The Best Low FODMAP Cookbooks

Having a dedicated FODMAP Diet cookbook on hand takes the guesswork out of cooking for IBS. You will definitely find your perfect cookbook in my roundup of top picks (yes, even for vegans and SIBO patients!).

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As I type this, I can see my bookshelf full of cookbooks out of the corner of my eye. It’s a large collection, but when you want to learn Thai cooking, you buy a Thai cookbook…perfectly logical.

Same goes for the FODMAP Diet. As much as I believe in adapting our favorite recipes to be low-FODMAP, I understand the value (and simplicity!) of having a dedicated low FODMAP cookbook, or a few cookbooks.

And apparently, you guys agree. When I asked my private community if they’d rather have a low-FODMAP cookbook or modify recipes themselves, the majority wanted recipes they could follow WITHOUT thinking about it.

I’m all for ease, and since it’s long overdue, I decided to create a roundup of the best FODMAP Diet cookbooks out there…in my personal opinion of course.

How I Chose These Books

Unfortunately, some book publishers will hire a recipe developer (maybe an expert at recipes, but not at FODMAPs) to crank out a cookbook as fast as possible. Often, no one bothers with testing the recipes.

Not cool! That’s why I choose books written by experts—these authors are people who’ve been working with FODMAP cooking for a long time. (And yes, I included my own cookbook.)

I also tried to provide variety on this list. I even have a low FODMAP vegan cookbook I can enthusiastically recommend. Let’s dive in!

My Top Low FODMAP Cookbooks

The Low-FODMAP Cookbook by Diane Fastenow Benjamin is a well-rounded collection of American home cooking recipes. Plenty of great photos too! I wrote a more extensive review of this book here.

Best For: Family meals, classic recipes

Click to view on Amazon.


The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step: A Personalized Plan to Relieve the Symptoms of IBS and Other Digestive Disorders--with More Than 130 Deliciously Satisfying Recipes has a long title, but that’s probably because it’s packed with goodness. Written by dietitian and FODMAP expert, Kate Scarlata, and long-time cookbook author, Dede Wilson, it delivers by relying on natural ingredients and providing the knowledge to help make sense of this crazy diet.

Best For: Foodies

Check it out on Amazon.


Best For: Newbies to FODMAP

Click to view on Amazon.

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Sue Shepherd, PhD, and Peter Gibson, MD is part FODMAP Diet manual, part cookbook. The authors are two of the original researchers at Monash University who developed the diet, so you can’t go wrong with this choice!


Sue Shepherd has written multiple books on the FODMAP Diet, including this recipe focused volume: The Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook: 150 Simple, Flavorful, Gut-Friendly Recipes to Ease the Symptoms of IBS, Celiac Disease, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Other Digestive Disorders. With enough variety to work for novice cooks, as well as foodies, this is a great bet.

Best For: Variety seekers

Click to check it out on Amazon.


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I may be partial to my own book, but a few things set the Calm Belly Kitchen Cookbook apart:

  • Color photos of EVERY recipe

  • Recipes tested by members of my Facebook group

  • Ebook, so you can download it instantly (and take it anywhere)

With a wide variety of recipes, the theme I focused on when writing this book was crave-worthy food.

Best For: People who love to eat

Check it out here.


The title of this pretty cookbook by Jo Stepaniak says it all: Low-Fodmap and Vegan: What to Eat When You Can't Eat Anything. It IS possible to eat vegan AND get the benefits of the FODMAP Diet, and this book makes it easy with tasty recipes (including some great sauces).

Best For: Plant-based food lovers

Get it on Amazon.

The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook by Colleen Francioli is part of the “Everything” book series, which are known pack in loads of helpful information (but no pictures). With 300 recipes, plenty of them simple everyday meals, this book is great if you want lots to choose from.

Best For: People who want tons of options

See it on Amazon.


With a lot of misinformation around SIBO and the lack of one gold-standard dietary treatment, it’s (understandably!) difficult for patients to know what to eat. The SIBO Diet Plan: Four Weeks to Relieve Symptoms and Manage SIBO by Kristy Regan uses a modified FODMAP Diet to help heal the gut. This is an approach I’ve used successfully with clients, and it’s endorsed by Allison Siebecker, ND, a pre-eminent SIBO expert, who also wrote the foreword to this book. Keep in mind that any SIBO diet should be used together with medical treatment to be effective.

Best For: People getting SIBO treatment

Check it out on Amazon.


There are some great FODMAP cookbooks out there, and more all the time! Do you have a recommendation that should be on this list? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Foods That Cause Constipation (and how the FODMAP Diet can help!)

Learn how high FODMAP foods cause chronic constipation and if IBS might be to blame. Luckily, diet and other natural remedies are safe and effective if you’re dealing with this frustrating condition.

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Dealing with occasional constipation is very low on the list of fun and enjoyable things. Dealing with chronic constipation (infrequent bowel movements over an extended period of time) is even more aggravating.

The abdominal pain, the discomfort, the cramping, pinching, and feeling of being unable to let it all go… it’s pretty awful, and it impacts your daily life in countless ways.

If you’ve been struggling with chronic constipation, and nothing you’ve tried so far has helped, you might have IBS-C. And if that’s what’s going on, there’s good news: The FODMAP diet can help you with this stubborn symptom.

Unlike the occasional bout of constipation, IBS-C is caused by specific types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. FODMAPs are found in a wide array of foods.

While these foods are perfectly healthy for most people, they can trigger symptoms if you have IBS. (And if you aren’t sure whether your constipation is caused by IBS or not, keep reading.)

Foods That Cause Constipation

For people with IBS-C, constipation is caused by the fermentation of high-FODMAP foods as they sit in the large intestine. These foods can’t be digested properly by people with IBS, and the byproduct of that fermentation is gas, among other things. This, in turn, causes the bloating, pain, and digestive slow-down. No fun.

Here are some of the most common constipation-causing high-FODMAP foods:

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Peaches

  • Cherries

  • Blackberries

  • Watermelon

  • Plums

  • Dried fruit

  • Asparagus

  • Cauliflower

  • Peas

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Milk, yogurt & ice cream

  • Wheat bread and pasta

  • Rye bread

  • Beans

  • Cashews & pistachios

  • Coconut flour

For a free cheat sheet listing high-FODMAP foods, click here.

Some people with IBS are prone to constipation, while others are prone to diarrhea, in what’s called IBS-D. And some folks with IBS experience both constipation and diarrhea, at different times. It’s not entirely sure why this happens. Research is still being done!

FODMAPs are the major constipation culprit if you have IBS, but other foods can also play a role if eaten in large quantities or very frequently.

Other constipation-causing foods:

High Fat Meals - If you’ve spent a weekend eating fried food or lots of desserts and chocolate, you might end up constipated since fatty meals are slower to digest.

Red Meat - It can be higher in fat than other proteins, but its high iron content can stop you up as well. But don’t give red meat completely--just reduce the frequency so you can still get the health benefits.

Starchy, Low-Fiber Foods - Unripe bananas, white bread, and white rice can move through the digestive tract slowly. Opt for whole wheat bread and brown rice instead.

Alcohol - It irritates the stomach and dehydrates you, leading to slow-moving bowels. Drink in moderation and get plenty of fluids.

Natural Ways to Relieve Constipation

Constipation is a stubborn condition so often multiple strategies are needed. So, where do you start?

More Fiber? Yes, But...

A commonly-held belief with constipation is that it’s caused by a lack of fiber. Because of this, people often assume they need to add fiber to their diet, in the form of things like whole wheat breads and pastas, beans, fibrous veggies, and so forth.

But with constipation caused by IBS-C, this actually ends up loading the system with more high-FODMAP foods, causing even more problems. Tried adding more fiber to your diet, and it hasn’t helped? You might be dealing with IBS. Increasing your FODMAP intake is going to increase the problems.

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

Even on a low-FODMAP diet plan, getting enough fiber is important, but you have to do it safely, in line with your plan. Foods like potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, nuts, chia seeds, spinach, other greens, carrots, strawberries can be great sources of safe fiber. You can aim for 20–25 grams per day, and adjust based on how you feel.

(You can also check out this article on my blog for more specific recommendations on fiber intake and the low-FODMAP diet!)

You can also take a fiber supplement, but if you have IBS, it’s important to only add the right kind of fiber to your diet.

Soluble fiber attracts water, which helps with the formation of normal stools--not too loose or too hard. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, keeps things moving through your digestive tract.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber are good to add for IBS-C. For IBS-D, you should avoid the insoluble type.

Soluble fiber is great because it’s gentle and works for both IBS-C and IBS-D, regulating the bowels regardless of what extreme you’re dealing with.

One brand of soluble fiber I like and recommend is Heather’s Tummy Fiber. It’s been made specifically for IBS sufferers, and many of my clients love it. If you don’t have IBS, other fiber supplements made for constipation are a good option, too.

Of course, there are often other reasons why people experience occasional or chronic constipation. Those can be things like food allergies and intolerances, side effects of medication, unbalanced diet, other dietary or GI conditions, surgeries, or even hydration.

With any kind of constipation, it can be challenging to treat, and often done by trial and error. But if you have IBS, or suspect that it’s the source of your symptoms, then the FODMAP diet should be your first stop, because of how effective it can be at identifying those specific trigger foods.

The FODMAP Diet for Constipation

People hear the word ‘diet’ and think, ‘I’m going to be stuck eating three boring foods for the rest of my life! Maybe the symptoms are worth it, to keep enjoying the foods I love.’ I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case!

The FODMAP diet is an action plan to help you identify which specific trigger foods are worsening your symptoms, so you can avoid them. It’s a three-step plan that begins with a short period of eating a very low-FODMAP diet, for only four to six weeks.

If removing FODMAPS helps you feel better, then you know you are on the right track.

Next, foods are slowly reintroduced, and your symptoms are monitored. As soon as a culprit is identified, you know what it is that’s messing you up! After reintroduction and analysis, you can go on with eating a wide array of healthy foods in sensible portions, and avoiding the foods that cause you discomfort.

I have a ton more information about getting started on the FODMAP diet! You can check it out here.

What about some other, at-home things you can do?

Essential Oils for Constipation

The use of essential oils can work wonders for constipation. Ginger, Peppermint, Fennel, Lavender, and Chamomile are some of the top choices.

You can add them to a diffuser throughout the day, add them to a nice warm bath, or gently massage your stomach with them, after they’ve been diluted in a safe carrier oil. (Never apply essential oils directly to your skin!)

Osmotic Laxatives

Osmotic laxatives such as MiraLAX are a great choice for constipation because they don’t cause harsh side effects like traditional laxatives do.

They work by drawing water into the colon and softening the hard stool there, making it much easier to pass. They can be a good choice for constipation, even as a result of IBS-C, but should also be paired with dietary changes overall, to prevent the stools from getting too hard.

Another option is Magnesium, which also draws water into the colon and intestines to soften the stools. Like MiraLAX, this softening allows the muscles of the digestive system to flex and move more naturally, passing the softened stool without pain or constriction.

Magnesium can be added to your diet by increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, peanuts, oatmeal, potatoes, rice, and salmon. Or, you can take a Magnesium supplement; I prefer Magnesium Citrate, because of your body’s ability to absorb it easily, but other forms can work too.

The Recommended Daily Allowance of magnesium—including food intake—is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women.

Osmotic laxatives (or any laxative) should be reserved for occasional use, rather than an everyday go-to. Use them when symptoms are particularly bad, or you aren’t able to stick to your normal diet (think travel, illness, or times of high stress).


Constipation is frustrating, but you can make a difference with your symptoms through a few simple changes. Avoiding foods that cause constipation in the first place is key. The next step is trying additional remedies until you find the right mix that works for YOUR body.

If you aren’t sure whether your chronic constipation is caused by IBS or something else, a gastroenterologist should be your first stop to uncover the source of your symptoms.

If you want to know more, or if your head is spinning from a recent IBS diagnosis, then head over to my free 7-day Calm Belly Challenge. You’ll learn how to get started with the FODMAP Diet as quickly (and painlessly!) as possible.

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IBS Symptoms in Females and What To Do About It

IBS Symptoms in Females and What To Do About It

IBS is diagnosed more often in women than men in the US — at almost twice the rate. Although many IBS symptoms in females are similar to males, there is a connection between the hormones estrogen and progesterone and IBS symptoms in females. Discover if your symptoms point to IBS and the best treatment options.

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It can come on so suddenly, completely without warning.

You start the day feeling fine and then – BAM! Suddenly you’re experiencing serious abdominal pains and cramping, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation (sometimes both!).

Was it something I ate? you might wonder as you rush to the restroom. 

The truth is, just about anything can cause these kinds of digestive upsets, but they’re also common symptoms of IBS. If you’re experiencing them regularly, you could be one of the 10–15 percent of the adult population in the U.S. that suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In fact, IBS is one of the most common conditions diagnosed by gastroenterologists and primary care physicians, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. 

But how can you tell if your upset stomach is really something more serious? 

Common IBS Symptoms in Females

Interestingly, IBS is diagnosed more often in women than men in the US — at almost twice the rate.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure why, but some research suggests a connection between the hormones estrogen and progesterone and IBS symptoms in females. In fact, some women report increased IBS symptoms like back pain during their menstrual cycles. 

In general, IBS involves abdominal pain and changes in stools. Although anyone can experience pain or bloating from gas after a particular meal, and our stools are constantly changing based on what we eat, IBS symptoms tend to be persistent and frequent. 

Overall, Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Cramping

  • Bloating

  • Excessive gas

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Indigestion

  • Back pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Anxiety and depression

In fact, the four types of IBS are defined by their symptoms:

  • IBS-C - predominant constipation

  • IBS-D - predominant diarrhea

  • IBS-M - mixed (you suffer both diarrhea and constipation)

  • IBS-U - undefined

Women who suffer from IBS often find they have certain triggers that bring on an episode, though these can vary from person to person.

Some of the most common triggers include foods high in certain carbohydrates called “FODMAPs (like onions, garlic, milk, wheat bread, pasta, and apples to name just a few), artificial sweeteners, smoking, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.  Women also report more episodes during their menstrual cycles. 

Additionally, social and emotional factors like stress and anxiety can be triggers too. And when you’re suffering from uncomfortable digestive symptoms and worried about finding a bathroom, it can create a vicious, stressful cycle. 

Are IBS Symptoms Different in Males?

If you’re a man who suspects you have IBS, the list of common symptoms above also applies to you. However, the added complication of the female menstrual cycle isn’t a factor (lucky for you, guys!).

According to the International Foundation of Gastrointestinal Disorders, IBS is underreported in men, so there isn’t as much information about gender differences available. However, if you’re a guy reading this, the following info about the treatment and diagnosis of IBS applies as well!

Other Conditions That Can Be Confused with IBS Symptoms

It’s important to note that IBS is not the same as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  IBD can manifest as either Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, but the common factor is an inflammatory response and actual inflammation in the intestines. 

IBD can also cause changes in the bowel tissues and raise your risk for colorectal cancer. But usually, in addition to IBS symptoms, people with IBD will experience symptoms like fever, bleeding, weight loss, joint pain, and eye problems.

IBS doesn’t have an inflammatory response associated with it, and in fact, when doctors look at the GI tract of IBS sufferers, it appears normal. 

How IBS is Diagnosed

Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy test to find out if you have IBS. The diagnosis is based entirely on your symptoms, and doctors call it a diagnosis of exclusion — meaning they have to rule out other conditions, like thyroid disorder or IBD, in order to make a diagnosis. 

Doctors look to a set of guidelines called the Rome IV criteria (developed over the last 15 years by experts meeting in — you guessed it — Rome!) to help diagnose IBS and other functional GI disorders. The criteria are a way to systematically eliminate other conditions based on your specific symptoms. 

IBS is medically defined as recurring abdominal pain linked with changes in bowel movement frequency and form, at least once a week for at least three months.

If You Suspect Your Symptoms Are IBS

The first and most important thing to do if you suspect you may have symptoms of IBS is to get a diagnosis.  

Try keeping a record of your symptoms that you can take to your doctor to help her understand what’s going on and make a faster, more accurate diagnosis for you. Your doctor will probably want to take a detailed medical history; this may be important, as there does seem to be some genetic component to IBS, and you’re more likely to have it if a parent does as well. Your doctor may also want to run specific tests to rule out other problems before diagnosing you with IBS. 

Once you have a diagnosis, treatment is all about managing your symptoms.

Diet Is Everything For Managing IBS Symptoms

When it comes to IBS, food is medicine. Many IBS episodes are linked to particular food triggers.

Foods that might trigger your symptoms include:

  • Carbs made with wheat flour, like bread and pasta

  • Lots of carbonated drinks (the bubbles can cause excess gas)

  • Artificial sweeteners, especially sorbitol and mannitol

  • Greasy or very fatty foods

  • Certain carbohydrates collectively referred to as FODMAPs that include fructose (a type of fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage and many more

Click to read this article and learn more about the FODMAP Diet, a.k.a. the best diet for IBS!

FODMAPs are foods we eat every day--including some very healthy choices like beans and produce--but people with IBS don’t digest them well. This means that these foods pass into our colon where our gut bacteria starts to ferment them and produce gas. People with IBS experience hypersensitivity in the gut, and any kind of gas production can become uncomfortable and trigger diarrhea or constipation.

For managing many IBS symptoms, females will particularly benefit from trying a low-FODMAP diet. By reducing the intake of these specific foods, research shows that up to 86% of people with IBS experience a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of their symptoms.

Want to know what foods are high or low in FODMAPs? Grab our free cheat sheets!

I always recommend starting a FODMAP elimination diet when you’re ready and then following a protocol to slowly reintroduce foods which allows you to identify your particular triggers--most people can eat some high-FODMAP foods WITHOUT experiencing symptoms.

Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can drastically reduce future bouts of IBS. 

In the short term, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter medicines like laxatives and anti-gas pills to help with the symptoms, but these are only treating the result, not the cause of the problem. Doing a temporary FODMAPs elimination diet is a way of discovering the root causes of your discomfort and avoiding them in the future. 

In addition, many doctors now recognize a psychological component to IBS and may suggest therapy or counseling to combat stress and anxiety that may make your symptoms worse. There is some indication that antidepressants can help modulate nerve activity in your gut, but these drugs come with their own side-effects, so many doctors are hesitant to prescribe them for IBS. 


IBS is chronic, and there is currently no cure. But with the right tools and mindset, you can identify and eliminate your specific triggers to live a much more comfortable life.

7 Truths About the FODMAP Diet Plan (I Wish I'd Known 4 Years Ago!)

Read the 7 things I wish I'd known when I first started the FODMAP Diet because I don't want you to be the hot mess that I was when I was figuring it out on my own! #fodmap #ibs #calmbellykitchen

Like many of you, when I first heard about the FODMAP diet plan as a way to change my own IBS symptoms, I was overwhelmed. Not just with all the information out there, although that definitely was the case. Sometimes, it was overwhelming how much I didn’t know.

Four years ago, there was very little information to go on, no explanation of the nuances. Suddenly having to change my diet overnight felt very difficult and complex, with no guidance on how to make it work in a practical sense.

There's more info out there now, but I think people can still relate to what I experienced. Also, a lot of the current information is still conflicting or out-dated.

I had to forge my own path. And a huge part of why I do what I do is that I believe that you shouldn’t have to do that to change your life for the better! 

(Which is why I started Calm Belly Kitchen!) 

Looking back on it, there’s so much I wish I’d known before I started. So many tips and tricks and even affirmations that would’ve made this whole thing a lot smoother—and a lot less emotional. 

I've also asked members of the community what they wish someone had told them when they first started out with the FODMAP diet plan. Many of the answers lined up with my experience!

So today, I'm going to share the things that I wish I knew when I first started. Hopefully, you’ll find this useful, no matter where you are in your journey.

#1 Onion and garlic are not absolutely essential for flavor

It seems like such a minor thing now, but this was definitely my number one source of anxiety and fear and stress when I started to grasp what the FODMAP diet really entailed. All those recipes I relied on would have to be modified or thrown out—and at first, I had no idea how to even begin. 

(This is also one of the biggest struggles that I hear from folks who send me emails, easily in the top three questions that I receive!) 

For years, I made my living as a recipe developer. I love food, and own an embarrassing amount of cookbooks! And I can tell you that giving up onion and garlic is not the end of the world.

Sure, it’s an adjustment, but it’s not impossible. While I, personally, can tolerate a bit of onion, I don’t do great with garlic, and I don’t really keep either of them in the house. It’s worth it, to me, to see the success of following the FODMAP diet plan in my own symptoms. 

In a way, whether it’s onion, garlic, or any other food, it really won’t be as bad as you think, giving it up temporarily or even for longer periods of time. I promise. 

You can check out this ultimate guide for other ways to flavor food that won’t trigger your IBS!

#2 A major diet change is hard, and it will take you time to get in your groove

Okay, I know I just said that giving up some foods isn’t the end of the world. And it’s not! But any major lifestyle change means changing all of your patterns—even ones you might not be aware you have. It will take time. It doesn’t happen overnight. 

Doctors love to give you a little two- or three-page handout that makes it seem super easy to just completely overhaul your diet overnight, but the truth is, not many people can just turn completely change the way that they cook, shop, and eat in one day. 

You have to be patient with yourself. You have to give yourself time (and grace!) as you begin the process. 

Even though I had cooking skills and already was a healthy eater, I couldn't turn it around overnight. I needed time to get comfortable with the changes in my eating habits.

Whatever you do, don't let beginner overwhelm hold you back from starting.

Just know that it's going to take time to get comfortable, and it's okay to be to be stressed about it when you start. If you mess up, that's okay! Don't beat yourself up—keep going.

#3 Eating in a social setting is less of a big deal than you might think

A lot of people ask me this one, especially as they start to really think about how often we all eat in social settings—restaurants, work lunches, family meals.

When you can control the food, things tend to work fine. But when other people are cooking? That can be a little stressful. 

I get it. 

If you’re worried about how the changes in your diet will affect eating out at restaurants—whether it’s asking for order changes or worrying about being judged for what you put in your face—that’s normal. 

No matter how much we worry that other people are judging us, people are always more concerned about what they are doing, than what other people are thinking. It’s just our nature! We’re all a little self-centered like that. 

And if someone does give you grief or side-eye for swapping your asparagus for a side salad? Then they really need to find a hobby. 

What you eat isn’t a judgement, or critique, of anyone else’s eating. Refusing a food, making healthier choices, these are all worth it, to make your body feel better. 

Prefer to watch? Check out the video below...

#4 You really do need to listen to your body

If you’ve spent any time on this site, then I know you’ve heard this one before. But it’s absolutely true. Listen to what your body is saying—not just with the food, but with all of it. 

The great thing about making this kind of diet change is that you have this really excellent opportunity to learn about all the other factors that affect your digestion, besides just the FODMAPs. When you take those away, you start to listen to the other little messages your body is sending. 

For example, stress is a big deal for me. It messes with my stomach. Now I can hear that message more clearly, and adjust my lifestyle accordingly. 

Another thing I learned was that adjusting the overall volume of food I was eating helped with my symptoms. I was just giving it too much to do! Eating smaller meals, letting them digest well, allowed my body to tell me, hey, you’ll feel less bloated and heavy and gross. 

For many of my clients, I often hear that their period sends them a huge message, thanks to fluctuating hormones! As you can see, all of these non-food factors can affect your gut.

Listen to them. 

Every body is different. What’s yours telling you? 

#5 Sourdough bread is your best friend

For those of you who love bread, this one is really exciting. 

(What? Bread is exciting! Especially bread that’s safe and delicious!)

This wasn’t even established when I was first beginning my FODMAP diet journey, but within the last two years, Monash has tested sourdough bread and found that, because of the slow fermentation process, sourdough bread has an extremely low FODMAP content. 

The only catch is that it MUST be made using a traditional slow rise process.

Luckily, it’s easy to tell if sourdough is indeed slow rise: Check the ingredients. If the sourdough bread contains yeast or enzymes, then it was not made with the slow rise method.

Traditional slow-rise sourdough requires just three main ingredients: flour, water, and salt. Instead of yeast, a “starter” causes the bread to rise. This happens when natural bacteria occurring in the air slowly ferments by consuming the FODMAPs and other carbohydrates in the flour. This produces gas, which creates the rise in the bread. 

Great news if you’ve been missing bread!

#6 You really do need to reintroduce FODMAPs by category

Like most of us, I spent a long time on the elimination phase of the FODMAP diet. Because I was feeling better, and seeing a reduction in my own symptoms, it felt really comfortable just to stay in that highly restricted zone. 

And yet it’s really important to test foods and reintroduce them—not just because it’s healthier to have more variety in your diet, but also because that’s the only way you’re going to know your personal FODMAP tolerance levels.

One thing I learned when I did finally reintroduce FODMAPs is that I have a pretty high tolerance for wheat. I can still eat my homemade pizza and croissants, and for me, that’s amazing. 

On the other hand, I used to love making sweet potato fries, but now I can only have a few bites. A bigger serving of sweet potato makes my stomach feel heavy and creates unpleasant symptoms the next day. And there’s no way I would’ve known that without reintroducing FODMAP categories one by one. 

You might be taking a risk with a certain food during this phase, but the knowledge you will gain will be priceless. 

#7 You won’t always feel deprived!

When we talk about diet changes, there is always this lingering worry, this fear of deprivation. 

And it makes sense: We’re taking away a lot of common foods that are in favorite dishes, at home and out in the world. It’s a huge adjustment, looking at food in this new way. 

Yes, it will absolutely feel like an adjustment. You’re definitely going to hate taking away some foods—but eventually, the feelings of being so healthy and feeling so much better and feeling empowered will begin to outweigh the difficulties. 

You may still experience IBS symptoms. That’s totally normal. But overall, you will feel so much better, because you’ll finally have control over how your body feels. 

And those are my top seven items I wish I’d known before starting the FODMAP diet!

They’re definitely truths for me, and ones I hear from my clients as well. I hope that they can empower you to begin your FODMAP journey.

If you're in that place of overwhelm...

sign up for our Free 7-Day Calm Belly Challenge. This mini course helps you set the foundation you need to succeed on FODMAP.

Because you deserve to have a calm belly too!

Are Gluten & Bread Allowed on the FODMAP Diet?

Are Gluten & Bread Allowed on the FODMAP Diet?

You might be surprised that gluten and even bread are allowed on the FODMAP Diet in certain situations. If you have IBS, this is a must read! #IBS #fodmap #calmbellykitchen

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Today I’m going to explain how gluten fits into the FODMAP Diet. Ever wonder if you have to eliminate gluten on FODMAP? Or maybe you’ve heard that bread might be okay? 

I’ll address these questions, AND I’m going to explain why you CAN eat regular bread, even if you're in the elimination phase!

This blog post comes from a live video I did on Facebook, so you can either keep reading or scroll down to watch the video!

Is Gluten Allowed on the FODMAP Diet?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked, so I’ll cut right to the chase: No, you don’t need to avoid gluten.

Gluten is a protein, while FODMAPs are carbohydrates. FODMAP's stand for fermentable oligosaccharides, monosaccharide, disaccharides, and polyols--all types of carbs. 

It gets confusing because the main sources of gluten in your diet are wheat, rye, and barley. Those all contain gluten, but they also all contain FODMAPs. Since you must avoid those grains on the FODMAP Diet, you also end up dramatically reducing your intake of gluten.

Additionally, many gluten-free products are recommended for FODMAPers. Not because you can’t eat gluten, but because those products are free of wheat, rye, and barley.  

What If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

It’s possible to have a gluten sensitivity AND a FODMAP sensitivity at the same time. Keep in mind that a sensitivity doesn’t mean you can’t eat ANY gluten at all. People who have celiac disease need to avoid it ALL THE TIME. However if you're sensitive, and there's just a little bit of gluten in your food, it's not likely to cause major issues. 

If you suspect gluten sensitivity, I recommend focusing on FODMAPs first and then gluten, or vise versa. It's hard to test too many different things at the same time. And if you’re sticking to the FODMAP Diet, your intake of gluten will be negligible anyway.

Is Bread Allowed on the FODMAP Diet?

You CAN eat bread on the FODMAP Diet! There are two scenarios where it’s okay, and I’ll explain both:

Scenario #1: You can eat small servings of bread made with regular wheat flour.      

Researchers at Monash University created the FODMAP Diet, and have the done the vast majority of food testing. According to their app, a one-ounce serving of white bread is low-FODMAP. If you buy a typical loaf at a supermarket, one slice is usually about one ounce, or 28 grams. 

If you don’t own the Monash FODMAP app, I highly recommend it--it’s the absolute best tool to understand the importance of portion sizes so can eat a wider variety of foods!

If you eat a one-ounce serving in a sitting, you're still in the low FODMAP zone. So, if you just love to have your regular piece of toast in the morning, you should be able to do that. One ounce is also the equivalent of half an english muffin. 
If you're in a situation where you don't have a lot of low-FODMAP food options, it's nice to know that eating one piece of white bread likely doesn’t contain enough FODMAPs to cause symptoms. There’s more flexibility in the FODMAP Diet than you might think!

Let's follow this logic a little further. 

If it's okay to have a slice of bread, then it's okay to have a few crackers, or a cookie that contains regular wheat flour. That's not going to ruin your diet in the elimination phase, or trigger symptoms for most people.

The goal is to reduce your FODMAP intake, not completely eliminate all FODMAPs (yes the terminology is confusing, unfortunately). Truly eliminating FODMAPs would be nearly impossible, since many foods allowed in the elimination phase do contain some amount of FODMAPs.

If you remember one thing, make it this: 

All the food serving sizes are guidelines--they’re your starting point. If that one-ounce slice of bread is too much for YOUR body, then that’s okay. Pay attention to how different foods makes you feel, learn from that, and adjust. 

Scenario #2: Slow-rise sourdough bread is low-FODMAP

The second way to get your bread fix is with sourdough. This type of bread is made using a “starter” and a slow-rise process, while regular bread rises with the help of yeast. 

During the slow rise, the bacteria in the starter consumes the sugars in the bread--many of these sugars are FODMAPs. Those FODMAPs ferment which produces gas, or bubbles, that makes the bread rise. Enough of those FODMAPs are getting consumed to make sourdough bread low-FODMAP!

To be clear, you do not have to find gluten-free sourdough bread. Just the regular stuff made with regular flour is okay. However, do make sure your sourdough bread does not contain yeast, or enzymes. If it does, then these ingredients were added to shortcut the slow-rise process and the bread will not be as low in FODMAPs.

This post covered a ton of information, so let’s recap:

  • You can eat gluten on the FODMAP diet
  • Gluten is a protein, while FODMAPs are carbohydrates
  • You can eat foods make with wheat flour (also known as all-purpose, or “white flour”) in small servings
  • Refer to the Monash App for serving size information, and use those amounts as your starting point
  • Traditionally made sourdough bread (no yeast or enzymes added) is low-FODMAP 

There really are a lot of "subtleties" when it comes to the FODMAP diet, but don't let it drive you crazy. The reality is that it's a lot more flexible and manageable than it first appears!

Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to the FODMAP Elimination Phase

Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to the FODMAP Elimination Phase

It’s not just about what you can and can’t eat. That’s important, but it’s only one piece of what you need to feel better as quickly as possible. To get the best results from the FODMAP Diet, you need a well-rounded approach AND a plan to follow.