Low FODMAP Diet Not Working? Top Reasons Plus Troubleshooting Tips

Low FODMAP Diet Not Working? Top Reasons Plus Troubleshooting Tips

The low FODMAP diet has gained popularity as an effective way to manage the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It involves avoiding foods high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs).


While many people experience significant relief from their digestive issues by following this diet, some may find the low-FODMAP diet not working as expected. In this blog post, we’ll explore common reasons for the low-FODMAP diet not working and provide troubleshooting tips to help you find relief from your IBS symptoms.

Infographic with reasons for the low fodmap diet not working

Problem 1: Incomplete Elimination of FODMAPs

One of the most common reasons for the low-FODMAP diet not working is not properly eliminating all high-FODMAP foods. FODMAPs are present in a wide range of foods, and even small amounts can trigger symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Re-evaluate your food choices. Review your diet to ensure you haven’t accidentally included any high-FODMAP foods. Hidden sources of FODMAPs can be found in sauces, condiments, and processed foods. If you’re struggling to figure out where the FODMAPs are hiding, try downloading the Monash FODMAP app. The app allows you to search for foods and will tell you if they are high, moderate, or low FODMAP.
  2. Check portion sizes. Even low-FODMAP foods can become high-FODMAP in large quantities. Use the Monash FODMAP app to identify which portion sizes are appropriate.
  3. Be mindful of your FODMAP “bucket”. Think of your FODMAP tolerance like a bucket. You can fill it up to a certain amount without getting symptoms, but once you fill it too much, it overflows. In the case of FODMAPs, you may find that throughout the day, small amounts of FODMAPs add up and “overflow” your FODMAP bucket. Be mindful of the cumulative effect of eating even moderate FODMAP foods.


Problem 2: Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make IBS symptoms worse and make it seem as though the low FODMAP diet isn’t working. When you’re stressed, your gut becomes more sensitive, which can potentially lead to worsening symptoms.


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Practice stress-reduction techniques. Try to incorporate relaxation exercises, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine to manage stress and anxiety. Reducing stress can help improve the effectiveness of the low FODMAP diet.
  2. Consider Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that looks at the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It teaches you how to evaluate and modify your thoughts and behaviours to make them more helpful. A meta-analysis looking at the effects of CBT on IBS symptoms found that CBT effectively reduced IBS symptoms, improved quality of life, and improved psychological states.
  3. Try Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GDH) is a technique that uses relaxation and focus to communicate with your gut. It helps the mind and body work together to make your gut feel better without making any changes to your diet. It may help with pain, bloating, and other IBS symptoms, and research shows that it is just as effective as the low-FODMAP diet. However, it is not a quick fix and does not work for every person with IBS.


Problem 3: Overlooking Non-FODMAP Triggers

While FODMAPs are a common trigger for digestive symptoms, other factors can also make your symptoms worse. Some non-FODMAP IBS triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Certain medications (such as antibiotics, NSAIDs, and some antidepressants)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Vigorous exercise


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Limit potential non-FODMAP triggers. Reduce or eliminate non-FODMAP trigger foods from your diet to see if it helps get your symptoms under control.
  2. Keep a food diary. Record your food intake and symptoms to help you identify patterns and potential triggers that may not be related to FODMAPs.
  3. Engage in moderate-intensity physical activity. Moderate exercise can have a beneficial effect on IBS symptoms for many people.


Problem 4: Unbalanced Gut Microbiota

The gut microbiota is the trillions of microbes that inhabit your gut. Studies show that IBS is associated with changes in the gut microbiota. Plus, the low-FODMAP diet may inadvertently impact your gut microbiota, which could hinder its effectiveness.


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Consult a registered dietitian: A dietitian with experience teaching people about the low-FODMAP diet can help you create a balanced meal plan that supports a healthy gut microbiota.
  2. Consider probiotics. Some strains of probiotics may be beneficial for people with IBS. It’s best to discuss the use of probiotics with your healthcare provider, as there are many different types available and not all of them have been shown to help with IBS.


Problem 5: You’re Not Getting Enough Fibre

One of the most common problems seen when a person is following the low FODMAP diet is not eating enough fibre. Fibre is essential for promoting bowel regularity and helping your gut microbiota thrive.


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Focus on low-FODMAP, high-fibre foods. You can maintain a healthy fibre intake on the low FODMAP diet by choosing foods that are both low in FODMAPs and rich in fibre. These include quinoa, oats, and chia seeds. Looking for more inspiration? Check out my blog post about low-FODMAP, high-fibre foods.
  2. Increase fibre gradually. If you’re new to the low-FODMAP diet or have been avoiding high-fibre foods, it’s important to gradually introduce higher-fibre foods into your diet so your digestive system has time to adapt. Start by incorporating small servings of low-FODMAP, high-fibre foods and gradually increase your portions as tolerated.
  3. Increase soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is easier to digest and may be better tolerated by people with IBS. Foods rich in soluble fibre include unripe bananas, potatoes, and oatmeal.


Problem 6: Other Medical Conditions

It’s important to ensure that other causes of digestive symptoms have been ruled out before beginning the low-FODMAP diet. Conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and food sensitivities can mimic IBS symptoms and require different dietary and medical approaches.


Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Seek medical evaluation. Consult with a healthcare provider to rule out other underlying conditions and to get appropriate testing and diagnosis.


Final Thoughts

The low-FODMAP diet can be a valuable tool to help you manage digestive symptoms. However, many factors can lead to the low-FODMAP diet not working for everyone or every situation. In fact, a study has shown that the low-FODMAP diet only works for around 70% of people. If you happen to fall into the group of people who don’t find relief from the low FODMAP diet, you may need to try other strategies.


If you’re not experiencing the expected relief from the low-FODMAP diet, try not to get discouraged. Troubleshoot possible reasons outlined by this blog post and consider working with a registered dietitian who can help tailor your dietary approach to your specific needs. Remember that individual responses to dietary changes can vary, and finding the right solution may require patience and persistence.


Low-FODMAP diet not working for you? Click here to book a free 15-minute call with Keren, a Monash FODMAP-trained dietitian. During the call, she will discuss your concerns and help determine if you’re a good fit for working together.

Can I Test for a FODMAP Intolerance? The Truth About Food Sensitivity Tests

Can I Test for a FODMAP Intolerance? The Truth About Food Sensitivity Tests

In a time marked by a growing emphasis on holistic wellness and personalized healthcare, it’s no surprise that health trends have emerged to satisfy these desires. Among these trends, food sensitivity testing has gained significant popularity, promising to uncover hidden sensitivities that could be contributing to various health issues. One such issue is FODMAP intolerance.


But are food sensitivity tests worth it, and can they actually identify FODMAP intolerance? In this blog post, we will review the differences between allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities and address the limitations and potential harms that can come from relying on these tests for dietary guidance.

Food Intolerances vs. Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivities – What’s the Difference?

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they’re actually different conditions. Here’s a run-down of what food intolerances, food allergies, and food sensitivities are.


Food Intolerances

When a person has a food intolerance, it typically refers to their body’s inability to process or digest a certain food or group of foods. They are often dose-responsive, meaning a certain amount of the food has to be eaten before symptoms arise.


One of the most common food intolerances is lactose intolerance. If a person has lactose intolerance, their body lacks the enzyme (known as lactase) needed to break lactose down. This can lead to unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Another common food intolerance is FODMAP intolerance. FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate that are not digested in humans. Because they’re not digested, they enter the colon and get fermented by the gut bacteria. This can lead to unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s thought that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have a FODMAP intolerance.


Food Allergies

Food allergies are a more serious reaction and involve the immune system. Allergies are IgE-mediated. IgE is a type of antibody that your immune system makes when it’s exposed to an allergen. About one to two percent of adults and fewer than ten percent of children have food allergies.


When a person eats something they’re allergic to, their immune system produces an overblown response to the food. One of the best examples of a food allergy is a peanut or seafood allergy. Exposure to peanuts or seafood can be potentially life-threatening for people with allergies to these foods because it can lead to low blood pressure and difficulty breathing.


If you think you have a food allergy, you should consider allergy testing, especially if you have severe symptoms. If you are allergic to something, you must avoid that food completely and carry an Epi-Pen with you for treatment if you are accidentally exposed.


Food Sensitivities

Many people experience symptoms after eating food that are not related to food intolerances or food allergies. Some of the common symptoms of a food sensitivity include joint pain, stomach pain, fatigue, rashes, and brain fog. While there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to food sensitivities, it appears that when certain people eat certain foods, their immune system is triggered.


One of the most common triggers of food sensitivities is gluten. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) affects between three and six percent of the general population. However, unlike celiac disease (which can be diagnosed through a blood test and intestinal biopsy), there is no reliable test for NCGS.



Understanding Food Sensitivity Tests

Food sensitivity tests are often ordered by naturopaths or other alternative healthcare providers. Here are some of the most popular food sensitivity tests:


IgG Testing

IgG (another type of antibody) testing is one of the most popular food sensitivity tests. Some popular IgG food sensitivity tests include Life Labs Food Sensitivity Testing and Dynacare Food and Digestive Health. However, these tests are unreliable because IgG production is a normal immune response to several commonly consumed foods. 


In other words? If you eat those foods often, you’ll get a positive result for them on your IgG test. It’s not telling you what you’re sensitive or intolerant to – it’s simply telling you what you’ve recently eaten.


Because of a lack of scientific evidence to support its use, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology have both recommended against using IgG testing to diagnose food sensitivities.


KBMO Fit Test

The KBMO Fit Test is a delayed food sensitivity test that tests 176 foods, food colourings, food additives, and microbes used in food production. According to the company, the tests measures IgG, Immune Complexes, and the most common food-related pathways in the body.


Measuring these parameters supposedly enables the test to identify food sensitivities, inflammation, and “leaky gut” from a single test. However, this test has not been studied in rigorous trials, and no scientific evidence supports its use.


MRT Test

The MRT test, also known as the Mediator Release Test or the LEAP test, is a food sensitivity test that measures the inflammatory response to food and food chemicals. It is said to be more accurate than traditional IgG or Immune Complex tests because it measures the actual inflammatory response in the body.


While it was previously used by dietitians, the Commission on Dietetic Registration discontinued support for its use in 2016, citing insufficient evidence for its ability to diagnose food sensitivities.


Hair Strand Test for Food Intolerance

The hair strand test for food intolerance measures the mineral content of a person’s hair. It’s thought that if a “harmful” food is eaten, it will show up in the mineral makeup of the hair. However, it has not been scientifically validated. Plus, hair grows slowly, so it’s not a good indicator of what is currently happening in the body.


Regardless of which type of food sensitivity test you’re looking at, there simply isn’t enough scientific evidence to support their use in diagnosing food sensitivities. Plus, none of these tests are designed to identify FODMAP intolerance specifically.


Potential Harms of Food Sensitivity Tests

Still not convinced that you don’t need to do a food sensitivity test? Let’s review some of the downsides and potential harms of using these tests to diagnose food sensitivities:

  1. You end up with a short list of “safe” foods and a long list of foods you’re told to avoid. Avoiding many commonly eaten foods could lead to malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies.
  2. These tests can create a lot of anxiety about what you “should” and “shouldn’t” eat. In extreme cases, this could lead to disordered eating behaviours.
  3. They’re expensive. If you’re experiencing bothersome symptoms and taking time off work, expensive tests can put a huge dent in your savings.
  4. They can mask something that might actually be wrong (for example, an undiagnosed true allergy or Celiac disease).


Alternatives and Evidence-Based Approaches

When you have unexplained symptoms, it’s important to seek medical care to rule out any serious causes of your symptoms. If you suspect you have a food allergy, you need to consult with an allergist who can run evidence-based tests to determine what you’re allergic to.


If you’re struggling with digestive symptoms and have ruled out causes such as inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac disease, and colorectal cancer, you may have IBS. People with IBS have extra-sensitive guts and may be sensitive to foods high in FODMAPs.


If you suspect you may have a FODMAP intolerance, an elimination diet such as the low FODMAP diet can be instrumental in helping you determine which foods you don’t tolerate. However, this diet is very restrictive and should be done with the guidance of a healthcare provider who has experience with the low FODMAP diet.


Final Thoughts

Overall, medical experts and researchers agree that food sensitivity tests aren’t accurate or worth your money at this point in time. If you’re struggling with bothersome symptoms that you suspect may be related to an allergy, consider meeting with an allergy doctor to complete IgE allergy testing.


If you’re struggling with gut symptoms and suspect you have a FODMAP intolerance, working with a registered dietitian who can guide you through the low FODMAP diet can be helpful in determining which specific foods you’re sensitive to. Keren is Monash FODMAP trained and has completed and passed the Monash University Online FODMAP Course.


Click here to book a free 15-minute call with Keren to discuss your concerns and determine if you’re a good fit for working together.

High Fiber, Low FODMAP Foods for IBS

High Fiber, Low FODMAP Foods for IBS

Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be challenging because it often involves navigating several dietary restrictions and uncomfortable symptoms.


One of the most common treatments for IBS is the low FODMAP diet. However, the low FODMAP diet is quite restrictive and often leads to not getting enough fiber. That’s why you need to incorporate high-fiber, low-FODMAP foods into your diet.


In this blog post, we will review the importance of fiber for people with IBS and introduce a range of high-fiber, low-FODMAP foods that can be safely incorporated into an IBS-friendly diet.


Understanding IBS and the Role of Fiber

IBS is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. While the exact causes of IBS are unknown, several factors, such as diet, stress, and imbalances in the gut microbiome, are believed to play a role in its development.


Fiber, a type of indigestible carbohydrate found in plant-based foods, plays a crucial role in maintaining gut health. It adds bulk to stool, promotes regular bowel movements, and feeds your good gut bacteria, which increases the diversity of your gut microbiome (this is a good thing!).


One of the most important functions of fiber is the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). When certain gut bacteria feed on fiber, SCFAs are produced as a by-product. SCFAs play an important role in regulating metabolism, the immune system, and cell growth. They are also used as a source of energy by the cells of the large intestine.


When a person does not eat enough fiber, the diversity of their gut microbiome decreases. It also leads to a shift in the gut bacteria, who start using proteins and the mucous layer of the gut as fuel. This can lead to the production of harmful molecules, which can cause inflammation and damage to the gut wall.


For people with IBS, getting enough fiber can improve symptoms by improving how waste moves throughout the digestive tract, reducing bloating, and promoting overall gut health.


Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

There are two main types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.


Soluble fiber dissolves in water. There are two types of soluble fiber – viscous and non-viscous. Viscous soluble fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract. This can help reduce diarrhea, as the viscous soluble fiber absorbs excess water from the stool. Non-viscous soluble fiber is rapidly fermented by the gut bacteria, which can lead to gas production. 


Insoluble fiber bulks stool and helps waste move through the digestive tract more quickly. This type of fiber can help with constipation.


Fiber and the Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet is a widely recommended approach for managing IBS symptoms. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. They are a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the body and can trigger IBS symptoms in certain people.


While some high-fiber foods are also high in FODMAPs, it is possible to incorporate fiber into a low-FODMAP diet by choosing high-fiber, low-FODMAP foods. This ensures that people with IBS can reap the benefits of fiber without making their IBS symptoms worse.


How Much Fiber Do I Need?

The amount of fiber you need depends on your gender and your age.


Amount of fiber needed per day:


 Age 19 – 50Age 51+
Male38 grams30 grams
Female25 grams21 grams


If you haven’t been including a lot of fiber in your diet, it’s important to start slowly. Increase your fiber intake too fast, and you’ll likely have some uncomfortable gut symptoms.


Start by increasing your fiber intake by a few grams per day. After you’ve done that for a few days, increase by another few grams. Continue this pattern until you’re consistently able to hit your daily fiber goal.


In addition to starting slowly, it’s also important to drink plenty of water as you increase your fiber intake.


Click here to download our free monthly fiber tracking worksheet.


High Fiber, Low FODMAP Foods to Try


Fiber Content of Low FODMAP Foods


 Fiber (grams)Serving Size
Quinoa2.7½ cup, cooked
Oats3.5¾ cup, cooked
Raspberries4.2½ cup
Kiwi Fruit2.11 medium kiwi
Oranges3.11 medium orange
Carrots1.51 medium carrot
Green beans1.6½ cup
Potatoes (skin on)4.01 medium potato
Canned lentils7.0½ cup (this is a low FODMAP serving size)
Chia seeds3.71 tablespoon



When cooking quinoa, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. For example, add half a cup of quinoa to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


Try tossing quinoa in salads, enjoying it for breakfast (topped with fresh berries and peanut butter), or use it instead of couscous, rice, and pasta.



Oats will have different cooking instructions depending on what kind of oats they are. Some types of oats you might see include steel-cut oats, whole flake oats, quick oats, and instant oats.


Oats can be used in hundreds of different ways. Try making your own DIY granola bars, layering them with berries and peanut butter for overnight oats, or blending them into flour to make pancakes.



If you can’t find fresh raspberries, frozen raspberries are just as nutritious (and keep for longer!).


Try tossing a few raspberries onto a yogurt parfait, blending them into smoothies, mixing them with your overnight oats, or baking them into a low FODMAP muffin.



If you’re struggling with constipation, kiwi is the fruit for you! Research shows that eating two kiwi fruit per day helps waste move through the gut, improving constipation.


It’s thought that kiwi helps relieve constipation due to its high fiber content and because it contains an enzyme called actinidin, which breaks protein down and stimulates the large intestine.


The easiest way to eat kiwi fruit is to cut it in half and scrape the flesh out with a spoon, but it also tastes delicious as part of a fruit salad or in a constipation-busting smoothie!



In addition to their high fiber content, oranges are packed with vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system.


Enjoy sliced oranges and vanilla yogurt for a creamsicle-inspired snack, or add to a wrap with chicken, bell peppers, onions, and ginger for an Asian-inspired chicken wrap.



Carrots have numerous health benefits, but perhaps the most well-known is their importance for vision and eye health. This is due to their high content of alpha- and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is important for immune health.


Try shredded carrots in your overnight oats, steam them and serve as a side dish, or slice them and add them to a stir-fry. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try baking shredded carrots into carrot ginger muffins.


Green Beans

Like many colourful vegetables, green beans are packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene. They’re also a good source of folate and potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure.


Try adding chopped green beans to a casserole or roasting them with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.



Ah, the humble potato! It gets a bad rap by people who promote low-carb diets, but it’s a wonderful source of nutrients, especially if you leave the skin on.


Try a baked potato topped with lactose-free plain Greek yogurt, green onion tops, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and lean ground beef. Or, if you’d prefer potatoes as a side dish, nothing beats smashed potatoes with some butter, salt, and pepper.


Canned Lentils

Canned lentils are considered low FODMAP at half-cup serving size. Canned lentils are lower in FODMAPs because the FODMAPs leach into the fluid they’re canned. By draining and rinsing the canned lentils before use, you get rid of a lot of the FODMAPs, making canned lentils an excellent high-fiber, low-FODMAP choice.


Try using lentils as a substitute for beef in your spaghetti Bolognese recipe, use them in a comforting lentil soup or use them to make a vegetarian chilli.


Chia Seeds

Small but mighty, chia seeds pack a serious nutrient punch. In addition to their high content of low FODMAP fiber, they’re also rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and B vitamins.


One of the easiest ways to add chia seeds to your diet is to sprinkle them over cereal or into a smoothie. If you have a bit more time on your hands, try making chia seed pudding by mixing chia seeds with your milk of choice and some maple syrup and letting it sit overnight in the fridge.

Infographic with information about 10 high fiber low fodmap foods 


Final Thoughts

Incorporating high fiber, low FODMAP foods into your diet is a fundamental step towards managing your IBS symptoms and promoting overall gut health. To get you started, we’ve created a 3-day low FODMAP meal plan that you can sign up for here.


If you struggle to get enough fiber with IBS, consider consulting with a registered dietitian to create a personalized IBS management plan. To speak with Keren, click here to book a one-time, free consultation for us to discuss your nutritional needs and see whether we’re a good fit.

Low FODMAP Eating Out

Low FODMAP Eating Out

Eating out on a low FODMAP diet can seem daunting, but with the right strategies and tips, you can confidently enjoy meals outside the house. 


The low FODMAP diet is designed to minimize the intake of certain carbohydrates that can trigger digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. However, navigating the menu at a restaurant can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with the ingredients in the dishes.


Eating out on Low Fodmap


In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and strategies for low FODMAP eating out. Whether you’re at a fast-food restaurant, a fine dining restaurant, or just grabbing a bite on the go, you can follow these guidelines to ensure you can stick to the low FODMAP diet even when you don’t have control over the menu.

Low FODMAP eating out can feel impossible, but with a few tips and tricks, you can make it work!


How to Eat out on Low Fodmap Diet

Infographic with 6 Tips for Low FODMAP Eating Out

One of the best things you can do when eating out is to do some research before you head to the restaurant. Here are some ways you can plan ahead to make low FODMAP eating out less stressful.


Before You Arrive at the Restaurant


Check out the menu online


Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to check out a restaurant’s menu online before you go. Take a look at the menu and make a note of any options that look like they’ll work for you. Once you arrive at the restaurant, you can confirm with the serving staff that the meal doesn’t include any high FODMAP ingredients.


Call ahead


If you cannot find menu information online, try calling the restaurant beforehand to see whether they can accommodate low FODMAP options. Restaurants appreciate being told in advance that they may need to make substitutions to suit your dietary needs, and this can provide peace of mind that you’ll be able to eat at the restaurant.


Consider restaurants that offer gluten-free options


While gluten isn’t technically the problem on a low FODMAP diet, gluten-free options are also wheat-free. Since wheat is a significant source of FODMAPs, choosing gluten-free options can be an easy switch to ensure your meal is low FODMAP. Try choosing restaurants that offer a good range of gluten-free options.


Consider dining during off-peak hours


If possible, try to dine during times when the restaurant is not as busy. This will make it easier to chat with the server about your dietary needs and will ensure the kitchen has enough time to prepare your food.


Bring a printed list of foods you need to avoid


Communication is key, and having a list of foods you need to avoid can be extremely helpful for the restaurant staff. Try to bring a printed list of the foods you need to avoid so that your server can provide it to the chef and ensure that no high FODMAP ingredients are added to your meal.


Keep the rest of your meals low FODMAP


FODMAPs tend to have a “bucket” effect. Everyone has a different-sized “bucket,” and it’s only once your FODMAP intake passes a certain threshold that symptoms appear. By keeping the rest of your day low FODMAP, you’ll ensure that your FODMAP “bucket” is almost empty when you go out to eat. That way, even if you eat some FODMAPs with your restaurant meal, they will be less likely to cause symptoms.


At the Restaurant


Once you’re at the restaurant, try to choose meals that can be easily adapted to be low FODMAP. Here are some types of meals that are usually safe to order or can be easily adapted to be low FODMAP.


Grilled or roasted chicken, beef, pork, or fish


Grilled proteins are often safe options for low FODMAP eating out. Be sure to ask whether the meat has been marinated or seasoned with high FODMAP ingredients like onion and garlic. If it has, ask if they can prepare the protein without these ingredients. Pair with a side of steamed vegetables and a carbohydrate like rice, quinoa, or potatoes for a complete meal.




Salads are typically easy to tailor to your dietary requirements. Many dressings contain garlic, so ask if they can dress the salad with lemon juice or vinegar and olive oil instead (or bring your own dressing to use!). When ordering a salad, look out for high FODMAP ingredients like croutons and dried fruit.




Choose a gluten-free pizza base with plain tomato paste. Top the pizza with low FODMAP ingredients and request that they do not add any high FODMAP ingredients like onion or garlic to the toppings or sauce.




Many types of sushi are naturally low FODMAP. If you order rolls with avocado, limit your serving size, as avocado is high FODMAP in serving sizes of ¼ avocado or higher. You may also want to limit any rolls that contain tempura, as tempura is made with wheat flour, which is high FODMAP. The small amount of wheat found in soy sauce usually isn’t a problem for someone following the low FODMAP diet.




Many restaurants will offer a gluten-free option for their pasta dishes. Be sure to check whether the seasonings and sauce have high FODMAP ingredients like onion, garlic, and cream, and ask if these ingredients can be omitted.


Keep your non-FODMAP IBS triggers in mind


While it’s possible to choose low FODMAP options when dining out, it’s important to remember that FODMAPs are not the only cause of symptoms for people with IBS. Some of the other triggers for IBS symptoms include:

  • High-fat meals
  • Spicy food
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine


Try to be mindful of these other IBS triggers to ensure you’re not inadvertently eating non-FODMAP foods that could cause symptoms.


FODMAP Dietician can help


Low FODMAP eating out can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re struggling to understand your IBS triggers, working with a registered dietician, like Keren Reiser, who is trained on using a low FODMAP diet for IBS by Monash University, can help.


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