Our clients, both for weekly personal chef services and in-home event catering, are increasingly requesting meals that fit within a low FODMAPs diet. Fall comfort foods and seasonal favorites can be tricky to fit within a low FODMAP eating plan or elimination diet, but our chefs are up to the task! In this article, we will cover some FODMAP basics, as well as provide a few suggestions for how to make safe swaps with some FODMAP alternatives and create delicious low FODMAP meals for Fall.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are a type of small carbohydrate found in many different foods. There are four main groups of FODMAPS:
- Fructose (e.g.: mango, corn syrup, honey)
- Lactose (e.g.: milk, ice cream, yogurt)
- Oglios (e.g.: beets, onion, wheat)
- Polyols (e.g.: apples, corn, sugar alcohol additives like sorbitol)
Why is this eating strategy becoming popular (and necessary for many people)?
Some people are sensitive to FODMAPs because they aren’t absorbed well by the small intestine. This can lead to gas, bloating, cramping, and other digestive issues. People who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders can reduce these issues by reducing or eliminating FODMAPs from their diet. If you think you may be sensitive to FODMAPs, consult with a doctor and dietitian first to rule out other issues and then determine your best course of action. For many people, the first step is a FODMAP elimination diet to help completely reduce GI symptoms, and then testing various FODMAP groups to determine dietary triggers. From there, many people are able to determine which FODMAPs they need to reduce and which they can tolerate, so that they can build a personalized, balanced eating plan.
How can people adopt a low FODMAP diet for Fall?
- Garlic and onion are two savory ingredients that add flavor to so many Fall main courses and sides. People on a low FODMAP diet can reduce their use of these oglios in several creative ways, including flavorful substitutes like chives, green onion tops, and leek leaves, or reduction swaps like infused oils. For more info, check out this helpful resource article from Fun Without FODMAPs.
- Butternut squash and pumpkin can be low FODMAP, but are also high FODMAP if eaten in large quantities. If you’re a fan of squash soups in the fall, be sure to reduce high FODMAP ingredients like onion and garlic (try ginger instead to punch up the flavor!) and keep squash servings lower by adding in low FODMAP options like carrots. Coconut milk is a great way to add creamy taste and texture without lactose. Here’s a tasty recipe for low FODMAP roasted squash, carrot, and ginger soup.
- Pie is a favorite any time of the year, and especially comforting in the Fall. To stay low FODMAP, swap classic apple pie for Fall favorite pecan pie with a gluten free crust. You can even make it with a nut crust, for extra nutty goodness! Low FODMAP bonus: serve it à la Mode, but switch to lactose-free ice cream or whipped cream.
With the low FODMAP diet, it’s important to stay flexible and get creative to ensure you’re still maintaining a balanced diet. Whether you’re meal prepping on your own or with help from a personal chef, you can still have fun with FODMAPs in the Fall!