low FODMAP gut loving food

low FODMAPs 🤔

Welcome to the low FODMAP facts page! You’re in the right place if you want to find out more about FODMAPs – or if you have been recommended the low FODMAP diet¹ to help manage your sensitive IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) tummy.

Although the list is not extensive, I have put together a snapshot of the most important things that we think you should know.

¹Don’t start the low FODMAP diet without consulting your GP or low FODMAP specialised dietitian first.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with IBS but are concerned about your digestive health and wellbeing, contact your GP. I don’t recommend self-diagnosing yourself with IBS or starting the low FODMAP diet without consulting your GP or low FODMAP specialised dietitian first.

You need to make sure you get the right amount of nutrition in your body without accidentally excluding some of the important food groups! Your GP (or a gut doctor – gastroenterologist) will rule out other medical conditions that might not be IBS. There can be a chance that you have something more serious which needs to be treated differently.

low FODMAP gut loving food

low FODMAPs 🤔

Welcome to the low FODMAP facts page! You’re in the right place if you want to find out more about FODMAPs – or if you have been recommended the low FODMAP diet¹ to help manage your sensitive IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) tummy.

Although the list is not extensive, we have put together a snapshot of the most important things that we think you should know.

¹Don’t start the low FODMAP diet without consulting your GP or low FODMAP specialised dietitian first.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with IBS but are concerned about your digestive health and wellbeing, contact your GP. We don’t recommend self-diagnosing yourself with IBS or starting the low FODMAP diet without consulting your GP or low FODMAP specialised dietitian first.

You need to make sure you get the right amount of nutrition in your body without accidentally excluding some of the important food groups! Your GP (or a gut doctor – gastroenterologist) will rule out other medical conditions that might not be IBS. There can be a chance that you have something more serious which needs to be treated differently.

what are FODMAPs 🤓

FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) is the name of short chain carbohydrates found in foods which are often poorly absorbed by our digestive system.

The low FODMAP diet was originally developed by researchers at The Monash University in Australia.

There are multiple clinical studies and increasing evidence demonstrating the success of the low FODMAP diet in a large number of IBS sufferers. One of them states that 76% (and over!) IBS patients reported their symptoms significantly improved following the low FODMAP diet correctly.¹

Reference:

1. Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC (2011). Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01162.x. Epub 2011 May 25. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615553 [accessed January 2017]

low FODMAP sharers
low FODMAP sharers

what are FODMAPs 🤓

FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) is the name of short chain carbohydrates found in foods which are often poorly absorbed by our digestive system.

The low FODMAP diet was originally developed by researchers at The Monash University in Australia.

There are multiple clinical studies and increasing evidence demonstrating the success of the low FODMAP diet in a large number of IBS sufferers. One of them states that 76% (and over!) IBS patients reported their symptoms significantly improved following the low FODMAP diet correctly.¹

Reference:

1. Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC (2011). Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01162.x. Epub 2011 May 25. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615553 [accessed January 2017]

commonly asked questions 😃

1. What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) is the name of short chain carbohydrates found in foods which are often poorly absorbed by our digestive system.

2. How does a low FODMAP diet help with my IBS?

If you are diagnosed with IBS, the limitation or restriction of foods containing FODMAPs can be an effective non-medical treatment. Following a diet low in FODMAPs – the so called low FODMAP diet – can reduce your symptoms significantly. Your quality of life and overall wellbeing will benefit from the low FODMAP diet if you follow it correctly.

Have a read of point ‘3. Why should I trust the low FODMAP diet if I have IBS?’ in this section to see how this is scientifically backed up and endorsed!

Here is to maintaining a peaceful gut!

3. Why should I trust the low FODMAP diet if I have IBS?

The effectiveness of the low FODMAP diet is backed up by numerous medical health science and research studies internationally. It is also recommended as a treatment option for IBS by our very NHS¹ and NICE² here in the UK. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

There are multiple clinical studies and increasing evidence demonstrating the success of the low FODMAP diet in a large number of IBS sufferers. One of them states that 76% (and over!) IBS patients reported their symptoms significantly improved following the low FODMAP diet correctly.³ Please read point ‘4. Can I start following the low FODMAP diet on my own??’ in this section.

Have a look at The Monash University’s video of how the low FODMAP diet works in your body.

 

References:

1. NHS choices (2014). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Treatment. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/Treatment.aspx [accessed January 2017]

2. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (updated 2015). Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. Clinical guideline [CG61]. Available at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg61/chapter/1-Recommendations#clinical-management-of-ibs [accessed January 2017]

3. Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC (2011). Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01162.x. Epub 2011 May 25. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615553 [accessed January 2017]

4. Can I start following the low FODMAP diet on my own??

If you haven’t been diagnosed with IBS but are concerned about your digestive health and wellbeing, contact your GP first. Your GP (or a gut doctor – gastroenterologist) will rule out other medical conditions that might not be IBS. There can be a chance that you have something more serious which needs to be treated differently.

We don’t recommend self-diagnosing yourself with IBS or starting the low FODMAP diet without consulting your GP or low FODMAP specialised dietitian first. You need to make sure you get the right amount of nutrition in your body without accidentally excluding some of the important food groups!

5. How will a dietitian help me with the low FODMAP diet?

Your GP or gastroenterologist will refer you to a registered dietitian who is trained on the low FODMAP diet. Feel free to ask them about this if they don’t bring it up themselves!

Speak about any additional dietary considerations with your dietitian for more individual recommendations when you talk to them. Because everyBODY is different.

Knowing which foods to eat and which ones to avoid with IBS are essential to maintain the low FODMAP diet properly. Be assured, that the dietitian will help you on your journey as you need to follow the low FODMAP diet properly for it to be effective.

Only imagine, you can eat the green parts of a spring onion but not the white parts! Also, there are a lot of hidden high FODMAPs in ready-made foods (onion/garlic in stock cubes and sauces, they can hide in some gluten free breads etc).

Together with your GP/gastroenterologist and your dietitian, we are here to help and make things easier for you. As the old saying goes (that we have just made up): Peace of gut – peace of mind.

6. I have heard about the elimination and re-introduction phase, what are these?

Your dietitian will typically put you on a strict elimination phase of any FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks, followed by the dietitian’s review. They will then help you to re-introduce certain FODMAP-containing foods into your diet to see how much of these and which quantities you can personally tolerate.

The re-introduction phase is great as you can test the foods that you miss the most. Some FODMAP rich foods have prebiotic effects that are important for healthy gut bacteria growth! So if you can, don’t miss out on those, and the dietitian will help you with this or will prescribe you a prebiotic supplement (that’s me!).

The main, long term goal of the re-introduction is that you don’t cut out all FODMAPs for life unnecessarily, only those that are triggers for you. I found out in this phase that I personally do not seem to have any problems with red wine above the recommended amount (alcohol is an irritant to the gut) – cheers to another glass!

7. Is there a guarantee that the low FODMAP diet will work for me?

Australia, the birthplace of the low FODMAP diet, is increasingly accepting the low FODMAP diet as the primary clinical management for people who have IBS. And now it is rapidly becoming a diet that is being prescribed more and more by gastroenterologists and dietitians here in the UK.

This comes as no surprise as the low FODMAP diet has been very successful in treating and helping a vast amount of people with IBS. It is even recommended as non-medication treatment by the NHS, NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), GPs, gastroenterologists and dietitians. Go to point ‘3. Why should I trust the low FODMAP diet if I have IBS?’ in this section and read about how this is scientifically backed up and endorsed!

With that being said, we hope that you are one of the 76%¹ (and over!) of people with IBS whose symptoms improved significantly. We hope you will benefit from the low FODMAP diet, too!

 

Reference:

1. Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC (2011). Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01162.x. Epub 2011 May 25. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615553 [accessed January 2017]

8. Who are sezamee’s low FODMAP foods for?

sezamee’s foods are right for you if you are in the FODMAP elimination phase or if you have IBS and are curious about what low FODMAP foods are and how they taste. Go to point ‘6. I have heard about the elimination and re-introduction phase, what are these?’ in this section.

Even if you don’t have IBS yourself, surprise and accompany a friend or loved one who has IBS with a place where they can actually eat freely and at ease!  Go to point ‘12. I don’t have IBS, can I still have sezamee’s food?’ in this section to find out more.

We want you to have a good time dining out with your friends, family or loved ones.

9. What happens to my IBS when I eat sezamee’s low FODMAP foods?

Eating out and enjoying sezamee’s food will not cure you, as there is no cure for IBS (sniff). But we’re here to help make things easier for you! With our foods being all low FODMAP, you finally have the peace of mind of dining out without the endless discussions with the waiter and chef. This made me stop going to restaurants altogether!

Simply show up and we’ll make sure you have a great time and forget about trying to explain what you can and can’t eat.

Low FODMAP foods don’t work in a way that medication works, i.e. take the medication and be relieved. Low FODMAP foods work in a way that they should not make your symptoms worse and work best if you eliminate all FODMAPs from your diet that you react to. Go to point ‘6. I have heard about the elimination and re-introduction phase, what are these?’ in this section to find out more.

Please be aware that you might still have IBS symptoms after you’ve had sezamee’s low FODMAP foods. It can simply be that you had FODMAP-rich food previously and still react to those (even days after – this is just my personal experience, maybe you can relate to that). You might have either consciously had FODMAP-rich foods or have accidentally eaten FODMAPs hidden in something where you would have never expect them.

10. Can’t I prepare low FODMAP food myself?

Yes of course you can, and please do! There are tons of great recipes out there and more and more low FODMAP recipes pop up every day.

Our mission here at sezamee is to give you a worry-free place to go when you want to enjoy low FODMAP foods outside your 4 walls!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive tips and recipes on cooking with low FODMAP ingredients and much more.

11. Are there any great sources to check if foods and ingredients are high/low in FODMAPs?

When you cook low FODMAP meals at home, a piece of helpful advise: As the low FODMAP diet is relatively new, sometimes you can find recipes that are not 100% low FODMAP (mostly by accident).

If you follow a strict low FODMAP diet, we recommend to please double check the ingredients of a recipe. Here  is the most helpful source that I could not imagine my life without:

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app. It is a paid app but we are not monetarily affiliated with the Monash University. I am only suggesting the app as it is great when you want to find your feet around the low FODMAP diet! Check which foods are high and which are low in FODMAPs.

12. I don’t have IBS, can I still have sezamee’s food?

Yes of course! If you are lucky enough not to have any food intolerances, you can still enjoy sezamee’s food. Indulge in delicious and nutritious foods and dishes that are prepared with fresh and natural ingredients. Artificial ingredients don’t make it into our kitchen, we only use healthy ingredients and superfoods are almost part of all our menus.

So come along with your loved one or friend who have IBS and enjoy delicious tasting foods of a different kind.

13. Are sezamee’s foods suitable for people with coeliac disease or those people who follow a gluten-free diet?

Rest assured if you have coeliac disease or if you follow a gluten-free diet. We don’t use the gluten-containing grains wheat, barley and rye as ingredients for our sezamee foods – they are high in FODMAPs!

If you belong to the small minority of coeliac disease patients who also react to oats¹, please double check our menu. We will use gluten-free oats from time to time. And if we use oats, they will be gluten-free.

I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS… BE SURPRISED:

The gluten-free diet has been one of the most interesting phenomena in recent years. Although you only have to follow a lifelong and very strict gluten-free diet if you have coeliac disease (approx. 0.5% – 1% of the global population²), the gluten-free dietary trend is common with those who don’t suffer from coeliac disease.

The Monash University, who have developed the low FODMAP diet, have measured the effect of a gluten-free diet in people with IBS who do not have coeliac disease, people with so-called ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity’ (NCGS). Their study concluded that FODMAPs (surprise, surprise!) and not gluten are the trigger of this group’s gastrointestinal symptoms. Their symptoms consistently and significantly improved during reduced FODMAP intake.¹

So some people really have genuine problems with gluten, but the vast majority of people seem to feel a lot better when FODMAPs are removed from their diets, and not necessarily gluten.¹

 

References:

1. Biesiekierski JR, Peters SL, Newnham ED, Rosella O, Muir JG, Gibson PR (2013). No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates. Gastroenterology. 2013 Aug;145(2):320-8.e1-3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.04.051. Epub 2013 May 4. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648697 [accessed January 2017]

2. Gujral N, Freeman HJ, Thomson ABR (2012). Celiac disease: Prevalence, diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment.World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012 Nov 14;18(42): 6036–6059. doi:  10.3748/wjg.v18.i42.6036. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3496881/ [accessed January 2017]

14. Can I have dairy products with a low FODMAP diet?

You’re lucky as lactose-free does not mean dairy free. You will be pleased to hear that the low FODMAP diet is a lactose-free or low-lactose diet – not a diet that completely excludes dairy.

So even if you have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you can still enjoy and indulge in dairy products!

Go and see your doctor and get yourself tested if you are unsure if you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy, please don’t self-diagnose yourself. In short: (a) You’re lactose intolerant = You can have low-lactose or lactose-free dairy products. (b) You have a dairy allergy = Stay away from all dairy products even if they’re lactose-free. (c) You’re not sure = Go and see a doctor.

An allergy to dairy is a true food allergy and much more serious than being intolerant to lactose. Please always check our menu if you know that you have an actual dairy allergy.

Most dairy products are low in lactose or even lactose-free! Butter for example is a dairy product but it is lactose-free – would you have known? Other naturally lactose-free dairy examples are: Hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, gouda, edam, emmental, etc. They have lost their lactose content during the ripening and aging process. A nifty rule-of-thumb for cheeses that has not let me down so far is checking the nutrition label: The cheese is naturally lactose free if the sugar content under carbohydrates per 100g is 0.0g. This just calls for a cheese fest!

Other softer, ripened cheese varieties like brie, camembert or feta are either low in lactose or lactose-free and should be tolerable by most IBS patients. Please check the label for their sugar content to be below 0.5g per 100g as this can vary by brand. Enjoy!

Remember, if you do tolerate lactose and haven’t been diagnosed with a lactose intolerance, you don’t need to restrict any lactose containing dairy products from your diet. Even if you’re a strict low FODMAP diet follower.

15. What about plant-based milk alternatives on a low FODMAP diet?

If you are a fond lover of your plant-based, lactose-free milk alternatives but also love your gut wellbeing, then double check the nutrition label for possible high FODMAP ingredients.

Rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk (only if made from ‘hulled’ soy beans or soy protein extract) are all low FODMAP, but double check the nutrition label for possible high FODMAP ingredients. There could be a chance that some milk substitutes contain high FODMAPs like honey, high fructose corn syrup, inulin, agave syrup, molasses, etc.

Delicious ‘no-moo’ milks that your gut will be pleased about!

16. Are sezamee’s foods suitable for people with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD mainly describes two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Exclusion diets and the low FODMAP diet are two areas identified that show promise for having therapeutic benefits for patients with IBD.¹ Many people with IBD benefit from the low FODMAP diet, it does not affect the inflammation in the digestive tract but it can minimise symptoms.

Sounds like good news!

 

Reference:

1. Charlebois A, Rosenfeld G, Bressler B (2016). The Impact of Dietary Interventions on the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.2016 Jun 10;56(8):1370-8. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.760515. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25569442 [accessed January 2017]

17. What should I know about nuts and other allergens?

There are allergens that are high in FODMAPs and you won’t find them on our menus and in our dishes.

Some of the 14 food allergens however are low FODMAP and we might use them when preparing our foods. The allergens that are low FODMAP are the ones that are italicised in the allergen list below.

We will make sure these are clearly highlighted in our menu if we use them. In any case, double check with one of our waiters – you might be allergic to oats or dairy regardless if they are gluten or lactose free!

    • Cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats (they need to be gluten free)
    • Crustaceans for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish*
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Peanuts
    • Soybeans
    • Milk (needs to be lactose free)
    • Nuts; namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (or Queensland) nuts
    • Celery (including celeriac)
    • Mustard
    • Sesame
    • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites*, where added and at a level above 10mg/kg in the finished product. This can be used as a preservative in dried fruit
    • Lupin which includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta
    • Molluscs* like clams*, mussels, whelks*, oysters, snails* and squid*

* These foods have not been tested for their FODMAP content by The Monash University yet. Therefore, we will not use them as ingredients in our menus – just to be safe.

🤓 useful resources (coming soon!)

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