So last weekend at the Perth Gluten Free & Healthy Living Expo, I was lucky enough to see Sue Shepherd (the developer of the low FODMAP diet) speak. It was incredible to hear her explain everything – just when I was thinking I knew almost everything I could about the diet (I’ve done a lot of research..), I found out so much more! There were a few things that I realised whilst listening to her talk;
- The FODMAP list that I have didn’t match some of the things that she said, i.e. there had been updates on certain foods that contain high FODMAPs since the book I got my info from was published. Nothing major, but I found I was still getting symptoms (although not as bad) even eliminating those high FODMAP foods. So as soon as I got home I downloaded the Monash University’s low FODMAP diet app (iTunes ~ $10 and definitely worth it). This is a university in Sydney where the diet was originally developed, and they are continually testing foods for their FODMAP content. So I discovered things like coconut water and almonds (things I eat quite a lot of) are high in FODMAPs – and more specifically the Fructans, which I am extremely sensitive too. Instead of feeling sad about realising there are more foods I shouldn’t eat, I felt excited because if these foods were what was causign me to still get symptoms then it was something I could fix! So this could mean that I’m still eating certain foods that could be triggering this. This app is brilliant (definitely worth the $10) so I definitely recommend getting it if youre following a low FODMAP diet.
- The low FODMAP diet has two phases; the elimination phase and reintroductory phase. I did the elimination phase where you eliminate all high FODMAP groups and foods, but didn’t do the reintroductory phase properly (which seems to be the most crucial phase). This phase involves you gradually introducing one group of the FODMAPs at a time to see if they cause you symptoms, and if they do, how much of this group you can eat before you get symptoms. i.e. you might get symptoms from eating 1 apple, but can eat 1/2 an apple with no symptoms. By not doing this phase properly, there could be heaps of foods that I’m cutting out for no reason!
- I also didn’t see I dietician, which it is strongly recommended that you do. I was given the information about the low FODMAP diet by a gastroenterologist after I had just had an endoscopy to test for celiac disease. I don’t recall her recommending I see a dietician and if she had I don’t remember because I had just woken up from being under anaesthetic. I managed alright without seeing one, but the reintroductory phase is such a key part that i missed out on! So I have now booked a phone consult with a dietician from Shepherd Works in a few weeks. Until then I am being strict with my diet and re-goig through the elimination phase with my updates list of high FODMAP foods (I will gradually be updating my FODMAP list and info on my low FODMAP diet post), and then will gradually reintroduce them with the help of the dietician so I can figure out my tolerances / intolerances more accurately.
A lot of the recipes that I’ve posted (i.e. brownies and super health bread) aren’t low FODMAP by these standards anymore… so I’ll put a note on those posts and will gradually add more recipes (once I’ve created them) on the updated FODMAP list I’ll be using. I'm spending a lot of time at the moment trying to sort out foods to eat, so won't be posting as often as uni is also getting more intense. But will post up any tips, recipes and/or products I find useful!