The FODMAP Gentle Diet: A Lighter Approach
You may have heard of the “FODMAP Gentle Diet”. What is it? And, how is it different from the Low FODMAP Diet?
The low FODMAP diet is an evidence-based dietary approach to managing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
It is recommended for people who have an IBS diagnosis and it works best when followed under the guidance of a trained dietitian. It’s ideal for people who don’t have other major dietary restrictions (due to other conditions or multiple allergies), have a normal relationship with food (no eating disorders or maladaptive eating), and are able and willing to cook most of their meals.
But, when these conditions are not met, the FODMAP Gentle Diet (or FODMAP “Lite”) is an alternative approach. This more relaxed version only restricts the most common food triggers of IBS symptoms and allows you to eat a much more liberal diet overall.
Foods to Restrict on a FODMAP Gentle Diet
Grains: Wheat, barley, and rye
Vegetables: Onion, leek, garlic, cauliflower, and mushrooms
Fruit: Apple, pear, dried fruit, stone fruits, and watermelon; large quantities of fruit
Dairy: Milk, yogurt, and ice cream
Legumes: most beans and lentils, soybeans, hummus
Examples of foods to replace them with on a FODMAP Gentle Diet
Grains: Rice, processed corn products (tortillas, polenta), quinoa, gluten-free pasta
Vegetables: Kale, chard, carrots, red bell peppers, and all kinds of lettuce
Fruit: Kiwi fruit, citrus fruit, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple (in small amounts)
Dairy: Lactose-free milk and yogurt, hard cheeses
Legumes: small quantities of canned chickpeas and canned lentils, drained; edamame, tofu, and tempeh
For many people, eliminating the major sources of FODMAPs can bring a significant reduction in IBS symptoms. If you find that this way of eating has reduced most of your symptoms, you are ready to move on to discover your specific triggers.
That’s the time to seek the help of a trained dietitian who can guide you through the process of reintroducing the foods you had eliminated and help you figure out how to liberalize your diet long-term.