You start off great, notice your symptoms are starting to go away and boom they come back. Why? Here are the biggest mistakes people make when following the low FODMAP diet.
1. NOT WORKING WITH A FODMAP TRAINED DIETITIAN
Going it alone may seem like the easier option, but honestly it's not. People are generally getting their information from Dr. Google or your mum's friends second cousin from work who does not have adequate training in nutrition (I'm talking a proper university qualified training). There are so many complexities to this diet and I get it, it may seem expensive to see a dietitian, but by the time you have spent money on 'magic tablets' and 'gut healing powders', it will be cheaper and more effective to bite the bullet and see a dietitian. Get it sorted. Done. Plus, they can also make sure you are meeting your nutritional needs whilst undertaking the low FODMAP diet.
2. NOT MOVING PAST THE ELIMINATION PHASE
The low FODMAP diet is a short term diet, people should only stay into the elimination phase for about 4 weeks, until they are symptom-free, then under the guidance of a digestive dietitian, move onto Phase 2: Challenge Phase. Staying in the elimination phase will more than likely lead to nutritional deficiencies because you are removing core foods from your diet.
3. JUMPING STRAIGHT INTO THE LOW FODMAP DIET
The low FODMAP diet does not work for everyone, why? FODMAPs aren't triggers for your IBS. It is a restrictive diet which can have an impact of your lifestyle, particularly in social situations which can lead to a bad headspace/mindset and therefore, should only be undertaken at a time point which best suits your lifestyle AFTER working through everything else, for example, caffeine, spicy foods, strategies for stress and anxiety, coeliac disease.
4. FODMAP STACKING
Lots of low FODMAP foods in a meal = a high FODMAP meal. You're eating each FODMAP food in the right quantities (eg. 2 kiwi fruit and 1/4 cup blueberries as a snack), but your including them all in the one meal. Aim to keep 3-4 hours between FODMAP foods to avoid 'stacking' and symptoms unexpectedly creeping up on you.
5. LOW FODMAP, NOT NO FODMAP
HIGH FODMAPS are beneficial for our gut microbes and help them to thrive, the point of the process is to identify your tolerance level to food triggers, not to identify and completely eliminate them. There are also misconceptions around food groups.
6. FOOD GROUP CONFUSION
Low lactose doesn't mean no dairy eg. hard cheeses or yoghurts with added lactase (click here to read more of lactose intolerance and amount of lactose in dairy foods) and wheat free does not mean gluten free. Some gluten containing products are wheat free which means you can still enjoy tasty spelt sourdough on the low FODMAP diet.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As always, I am here to help and you can book in to see me for your digestive needs or I can point you in the direction of someone else who can.
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