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Replace This with That

When you were handed the list of foods you should avoid on the Low FODMAP diet, your first thought was probably “Well what CAN I eat then?” I know that was mine.

For the most part, we eat from our own kitchen every day. My partner and I each do our own lunch prep, but we trade off dinner responsibilities. Looking at the “Don’t Eat” list, I started to worry. Garlic and onion make up the base of most of our meals. We eat a lot of black beans and chickpeas. How am I going to share meals with him anymore? What will I eat now?

Have no fear though friends. That’s where Low FODMAP swaps come in to save the day. You can still get those tasty, savory flavors you love infused throughout your cooking, but the silver lining is that by changing up what you can eat for a time you gain the opportunity to be more creative in it too.

Sometimes it’s best to start from scratch and try something new, but other times it’s nice to just swap out a high FODMAP ingredient for a low one so you can continue to enjoy your favorite meals, especially as you’re starting out on the elimination phase. This post will focus on the former, and include some bonus swaps that don’t just have ingredients in mind, but will help you adjust some of your snacking habits too. My goal is to help you update your diet as quickly and easily as possible so you can begin to heal your gut and not lose your mind in the process.

SAVORY

Onion
- Onion infused olive oil
- Spring onion (green part only)
- Asafetida powder

Garlic
- Garlic infused olive oil: Purchase or make your own by sautéing garlic cloves in oil for a few minutes until fragrant and then remove the cloves before adding any additional ingredients.

Mushrooms
- Canned champignon mushrooms - drained and rinsed well
- Oyster mushrooms
- Roasted eggplant
- Soup Stock: Most soup stock will have onion (and possibly garlic) in it, so they’re usually off the menu. Try FODY’s chicken or vegetable soup bases or Casa de Sante’s Low FODMAP Soup, Stock, and Broth options. Or make your own!

FRUIT

Apples, pears
- Unripe banana
Cherries, peaches, nectarines, figs
- Strawberries, rhubarb
Plums, apricots
- Passion fruit
Blackberries
- Blueberries
Mango
- Kiwi, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, dragon fruit, limes
Watermelon
- Cantaloupe
Grapefruit
- Oranges, clementines, mandarins, lemons

VEGETABLES

Sugar snap peas, asparagus
- Green beans, bean sprouts, carrots
Cauliflower
- White potatoes, eggplant, zucchini
Artichokes, Brussels sprouts
- Kale, spinach, red peppers, tomatoes

DAIRY

Milk
- Lactose-free milk (1 c or 250 ml)
- Oat milk (½ c or 125 ml)
- Rice milk (¾ c or 200 ml)
- Almond milk (1 c or 250 ml)
- Coconut milk (¾ c or 200 ml)
- Cream

Yoghurt, Cream cheese
- Lactose-free yoghurt
- Coconut yoghurt (½ c or 125 ml)
- Kefir (Look for brands that are lactose-free and check ingredients for any additional flavors that might be nigh FODMAP if you get anything but plain)

Sour cream, cottage cheese, ricotta
- Greek yogurt

Cheese: Replace any high FODMAP with any of the many Low FODMAP options below
- Cheddar, Gouda, brie, feta, camembert, parmesan, and mozzarella

GRAINS

Bread
- Sourdough spelt bread
- Gluten-free low FODMAP bread (several breads from Schär are low FODMAP)

Tortillas
- Flour for corn

Flour
- Gluten-free flours or wheat flour alternatives such as rice flour or quinoa flour
- Mix It Universal from Schär
- Bob’s Red Mill GF 1:1 Baking Flour

Breadcrumbs
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs

Pasta
- Brown rice pasta (Jovial has some nice options)
- Potato gnocchi (be sure it is 100% potato)

Udon noodles
- Rice noodles

Crackers Rice cakes
- Schär Fette Croccanti crackers
- Mary’s Gone Crackers (Original or Black Pepper)
- Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins

SNACKS

Pistachios or cashew
- Macadamia nuts, peanuts, or walnuts

Flavored potato chips (often will have garlic/onion)
- Sea Salt Popchips
- Savory popcorn (stick to plain or lightly salted/peppered…. Add nutritional yeast or other spices for more flavor) - like Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn
Sweet popcorn - like Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
- Corn chips
- Flavored rice cakes (often will have garlic/onion if savory and honey/other high FODMAP ingredients if sweet)
- Lightly salted rice cakes (add your own Low FODMAP options as toppers peanut butter, fresh fruit, etc.)

Crackers
- Mary’s Gone Crackers (Original or Black Pepper)
- Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins

PROTEIN

Baked beans, Black-eyed peas, Broad beans, Butter beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soybeans, Split peas
- Canned lentils, rinsed well (½ c or 46g)
- Canned chickpeas, rinsed well - (¼ c or 42g)
- Firm (not silky) tofu
- Tempeh
- Lactose-free dairy products like milk and yogurt; Low FODMAP cheeses (see below)
- Peanut butter, peanuts
- Low FODMAP nuts (walnuts, pecans, and macadamia)
- Seeds like chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower
- Animal sources of protein are naturally low FODMAP (Eggs, meat, fish)

SWEETENERS

Agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey
- Maple syrup, brown or white granulated sugar
- Artificial sweeteners like Stevia

BEVERAGES

Chai tea, chamomile tea, oolong tea
- Coffee
- Black tea, green tea, white tea, peppermint tea (bonus gut-calming powers)

Coconut water, soda
- Add some freshly squeezed lemon to your favorite fizzy water – but be careful not to have too much fizz if it triggers your symptoms. Carbonation can lead to bloating.

Dessert wine, rum
- Beer
- Wine: red, white, sparkling
- Gin, vodka, whiskey

These simple swaps to make your favorite recipes Low FODMAP or trade out your old go-tos for more IBS-friendly options should help you keep eating right while you sort out your triggers or once you’re in the personalization phase and need to more permanently replace an old fallback.

Eating Low FODMAP doesn’t have to mean a plain, tasteless existence. IBS doesn’t have to be a sentence for eternal deprivation. With the right mindset it is an opportunity to learn more about foods and flavors. Try new things. Make new favorites. You may be surprised by what you want to keep in your life, even when your symptoms have improved.

  1. ,

    What a wonderful post. I'm sure many here will appreciate it as most of our reactions to the initial food list is exactly as you described. You have provided a lot of great ideas here. What works for some does not work for all with IBS, but ideas and learning from others can help a great deal when trying to deal with IBS and the diet specifically. Thank you so much for your hard work with this and sharing what has worked for you. I hope that you are having a good day today. -Todd, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

    1. Thanks Todd! I just know how frustrating this whole thing can be and I know I scoured site after site, resource after resource trying to sort things out at the beginning. Anything that can make life a little easier for us is so valuable.

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