Low FODMAP Diet: What to Eat and How to Eat It

FODMAPs, an acronym referring to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, are found in the foods we eat. These complex names refer to a collection of molecules found in food. Some people experience difficulty absorbing these molecules.

Many doctors encourage women to try a Low FODMAP Diet to combat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptom. Common symptoms of IBS include bloating and distension, flatulence, abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (diarrhea and/or constipation).

These symptoms create anxiety and stress, interfere with busy schedules, and compromise everyday life.

Although the underlying cause of IBS is not well understood at this point, research does point to various factors that may trigger symptoms. One of these factors are FODMAPs.  FODMAPs include sugars that absorb poorly in the small intestine and then produce gas and attract water in the large intestine.


What is the Low FODMAP Diet?

FODMAPs are found in everyday foods including specific dairy products, wheat and other grains, and fruits and vegetables. So a diet that is a low FODMAP diet restricts intake of these poorly absorbed FODMAPs. If the small intestine does not absorb them, they continue along the digestive tract to the large intestine. Bacteria fermented FODMAPs in the large intestine, which produces gas and other symptoms.

One of the most important things to remember when you follow a low FODMAP diet is that FODMAPs are natural prebiotics, i.e. they encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies show that ingestion of fructans and GOS encourages the growth of good bacteria such as bifidobacteria. You need to consider the long term consequences of a low FODMAP diet.


How long should I follow a Low FODMAP Diet?

The Low FODMAP diet is not a lifetime diet. This diet is usually recommended for 2-6 weeks at a time, at which points foods can be gradually re-introduced into your specific diet.

Many women can liberalise the diet and may only need to avoid large amounts of a few high FODMAP foods.

NOTE:  It’s important to remember FODMAPs are not the cause of IBS, but managing them in the diet provides an opportunity for reducing IBS symptoms. Studies have shown that ingesting FODMAPs exacerbates symptoms in most people with IBS, while dietary restriction of FODMAPs improves symptom control.

However, if you are experiencing symptoms of IBS it is important not to ‘self-diagnose.’ Symptoms of IBS can also be seen in other gastrointestinal diseases and disorders and may require medical rather than dietary management.


How do I follow a Low FODMAP Diet?

It is essential to develop a strategy and plan ahead. Work with your dietitian to develop easy and tasty meal plans. Ask for a low FODMAP shopping guide. Maintaining a low FODMAP pantry is key to sustaining a Low FODMAP Diet. When reducing FODMAPs in the diet it is still important to balance good nutrition with symptom control and eat from the five food groups:


What Do I Eat on a Low FODMAP Diet?

The following lists provide a good starting place for foods that follow a low FODMAP diet. Each of the foods listed contain low amounts of FODMAPs and provide good nutrition while following a low FODMAP diet. A great source of ready made and flavorful low FODMAP sauces, oils and snacks is FODY Foods.

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Alfalfa
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beetroot, canned and pickled
  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli, whole – 1 cup
    • heads only – 1 cup
    • stalks only – 1/2 cup
  • Brussel sprouts – 1 serving of 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage, common and red up to 1 cup
  • Callaloo
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Chicory leaves
  • Chick peas – 1/4 cup
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Cho cho – 1/2 cup diced
  • Choy sum
  • Collard greens
  • Corn / sweet corn – if tolerable and only in small amounts – 1/2 cob
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant / aubergine
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper / green bell pepper / green capsicum
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Karela
  • Leek leaves
  • Lentils – in small amounts
  • Lettuce:
    • Butter lettuce
    • Iceberg lettuce
    • Radicchio lettuce
    • Red coral lettuce
    • Rocket lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Parsnip
  • Peas, snow – 5 pods
  • Pickled gherkins
  • Pickled onions, large
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin, canned – 1/4 cup, 2.2 oz
  • Radish
  • Red peppers / red bell pepper / red capsicum
  • Scallions / spring onions (green part)
  • Seaweed / nori
  • Silverbeet / chard
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – 4 pieces
  • Swede
  • Swiss chard
  • Sweet potato – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – canned, cherry, common, roma
  • Turnip
  • Water chestnuts
  • Yam
  • Zucchini



  • Ackee
  • Bananas, unripe
  • Bilberries
  • Blueberries
  • Breadfruit
  • Carambola
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberry – 1 tbsp
  • Clementine
  • Dragon fruit
  • Lingonberries
  • Grapes
  • Guava, ripe
  • Honeydew and Galia melons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon including lemon juice
  • Lime including lime juice
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Paw paw
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Plantain, peeled
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarind
  • Tangelo


Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Kangaroo
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Prosciutto
  • Quorn, mince
  • Turkey
  • Cold cuts / deli meat / cold meats such as ham and turkey breast
  • Processed meat – check ingredients


Fish and Seafood

  • Canned tuna
  • Fresh fish e.g.
    • Cod
    • Haddock
    • Plaice
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Tuna
  • Seafood (no additives) 
    • Crab
    • Lobster
    • Mussels
    • Oysters
    • Prawns
    • Shrimp


Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Wheat free breads
  • Gluten free breads
  • Bread:
    • Corn bread
    • Oat bread
    • Rice bread
    • Spelt sourdough bread
    • Potato flour bread
  • Wheat free or gluten free pasta
  • Bread, wheat – 1 slice
  • Almonds – max of 15
  • Biscuit, savoury
  • Biscuit, shortbread – 1 only
  • Brazil nuts
  • Bulgur / bourghal – 1/4 cup cooked, 44g serving
  • Buckwheat (flour and noodles)
  • Brown rice / whole grain rice
  • Chestnuts
  • Chips, plain / potato crisps, plain
  • Cornflour / maize
  • Crispbread
  • Corncakes
  • Cornflakes – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut – milk, cream, flesh
  • Corn tortillas, 3 tortillas
  • Crackers, plain
  • Hazelnuts – max of 15
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Millet
  • Mixed nuts
  • Oatmeal, 1/2 cup
  • Oats
  • Oatcakes
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans – max of 15
  • Pine nuts – max of 15
  • Polenta
  • Popcorn
  • Porridge and oat based cereals
  • Potato flour
  • Pretzels
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta, wheat – up to 1/2 cup cooked
  • Rice:
    • Basmati rice
    • Brown rice
    • Rice noodles
    • White rice
  • Rice
    • bran
    • cakes
    • crackers
    • flakes
    • flour
    • cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
  • Seeds:
    • Chia seeds
    • Egusi seeds
    • Poppy seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Sesame seeds
    • Sunflower seeds
  • Starch, maize, potato and tapioca
  • Sorghum
  • Tortilla chips / corn chips
  • Walnuts


Low FODMAP Diet Sample Meals


  • Gluten-free or spelt toast with lean bacon  
  • Oatmeal (add oat bran for extra dietary fiber)
  • Homemade low FODMAP muesli
  • Poached egg and spinach
  • Lactose free yogurt and serving of suitable fruit (e.g. banana)
  • Tea or coffee (use lactose-free milk if you have lactose malabsorption)



  • Gluten-free or spelt sandwich with fillings (turkey/ tuna/cheese/egg and salad)
  • Sushi or rice paper rolls with suitable fillings
  • Frittata
  • Homemade soup with low FODMAP vegetables
  • Fresh salads with tuna, pine nuts, lemon juice or olive oil
  • Gluten-free pizza with low FODMAP vegetables
  • 1/2 cup blueberries and lactose-free vanilla yogurt



  • Grilled chicken, salmon, steak with salad and potatoes
  • Lamb shanks with mashed sweet potato, carrots and green beans
  • Tofu stir fry with rice noodles, capsicum, carrot, bok choy, ginger, chilli, soy sauce
  • Baked sweet potato with skin (butter optional), hard cheese, lean bacon, chives, grated carrot


Low FODMAP Diet Recipes

Asian Salad and Sesame Chicken Spring Rolls


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Antipasto Skewers


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding


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