Over 20 million Canadians deal with digestive disorders annually, with roughly 5 million living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Learning to live with these conditions can be difficult, especially considering how many foods can end up triggering certain symptoms.
For many, relief from digestive disorders comes from learning about FODMAPs and the foods that have a high concentration of them. With this knowledge, it can be easier to devise a diet that works best for your body.
In this article, we will discuss what FODMAP is, why you should consider starting a low FODMAP diet, and what foods are considered to be high or low in FODMAPs. We will cover all of the essential information, including key details about how to start a low FODMAP diet.
Book a call to learn about our low FODMAP meal prep and delivery services available in the greater Vancouver area.
What Does FODMAP Stand For?
If you have ever wondered what FODMAP stands for, then buckle up, because it is quite the mouthful.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. Each of these is a short-chain carbohydrate that is hard for the small intestine to absorb properly, leading to digestive problems.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of each of these short-chain carbohydrates:
- Fermentable Oligosaccharides: Fermentable carbs are sugars that get broken down and digestive within a person’s intestines. They are generally responsible for producing gas. Oligosaccharides are a specific type of short-chain carb that humans naturally cannot break down and properly absorb in the small intestine, such as fructans (many vegetables are high in fructans).
- Disaccharides: Disaccharides refer to two carbohydrate molecules that are linked together and are often found in high concentrations in lactose products. These carbs have an especially notable effect in people who are lactose-intolerant, as they lack the digestive enzyme lactase that is needed to properly absorb these carbs in the small intestine.
- Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are comprised of a single carbohydrate molecule, with fructose being one of the most common and well-known. While on its own, fructose (often found in fruits and vegetables) does not require digestion before it can be absorbed. However, when there is an excessive concentration of fructose, it can be more difficult to absorb.
- Polyols: Polyols are known as sugar alcohols and are found in many artificial sweeteners. These carbohydrates are difficult for people to absorb and can generally only be partially digested and absorbed by the small intestine.
Some of the main symptoms associated with digestive distress caused by FODMAP foods include:
While FODMAP foods can cause digestive issues for anyone, they tend to have a particularly noticeable effect on people who have digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
What is a Low FODMAP Diet?
A low FODMAP diet is a type of dietary regimen that takes into account how foods that are high in FODMAPs affect people with digestive or other food-related health conditions a person has.
This type of diet aims to identify a person’s trigger foods. A trigger food refers to food items that a specific person is most sensitive to, causing them to feel symptoms such as cramping, bloating, or gas. Once these trigger foods are identified, they can be eliminated from the person’s diet.
Since there are many different foods that are high in FODMAPs (see “What are FODMAP Foods?” below), it is important to work with a professional nutritionist when starting this diet. With the help of a professional, you can achieve gradual changes to your diet that will not disrupt your body’s normal function or health.
Does the Low FODMAP Diet Help with IBS?
Yes! Eating a low FODMAP diet can help you to reduce the severity of your IBS symptoms, as eliminating foods high in FODMAPS is one of the key components to holistically treating IBS.
Of course, you should always consult with a nutritionist about your IBS, as you may have other conditions or dietary restrictions that can also affect what you can eat. Luckily, our team at Fresh in Your Fridge is comprised of both talented chefs and professional nutritionists to provide you with an all-encompassing meal planning experience.
Can You Still Do the Low FODMAP Diet if You are Vegetarian or Vegan?
You can absolutely follow a low FODMAP diet if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
However, since many fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of FODMAPs, planning your low FODMAP diet will take some extra time and consideration.
If you choose to work with our team at Fresh in Your Fridge, we can help you eliminate some of the mystery and frustration surrounding planning a low FODMAP diet. Our team of nutritionists will ask you all about your dietary restrictions as a vegetarian or vegan, as well as your food preferences.
From here, we can devise a menu that is both low in FODMAPs and delightfully delicious.
What Are FODMAP Foods?
According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, the following foods are high in FODMAPs:
- Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, chicory, dandelion leaves, garlic, leeks, onions, onion and garlic salt powders, radicchio lettuce, spring onions
- Grains: Barley, rye, wheat (in large amounts), fructooligosaccharides, inulin (a type of prebiotic)
- Nuts: Cashews and pistachios
- Legumes: Baked beans, Bortolotti beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, soy flour, and some soy milks
- Milk Products: Milk (cow, goat, or sheep), custard, condensed milk, evaporated milk, dairy-based desserts, ice cream, margarine, powdered milk, soft and unripened cheeses (ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, mascarpone)
- Fruits: Apples, boysenberries, figs, mangoes, pears, watermelon
- Sweeteners: Agave, corn syrup solids, high-fructose corn syrup, honey
- Alcohol: Rum
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation also defines which foods are considered low in FODMAPs. These foods include:
- Vegetables: Bok choy, bean sprouts, bell peppers, butter lettuce, carrots, celery, chives, corn, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, garlic or onion-infused oils, gluten-free breads and cereals, rice and corn pasta, rice cakes, potato chips, tortilla chips
- Legumes: Firm tofu
- Milk Products: Lactose-free milk, lactose-free cottage cheese, lactose-free ice cream, lactose-free sorbet, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese
- Fruits: Ripe bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew, lemons, limes, passion fruit, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos
- Sweeteners: Table sugar, maple syrup
Fresh in Your Fridge Meal Delivery Services: How It Works
At Fresh in Your Fridge, our team of chefs and nutritionists are dedicated to providing our clients with tailor-made meal plans that fit their exact dietary needs.
Through our meal prep program, you receive a personalized meal plan that is customized and made fresh each week by a personal holistic chef. Our meal prep program works in just 5 easy steps:
- Step 1: To begin a meal plan program with Fresh in Your Fridge, you will first set up a free call with one of our nutritionists. During this call, we will go over several important considerations including your lifestyle, goals, dietary restrictions, and preferences. After finishing this call, we will match you with the right chef for your needs.
- Step 2: Each week, we will create a personalized menu made to fit your needs. All of the quantities and meals found on your weekly menu will match your unique dietary needs and restrictions. We welcome feedback to help create a fresh and distinguished menu for you each and every week.
- Step 3: Once we have your weekly meal plan set, we will cover all the shopping. The cost of all groceries is included in the price of our meal plan program service. We aim to include ingredients that are 70% to 100% organic and only buy what we need so no food goes to waste.
- Step 4: After shopping for the perfect ingredients, we will prepare your meals for you either to be delivered to you on a set date or cooked directly in your home through our in-home chef service.
- Step 5: It’s time to eat! With your fresh-made dishes ready to go, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your Fresh in Your Fridge meals from the comfort of your own home — we deliver our meals straight to your door, no travel required.
Here is a sample menu of a low FODMAP meal plan you can order through Fresh in Your Fridge:
- Meal 1: Sweet & Sour Chicken with Sauteed Bok-Choy & Green Beans, topped with Sesame Seeds.
- Meal 2: Walnut-Basil Pesto served over Zucchini Noodles with Blackened Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, & Spinach. Topped with Shaved Parmesan
- Meal 3: Rosemary & Lemon Pepper Pot Roast served with Roasted Carrots & Green Beans over an Herbed Parsnip Mash
- Meal 4: Maple-Ginger Glazed Salmon Poke Bowls with Red Cabbage, Cucumber, & Carrot Ribbons served over Brown Rice. Topped with Bean Sprouts and Fresh Cilantro
- Snack: Spicy kale chips
Benefits of Fresh in Your Fridge’s Low FODMAP Meal Delivery Services
By working with our team at Fresh in Your Fridge, you gain many key benefits that can make your weekday mealtimes a breeze.
These benefits include:
- Convenience: If you have ever felt frustrated by the need to make a home-cooked meal every night, then our low FODMAP meal delivery services are perfect for you. With this service, you can eliminate the headache of shopping for and preparing foods that meet your dietary needs. We handle everything for you, from shopping and planning to cooking and delivery.
- Customization: With Fresh in Your Fridge, you never have to worry about becoming bored with your meals again. Each of our meal plans is custom-made for your needs and preferences, and we always try to switch things up to give you a unique menu each week. Plus, we welcome feedback, so you can always share with us what changes you would like made to your next set of meals.
- Consideration: At Fresh in Your Fridge, we strive to offer a comprehensive meal delivery service that not only keeps your needs in consideration but also considers the quality of ingredients and how to minimize waste.
Final Thoughts: How We Cater to a Low FODMAP Diet
Here at Fresh in Your Fridge, we are committed to catering to your dietary needs — no matter what they may be. Our low FODMAP meal plans are created with not just your needs in mind but also your lifestyle and personal preferences.
Whether you need a diet that is low in FODMAPs, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, raw, or a combination of several of these restrictions, we can design a meal plan that is perfect for you. Plus, we also make meal plans that are family friendly that can feed your entire household!
To start planning your first meal plan with Fresh in Your Fridge, book a call today by clicking here. We will take you through a free consultation to build your first personalized menu and provide you with a pricing quote.
We greatly look forward to working with you!