Are Low FODMAP Meals a Good Option for IBS?
You may have heard someone mention low FODMAP before. Or, you might have read about it on the internet and wondered what it was. One thing you must have heard or read is that the FODMAP diet is recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
But then, why do IBS patients need to take specially prepared meals, especially with low FODMAP? What are the health benefits of these meals and how can you introduce them to your diet? Before getting into all that, let’s first understand IBS and low FODMAP foods better.
Here’s what you need to know
What is IBS?
It’ll be vital to have a proper background understanding of IBS. Well, it is a pattern of stomach problems that affect a person’s digestive system. There’s no specific disease that causes IBS, but it can lead to significant damage to a patient’s digestive tract.
There are various symptoms that can be seen in an IBS patient. Here are some of them:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating and gas
However, these can also be symptoms of another ailment. It is therefore critical to ensure you get examined and accurately diagnosed by a medical practitioner. If you are positively diagnosed with IBS, then one of the things you might need to do is switch to a low-FODMAP diet.
What is FODMAP?
Conversely, FODMAP is an acronym of scientific names for poorly digested carbohydrates. They include fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. It is possible to find high FODMAPs in even everyday meals that you’d imagine are IBS-safe.
However, eating high FODMAP foods isn’t a good idea if you are an IBS patient. These foods ferment quickly and release a lot of gas in the intestines. This can lead to bloating and abdominal pain. Molecules in these foods also draw fluids from the body, causing diarrhea.
That’s why high-FODMAP meals aren’t recommended for anyone with IBS. Instead, patients are encouraged to eat low-FODMAP meals. If you don’t know these meals, then contact a low FODMAP dietician to help you plan your low FODMAP diet perfectly.
But you might still have challenges when getting started with the diet. Or the abdominal pain caused by IBS might be too severe. You can arrange for a low FODMAP meal delivery from vendors who have expertise in this field. You’ll easily stick to your meal plan if you work with a company that does home deliveries.
The Health Benefits of Low FODMAP Meals
There are various health benefits that you can get from low FODMAP meals. Food low in FODMAP has been said to be beneficial to IBS patients in a wide range of ways. Here are some ways you can benefit from these foods if you have been diagnosed with IBS.
- Symptoms of digestive problems are fewer
- There is easier management of these problems without taking medication
- Improved quality of life
Those are some of the ways you can benefit from a low FODMAP diet. Being able to reduce symptoms and even avoid medication for some time can be a major step towards recovery. It is therefore worth taking a low fodmap breakfast, lunch, and dinner to manage IBS better.
How to Introduce an IBS Patient to a Low FODMAP Diet
Something else you might be asking is how you can start a low FODMAP diet. Or, how can you introduce a patient, especially a member of your family, to low FODMAP meals? Well, it won’t be easy for you or anyone else to switch from their favorite diet to another.
If most of your favorite foods are rich in FODMAP, then a shift to low FODMAP meals will require effort and dedication. And there are three steps that you might need to follow before making a complete switch. This section will explore the steps you’ll need to follow.
- Restriction: This is the first step to getting started with a low FODMAP diet as an IBS patient. The low FODMAP dietician in charge of this transition will begin by restricting certain foods for you.That will take 6–8 weeks of not taking certain foods.
- Reintroduction: The restriction period will help the dietician see if your situation will improve. They will then start reintroducing the restricted foods one after another. That will help them know the foods that trigger the IBS symptoms since not all high FODMAP meals might.
- Personalization: The last step will be to personalize a diet for you. This is after identifying the foods that trigger your digestive system and those that are safe for you. At this point, you have a low FODMAP diet that you can stick to for the best results.
Those three are the main stages of shifting to a low FODMAP diet. As we mentioned, it won’t be easy to change, especially if your favorite foods are those that are likely to trigger your body. The best way to go about it is by working with a low FODMAP dietician to help you.
Examples of the Best Low FODMAP Meals
It will also help to mention a few examples of low FODMAP foods. This will help you know the foods that you can consider experimenting with to see if anything will improve. Here is a list of low-FODMAP foods that you can try:
- Bell peppers
- Spinach, kale, and other green vegetables
Those are some of the foods you can take to manage your digestive system. It will be vital to especially find a low fodmap vegetable that will go well with your stomach. Stick to it and your symptoms might disappear for good.
A low FODMAP diet is one of the first recommendations you’ll get from your doctor after an IBS diagnosis. This article has explored everything you needed to know about IBS and low FODMAP meals. You now understand why this diet is worth shifting to after your diagnosis.
Besides, we have looked at how you can introduce an IBS patient to a low-FODMAP diet. It isn’t easy to adapt to such a diet, but you’ll get used to it not long after starting. Last but not least, we have provided some of the best examples of low FODMAP meals to consider.