Misconceptions about the low FODMAP diet #1
The low FODMAP diet is for life
As the low FODMAP diet has gone mainstream, the biggest misconception I hear it is that it’s a diet for life.
The low FODMAP diet (used to improve symptoms of IBS) is a not a long term plan, nor is it not a list of foods. It’s a 3-step process. Let’s look at that…
Part 1 – the elimination phase (where you follow a low FODMAP plan) lasts for 6-8 weeks MAX.
Part 2 – Reintroductions. If you’ve seen an improvement, this is where you reintroduce foods to find out which FODMAP groups you’re sensitive to.
Part 3 – personalisation. You continue to limit foods you’re sensitive to, BUT you now include the higher FODMAP foods you tolerate, at the right portion sizes for you.
So why isn’t the FODMAP diet for life?
1 – It’s restrictive. This means it’s harder to eat out, socialise, buy and prepare food. This isn’t a way of life that you’re going to want to (or need to) adhere to in the long term.
2- It can be low in key nutrients like calcium and fibre – so the diet requires careful planning to make sure you’re getting enough of the right stuff to stay healthy.
3 – Studies show staying on the diet long term causes levels of some good bacteria to fall. FODMAPs essentially act as food for our gut bacteria, so finding a balance between symptom control and maintaining the right balance of gut bacteria is important.
If anyone has told you that you should be following the FODMAP diet for life, or has left you on the elimination phase -then chat to them about it, or get alternative support – the Freelance Dietitians group has a list of FODMAP trained dietitians in the UK. You can also find out more in my new programme – Happy Gut Guide, or on my podcast – The Gut Loving podcast.