPs in the diet and give your digestive system some rest. Read more

For ideas for a low-FODMAP menu plan see below.

Download FODMAP food elimination guide

Weeks 5-12: Food challenges
So far, you’ve been avoiding all FODMAP food groups. Now it’s time to test the individual FODMAP groups. There might be some you’re not having a reaction to. Read more

Download your stage 2 challenges here

Weeks 13 onwards: Food reintroduction
Now you’ve completed the food challenges you should have a list of which FODMAP groups you reacted to and you’re ready to start reintroducing those. Read more

Download a food and symptom diary

Stage 1: Elimination low-FODMAP menu plan

Breakfast 

• Try porridge oats made with water and lactose-free milk or milk substitute. Top with cinnamon and brown sugar, banana or blue berries

Make your own muesli with oats, seeds, nuts and gluten-free grains. Serve with lactose-free yoghurt or milk, blueberries and kiwifruit

• Gluten/wheat-free bread, toasted, with margarine and marmalade

Omelette or eggs and gluten/wheat-free toast or bread.

Lunch

• Sandwich made with gluten/wheat-free bread. Try fillings such as ham, lettuce, tomato, tuna mayonnaise, hard cheese, small amount of avocado and smoked chicken.

Homemade low-FODMAP carrot, buttercup pumpkin or other soup with gluten/wheat-free bread.

Frittata or Spanish omelette

• Baked potato with mince, hard cheese or tuna mayonnaise

Sushi or sushi bowls

• Leftover main meals

Dinner

Chicken stir fry, served with rice noodles or rice

Gluten/wheat-free pizza base with tomato, olives, cheese, chicken, sausage or ham topping or a low-FODMAP calzone

Steak, potato and low-FODMAP vegetables

Baked/ poached/ grilled fish with rice, potato, fries or small amount of kumara and low-FODMAP vegetables

Low-FODMAP chicken and vege bake tray with pesto 

Gluten/wheat-free pasta or spaghetti with minced beef in a tomato sauce

Snacks

Bliss balls – but check the ingredients and number of serves suitable first

• Fresh fruit: kiwifruit, blueberries, strawberries or banana

• Rice cakes with peanut butter or cheese and marmite

• Plain rice crackers

• Sunflower, peanut and almond mix

• Gluten/wheat free baking such as lemon and poppy seed loaf

• Carrots, cucumber (peeled) and cherry tomatoes with dip

• Hard-boiled egg

For more low-FODMAP meal ideas check our low-FODMAP recipe collection.

Extra resources

Low-FODMAP symptom diary

Keeping a symptom diary will help you keep track of how the low-FODMAP diet is helping you.  Keep track of individual symptoms and score them out of three every day (0= none, 3 = severe).

Related links

Do I really need to avoid onions and garlic? 
Can I eat out on a low-FODMAP diet?
Do portion sizes matter on a low-FODMAP diet 
How to spot FODMAPs on food labels
Tips for FODMAP shoppers
Shopping for low-FODMAP foods 
Banish boring low-FODMAP meals
FODMAP content of milks

Foods to eat or avoid on a low-FODMAP diet

Food typeEnjoyAvoid
Fruitavocado, 1/8 or less
banana, fresh or dried (not too ripe)
blueberries
rockmelon
coconut, fresh, ½ cup or less
coconut, dried, ¼ cup or less
cranberries, dried, 1 tablespoon or less
durian fruit
grapes
honeydew melon
kiwifruit, gold or green
lemon
longon, 5 or fewer
lime
lychee, 2 or fewer
mandarin
orange
passionfruit
pawpaw
pineapple
passionfruit
pomegranate, ¼ cup or less of seeds or ½ small or less
raspberries
rhubarb
rock melon
star fruit
strawberries
tangelo
apples
apricots
blackberries
boysenberries
cherries
custard apples
dried fruit
feijoa
figs
grapefruit
mango
nashi pear
nectarines
peaches
pears
plums
persimmons
prunes
tamarillos
watermelon
Vegesalfalfa
bamboo shoots
bean sprouts
beetroot, 2 slices or less
bok choy
broccoli, head not stalk
broccolini, stalks not head
brussel sprouts, two or less
butternut squash, ¼ cup or less
cabbage, Savoy or green, ½ cup or less
cabbage, red
capsicum, any colour
carrots
celery, 5cm or less
chives
choko, less than ½ cup
Chinese greens
corn, ½ cob or less
courgette
cucumber, peeled
edamame
eggplant
endive
fennel less than ¼ cup
galangal
ginger
green beans
gumara, less than ½ cup
gale
leek, green leaves only
lettuce, all types
marrow
mushroom, oyster only
okra
olives
parsnip
potatoes
puha
pumpkin, buttercup
silverbeet
spaghetti squash
spinach
spring onion, green part only
squash
swede
taro less than ½ cup
tomatoes
turnip
yams
watercress
asparagus
artichokes
cauliflower
chicory
garlic
leek, white part
mushrooms
onions, white, brown, shallots, spring onion (white part)
onion and garlic salts and powders
legumes, chickpeas, red kidney beans, baked beans, borlotti beans
lentils
peas, fresh and frozen
pumpkin except buttercup
snow peas
sugar snap peas
Dairy and dairy alternatives almond milk
butter
coconut milk, drinking, less than ½ cup per day
coconut milk, canned, ½ cup or less
coconut milk, canned for cooking
coconut yoghurt
ghee
goats’ milk yoghurt
hard or ripened cheeses, Parmesan, cheddar, Edam, Gouda, mozzarella, brie, camembert, feta
lactose-free milk
lactose-free yoghurt
margarine
oat milk, ½ cup or less
rice/nut milks
soy milks made from soy bean extract
soy yoghurt (without added Inulin)
cows, goat and sheep milk, including A2
cow and sheep yoghurt
cream, sour cream
milk powder
condensed, evaporated and butter milks
custard
ice cream
coconut milk with added inulin
soy milk made from whole soy bean
soft cheeses that have not undergone a ripening process, Ricotta, cottage cheese, Haloumi, cream cheese
Carbohydratesalmond meal flour, ¼ cup or less
bulghar, less than ¼ cup cooked
buckwheat flour
corn crackers
gluten-free breakfast cereal, without fruit and apple concentrate
green banana flour
maize flour
polenta (corn)
quinoa
rice noodles, crackers and cakes
rice
rolled oats
spelt sourdough, 2 slices or less
spelt, organic, sieved
tapioca
teff
wheat and gluten-free breads – avoid soy bread
wheat and gluten-free premixed flours
wheat and gluten-free flours
wheat and gluten-free pasta
wheat and gluten-free biscuits

amaranth flour
barley flour
bread
chickpea/gram/channa flour
croissants
coconut flour
pita bread
pizza
rye flour
soy flour/soy grits
sour dough
wheat flour
wheatbran
wheatgerm
wheat breads
wheat pasta
wheat-based breakfast cereals
worn cereals (unless gluten free)
muesli with wheat flakes and fruit
honey-coated cereals
Proteinsbeef and lamb
canned lentils
chia seeds
chicken
chickpeas less than ¼ cup
fish
linseed
LSA mix
nuts, no more than 10 nuts of any type
Quorn
peanut butter
pork, bacon and ham
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds
seafood
sesame seeds
tempeh
tofu
baked beans
cashew nuts
dried or canned beans, except lentils
pistachio nuts
processed or marinated meats with onion salt/ powder or garlic
silken tofu
TVP
Sweeteners and sugarsboiled sweets
golden syrup, less than ½ tablespoon
jam, marmalade (from allowed fruit list)
sugar
stevia
syrup, molasses, treacle, rice, maple
agave syrup
high fructose corn syrup
honey
isomalt (953)
jam made from fruits to avoid
mannitol (421)
molasses
sorbitol (420)
xylitol (967)
yeast extracts
Drinkswater, hot, cold, mineral, tap
decaffeinated fruit, herbal, peppermint teas
caffeine drinks, less than 3 cups a day
decaffeinated coffee
cocoa powder/drinking chocolate
drink sensibly vodka, gin, whisky, small amounts of dry white wine
chicory drinks and chicory containing coffee substitutes
chamomile tea
coconut water
fennel tea
fizzy drinks
fruit juices
fructose containing sport drinks
herbal tea
oolong tea
beer, wine, cider, rum

Download a copy to print and keep

Going forward

As your digestion heals, so your tolerance of FODMAP foods should improve. It’s worth re-challenging your FODMAP triggers every 3-4 months. You may find your tolerance gradually improves over time.

Stress can also be a trigger for IBS. Healthy Food Guide editor, Jenny de Montalk, shares some tips for how to cope with day to day stress.

Exercise also plays a part in reducing stress.

Avoiding your individual low-FODMAP triggers while following a balanced Mediterranean-style diet will help keep you healthy. Here’s how to do it.

First published: Jun 2018



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