THE FODMAP SOLUTION

Note: I recently reviewed this book on Amazon, but thought you might like to get the info from me firsthand.

 

The title is not an error, that is, it is not the Foodmap Solution. Instead,the letters are an acronym that stand for “Fermentable Oligosaccarides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polys.  Wikipedia helps unravel these words: (‘Disaccharide’ is one of the four chemical groupings of carbohydrates (monosaccharide, disaccharide, oligosaccharide, and polysaccharide).

But these scientific terms mean very little to me, so a better list are foods that contain these substances and they are listed in Chapter One:

  • lactose: milk and milk products
  • fructose: fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup
  • fructans: wheat, onions, and garlic
  • glactans: beans, lentils, soy
  • polys: stone fruits, avocados, and artificial sweeteners

This is quite a list and, at first glance, quite disturbing, because the list includes many of the foods people find wholesome, such as fruits, beans, and avocados. Most diets recommend avoiding highly processed foods, which this book does, but also includes what I consider whole foods.

FODMAP foods were identified in 2001 in Australia by a team of doctors. They found that there were certain individuals with gastrointestinal disorders and other digestive conditions that respond well by limiting foods that are high in FODMAPS. The book then lists 10 signs that you might have a digestive disorder such as: persistent abdominal pain or cramps, constipation/diarrhea, fever, bloating, gas, etc.

Before attempting this diet, check with your doctor, as the book recommends, to make sure you don’t have celiac disease (gluten intolerance), which requires a different diet and other modifications, such as eating smaller meals and stopping smoking. (These same guidelines apply to almost any healthful diet.)

What is interesting about this diet is that with a high-FODMAP issue, a food can be natural and organic and still be on the list, as I noted above, because, as the book notes, “FODMAPs are simply part of the structure of fruits, grains, vegetables, milk, and honey.”(p. 13)This quote is followed by a section in Chapter Two on questions and answers to determine if the FODMAP diet is for you. Then, in Chapter Three, the reader learns which foods to avoid or limit intake (ex. a small handful of berries).

After reading the list, I realized that the program is not all that difficult, unless the foods to avoid are among your favorites. (For ex., mangoes are on the fruits to avoid, and I love mangoes!) Eating small portions of the foods on your list seems to be the key, rather than eliminating them forever, as may be the case with severe food allergies.

Following some helpful lists of what to stock and how to eat out is a 14-day menu plan, which then leads into the recipes, which is the bulk of the book. The recipes are not weird. In fact, many appear to be like those you would find in specialty cookbooks, such as gluten-free ones. Here’s one that is similar to the crêpes I made from buckwheat flower when I worked at a restaurant in State College introducing a vegetarian menu.

 

Buckwheat Crêpes

4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1. Combine the eggs, almond milk, and salt. Add the buckwheat flour. Stir until smooth.

2. Heat a crepe pan or a small saute pan over medium high heat.  Add enough coconut oil to coat the pan lightly.

3. Drop about 1/3 cup batter into the pan. Swirl and tilt the pan to coat it evenly with the batter.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the underside of the crêpe is golden, about 2 minutes. Flip the crepe over with a spatula and cook the second side for about one minute.

5. Transfer each crepe to a platter and keep warm while cooking the remaining  crêpes. Serve at once.

6. The  crêpes can be made in advance.  Separate the crepes with parchment paper before wrapping and storing them.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.  Makes 8 crêpes.

The notes also mention that you can fill them with your favorite fillings. (Just be sure they are not on the avoid FODMAP list.)
This recipe is meant for First Stage FODMAP,  which is the one in which is challenging because the list of acceptable foods is short and requires monitoring.  But this lays the groundwork for a more varied diet.  And that’s good food news!

The book is published by Shasta Press and costs$10.99. (paperback)

 

 

3 Responses to “THE FODMAP SOLUTION”

  1. Roz Warren Says:

    Thankfully, I’ve got none of these symptoms and so will continue to eat the way I’ve always eaten. But you never know… maybe this book will be useful to other readers.

  2. Barb Jarmoska Says:

    Sounds alot like what Michael Pollan calls “nutritionalism”. Grateful my digestive system is happily fulfilling its role and not driving me to seek solutions such as this.

  3. ellen sue spicer Says:

    I agree. I am on an Ayurvedic program that is rebalancing my Pitta, so my own digestive track stays on track! ell ensue

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