How Small Diet Changes Can Help Control Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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fodmap diet

Have you been diagnosed recently with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Your doctor or gastroenterologist may recommend the low FODMAP diet as a way to manage your symptoms. These small changes to your diet can help you control bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are types of carbohydrates found in many foods that may not be digested normally in people with IBS. A diet that avoids high FODMAP foods can provide relief of symptoms for many people.

Try these simple substitutions for two weeks and see if your symptoms improve. If you feel better, make an appointment with one of our dietitians to learn more about this dietary approach for managing IBS and further improve your symptoms.

High FODMAP Foods to Avoid Try These Low-FODMAP Foods Instead
Dairy Cow’s milk, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, non-aged cheese, soy milk Lactose-free milk, almond milk, kefir, lactose-free yogurt or ice cream, aged cheeses, including cheddar, Swiss, Colby-Jack, brie, parmesan, Havarti
Fruit Apples pears cherries, peaches, prunes, apricots, mangos, watermelon, blackberries, dried fruit, fruit juice, trail mix Half of a small banana, one clementine, a half-cup of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, or grapefruit
Vegetables Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet corn, asparagus, celery, canned, baked or refried beans, hummus Leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, red or yellow bell pepper, white potatoes, eggplant, kohlrabi, radishes, spaghetti squash, beets (canned/pickled), firm tofu, a half-cup of green beans, chickpeas, lentils (canned and drained only) or edamame
Breads & Grains Regular wheat or rye bread, cereals and crackers made with wheat, high-fiber bars Popcorn, gluten-free breads, gluten-free pasta, cooked rice, quinoa, quinoa pasta, cold quinoa flakes cereal, hot cooked rice cereal, grits, a quarter-cup of dry oatmeal, cornmeal, corn flour, corn tortilla chips, polenta, rice crackers
Desserts & Sweets Sugar-free candy, gum, supplements or shake mixes sweetened with sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol, milk chocolate Small portions of items sweetened with sugar, one tablespoon of 100 percent pure maple syrup or stevia, a half-cup of sorbet, one ounce of dark or semi-sweet chocolate
Nuts Pistachios, cashews Two tablespoons of any other nuts, seeds and nut butters
Condiments Seasonings, garlic, onions, ketchup, commercial salad dressings Chives, scallions, (green tops only), leafy herbs, ginger, vinegar, mustard, lemon or lime, black pepper, olive oil, red or green chiles, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, tomato paste, allspice
Beverages Rum, champagne, fortified wines, beverages, syrups or condiments sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (regular soda, sweet tea), honey, agave, coffee drinks with milk or soy milk, chamomile tea Small portions of beer, wine, gin, vodka, whiskey, beverages sweetened with sugar, 100 percent maple syrup or stevia, expresso (black), 8 ounces of filtered coffee, green or peppermint tea, weakly brewed black tea

Author and registered dietitian Patsy Catsos has granted permission to reprint the information provided in this handout for educational purposes only. She has written several cookbooks and guides that outline in detail the FODMAP diet approach. More at IbsFree.net. 

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