What you eat can have a direct impact on your health and body. This is the reason why digestive concerns are incredibly common. One of the most common culprits for these digestive issues is a high FODMAP diet in prepared meals.
FODMAP is used as an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates and sugars that are poorly absorbed by the body.
FODMAPs occur in certain foods either naturally or even as additives. As a result of consuming these foods, you get abdominal pain, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Thankfully, a low FODMAP prepared meal would be effective in controlling these digestive issues.
Low FODMAP Meals: What are They?
Low FODMAP meals are a complex dietary strategy that has been effective with the help and guidance of a registered dietician. It’s important to ensure that you have a lot of meal ideas, brands, and recipes to prepare your meals from. You also need to know what to look for in a food label.
It’s not easy having to eat plant-based low FODMAP meals. But it’s possible as meal preparation takes a little planning. It’s important to note that the elimination part of the diet is short-term, about 2 to 8 weeks and there will be more options to choose from later on.
The five nutrients that you need to focus on when it comes to low FODMAP meals and diets are:
- Vitamin B12
Vegan Low FODMAP Diet Plan: What to Incorporate
The question many people asks is if a Low FODMAP diet is obtainable if you are a vegan or if you practice a Mediterranean diet, well, the short answer is yes! There are many prepared meals recipes that are recommended by experts as part of both the vegan diet and Mediterranean diet.
Below is a list of plant-based low FODMAP foods that you can use to prepare meals and maximize your nutrients intake:
- Sunflower seeds
- Rice protein powder
- Fortified plant beverages
- Fortified nutritional yeast
Following a vegan or Mediterranean diet can be restrictive unless they’re well-prepared meals and it’s a vegan diet. It can lead to deficiencies in vitamin B12, iodine, calcium, and omega-3. Doing both a low FODMAP diet and a plant-based diet can lead to social restrictions and nutritional deficiencies.
A FODMAP gentle approach can be easier and will have no restrictions if you’re following a plant-based diet. But you’d have to remove a few very high FODMAP foods rather than the full diet that excludes all high FODMAP foods.
If you’re on the fence about the vegan diet or Mediterranean diet, consider looking at all the research that backs it up. And if living longer and taking care of your heart are important to you, then you should consider Mediterranean cuisine prepared meals for their weight loss potential. The meal plan will help you to stabilize your weight without making you feel deprived.
With the right support and guidance from a dietician, you can use both of them in a nutritionally balanced way.
Health Benefits of a Low FODMAP Diet: Do it Treat Diseases?
Low FODMAP meals are recommended for people with digestive problems and other conditions such as IBS. Modify Health provides healthy low FODMAP meals specifically for those suffering from IBS, IBD and SIBO. These foods lead to irritable bowel syndrome and can also aggravate IBS symptoms. That’s why a low FODMAP diet is recommended for the treatment of IBS.
An irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder. Its signs and symptoms include food intolerance, cramping, altered bowel habits, and abdominal pain. According to experts, prepared meals with low FODMAPs help to ease the symptoms of other health conditions. These conditions include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Once a medical practitioner diagnoses your bowel disease such as it being IBS or microscopic colitis, they may recommend a low FODMAP diet. Some vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins are higher and lower in FODMAPs.
Some of them may be eaten in limited amounts but will bother you in large amounts. Most legumes, for instance, and processed meats are high FODMAP foods. Plain-cooked meats, however, including eggs are low FODMAPs protein sources.
Apples, watermelons, and stone fruits are high FODMAPs. But grapes, pineapples, and strawberries are okay. A ripe banana is high in fructose. You can, however, have up to a third cut up in your cereal. You can also have a whole one if it’s not quite ripe. These kinds of specific guidelines for your diet can be provided by a dietician.
Balancing Good Nutrition With Symptom Control
Living with chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation isn’t easy. For those suffering from IBS, these symptoms can greatly impact their health.
A good number of those suffering from IBS can manage it by sticking to a novel dietary approach. When counseling you about menu planning, an expert needs to factor in your food preferences, and lifestyle behavior. That is what will help you adhere to the low FODMAP meals. The diet may be somewhat restrictive, but with careful planning, it can offer adequate nutrients.
When helping patients to plan their menu, it’s best to develop a strategy and have them plan ahead. Considering that most commercial meat and vegetable broths are rich in FODMAP ingredients, you can ask them to make a homemade broth.
Once a patient is armed with menu ideas, they must be encouraged to keep low FODMAP snacks on hand. That’s considering that these snacks are not always available on the go. After planning their menu, they need to shop for the ingredients.
Remember that maintaining a low FODMAP pantry will help the client in sustaining a low FODMAP diet. Below are some tips to help you get started with maintaining a low FODMAP diet:
- Buy nuts and seeds that are low in FODMAPs. They include pecans, almonds, walnuts, and sesame seeds.
- Select a variety of fish and meats, poultry, and heart-healthy oils. This collection is FODMAP free.
- Select colorful fruits that are low in FODMAPs. They include bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes.
- Buy select vegetables like spinach, carrots, and red bell peppers.
- Keep in mind that a light and refreshing side dish with a low FODMAP tomato salad with cucumbers is a great way to enjoy freshly-picked produce.
Note that FODMAP foods are short-chain cubs that move through the intestines undigested. A lot of foods that contain FODMAPs are considered healthy. Some low FODMAP meals and foods even function like healthy prebiotic fibers that support friendly gut bacteria like cucumbers and pecans.
For people with FODMAP intolerance, foods that are high in carbs can cause unpleasant digestive issues. As such, you can eliminate them from your diet. If you experience a digestive upset that lowers your quality of life, it would be best to have FODMAPs on top of your list of suspects.
Note that a low FODMAP diet may not eliminate all your digestive problems. However, there are high chances that it will lead to significant improvements.