5 Tips for the Low FODMAP Diet Follower

Just starting the low FODMAP diet?  Here are a few tips to help you navigate this somewhat complex but very effective diet to manage your IBS symptoms. Digestive distress is a global problem, with a growing number of IBS sufferers around the world. IBS impacts up to 1 in 5 Americans and can truly impact their quality of life. The low FODMAP diet is a evidenced based diet to help manage IBS symptoms and is effective in 75% of those who suffer with IBS! (Much better odds than most drugs used for IBS!)


#1 If you are going to make a concerted effort to follow the low FODMAP diet correctly, do yourself a favor and make an appointment with a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian. I promise you, a dietitian can truly make your low FODMAP diet experience a whole lot easier and likely, much tastier too! If you are looking for a dietitian in your area, check out my low FODMAP dietitian listing here.  If you are a registered dietitian with great experience implementing the low FODMAP diet and want to be added to my registry, please email me: inquiries@katescarlata.com

#2 Get the most up-to-date low FODMAP and high FODMAP food lists.  The low FODMAP diet is evolving. Food analysis is still underway and the diet will continue to be altered as new foods are analyzed. Because there are many outdated FODMAP food lists online, it can be quite frustrating for the low FODMAP newbie. The most up to date resource is the Monash University low FODMAP diet app. The fee for the app supports ongoing food analysis so you can feel good that your purchase supports more up-to-date information for all low FODMAP diet followers. Don’t have a smart phone or would rather have condensed paper lists?  Then… download my updated high and low FODMAP checklists found on my site here.

#3 Don’t (yet) grieve the loss of high FODMAP foods! The low FODMAP elimination and re-introduction phase helps you identify your personal FODMAP triggers.  You may find only some of the high FODMAP food trouble your IBS symptoms or that your symptoms are only exacerbated if you eat multiple FODMAPs at one meal.  While you trial the low FODMAP diet, do yourself a favor and focus on the foods you CAN eat vs. the foods excluded on the low FODMAP elimination diet. And really, don’t grieve the loss of any foods until you determine they truly trigger your IBS symptoms.  Lastly, tolerance to FODMAPs can change over time, so try to re-introduce your FODMAP trigger foods periodically as guided by your health professional.

#4 Don’t stay on the full low FODMAP elimination diet long term!  The low FODMAP diet was designed to help the person suffering with GI distress identify what foods contribute to their symptoms. It’s a learning diet NOT a life-long diet.  The low FODMAP elimination diet is typically followed 2-6 weeks followed by the second phase of the diet, the re-introduction or re-challenge phase. During this 2nd phase, foods rich in individual FODMAPs are added back into the diet methodically to assess if they trigger your symptoms.  Why are you advised NOT to follow the diet forever? Research has shown that certain health-promoting gut bacteria populations decline while on the low FODMAP diet. The long term consequences of this reduction of microbes remains unknown. The FODMAP groups most likely to benefit your gut microbe populations are the fructans (wheat, onion, garlic) and GOS (legumes), which have know prebiotic effects (they are food for our healthy gut microbes). The long term goal for the IBS sufferer is to eat the most healthy and liberal diet as tolerated.

#5 Eat a well-balanced low FODMAP diet. Don’t over- restrict your diet so much that you miss out on key nutrients for overall health while following the low FODMAP diet. Try to eat a nourishing well-balanced low FODMAP diet! White rice and chicken are low FODMAP but we all know do not provide enough nutrients for good health. A dietitian can guide you on how to eat a nutrient-rich low FODMAP diet. This handout can help guide you too:  Click here for a guide to balance out your low FODMAP meals!


8 replies on “5 Tips for the Low FODMAP Diet Follower

  • Wendy

    Unfortunately there wasn’t anyone qualified in my area to help me with the low FODMAP diet. your site helped me tremendously…however, it was your book… 21 Day Tummy Diet, and Cookbook that really saved me. I used it as my elimination diet. I no longer got caught up in getting too many FODMAPs in one day, and I didn’t have a problem finding tasty food because of the recipes…which I still use over a year later. (plus I lost 45 lbs and have kept it off over a year)
    I have added some FODMAPs back in, and I’m happy to say I have found some things that don’t bother me….but it’s hard when you find something that really messes you up and you are in severe pain for a day or two. Fear is hard to overcome when you are finally feeling better.
    I just tried something new this week, and I’m a mess. Now I don’t want to try anything ever again. (don’t worry I will…just not for a while)

    any suggestions for making a trial easier on the body?

    I don’t think enough people take your 21 Day Tummy Diet book seriously to help with FODMAP issues because it was published as a “diet” book. I swear by it, and wish I could give it to everyone who starts on this diet.
    and once again….thank you.

    • katescarlata

      Hi Wendy, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The 21 Day Tummy Diet book was created for the person with digestive issues AND weight to lose–but I FULLY agree–it truly does provide great information for the low FODMAP elimination diet and re-challenge diet (if I do say so myself!)!! The recipes are outstanding and all seem to work well for the FODMAPer. And I fully understand the fear component associated with doing the re-challenge part of the diet–especially if you finally feel symptom free after a long time!

  • Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN

    Great list, Kate! Glad to see that what I am teaching my clients is also what you recommend. You are my go-to source for all things FODMAP, so I appreciate being able to check in and make sure that I am still on the right track with regard to how I educate my IBS and SIBO clients. Thanks for your list!

  • Grace

    Hi Kate,
    I just came across this article of yours today & find it very interesting. I have IBD (Crohns disease) & seem to be fighting a losing battle with more & more food being adding to the “do not eat” list. Do you have any further info or sources in regards to this:
    “groups most likely to benefit your gut microbe populations are the fructans (wheat, onion, garlic) and GOS (legumes), which have know prebiotic effects”
    I have never heard this before & find it very interesting as I am unable to tolerate any of those items & probiotics don’t appear to be helping me.

    • katescarlata

      Grace–research has shown that fructans and GOS selectively feed probiotic bacteria in the gut. Work with your dietitian to try to liberalize your diet if/when possible.

  • Sandra

    Thanks Kate for all your information. I have been on a “well balanced” lowFODMAPs diet for 3 years now. Unfortunately all efforts to gut heal etc have not worked. I am symptom free (which is wonderful) as long as I stick to my original elimination diet. It all sounds great – the reintroduction of FODMAPs – but I have found it unobtainable…….

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