Monday, 28 November 2016

A Guide to Low FODMAP Meal Planning

By Lyndal McNamara (Dietitian) 

Meal planning is a great skill to have, not only for those with special dietary needs, but anyone who leads a busy lifestyle (let’s be honest, that’s most of us!).

As a dietitian with IBS, planning my meals in advance not only saves precious time during the week but also helps ensure that my low FODMAP diet is nutritionally balanced and well thought out (helping me avoid uncomfortable mistakes!).

Here is an example of what my typical day looks like. I like to use the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) to help plan out my day according to the number of serves I need of different foods from the five food groups. As a 23 year old female, the AGHE recommends that each day I aim for:

-          5 serves vegetables/legumes/beans

-          2 serves of fruit

-          6 serves of grain/cereal foods

-          2 ½ serves meat/alternatives

-          2 ½ serves dairy foods

Check out the AGHE website for more information about the 5 food groups and how much you need each day (this varies depending on your age, gender and activity level)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Celebrate Thanksgiving - Low FODMAP Pecan Pie

With Thanksgiving for our American friends just around the corner, we thought it was fitting to make a delicious, low FODMAP Pecan Pie treat to share with your friends and family.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

4 ways with 2 slices of beetroot

By Lyndal McNamara (dietitian)

Thought beetroot was off the menu? Think again! A 2 slice serve of cooked beetroot is actually low in FODMAPs. Wondering what to do with just 2 slices? Check out these great recipe ideas!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Adding glucose to high FODMAP foods – does it really help?

By Marina Iacovou (PhD Candidate and Accredited Practising Dietitian)

In an earlier blog post this year ( we speculated that although early studies suggested adding glucose to fructose may improve tolerance, the strategy was not looking promising – instead all it was doing was adding more sugar to the overall diet.  There was confusion around this strategy with individuals adding glucose to all FODMAPs, not just fructose, which is the only FODMAP that could benefit from glucose addition. Consuming glucose tablets became common practice for many people when eating onion and garlic, foods rich in fructans, not fructose, which scientifically will not improve symptoms.

We can now confidently tell you that adding glucose to foods to help with the absorption of FODMAPs, even fructose, does not work.

One of our PhD candidates, Caroline Tuck, has published work on this very topic. If you want to read the full publication, please click here.

A brief summary of the study and its findings:
  • Patients with a positive fructose breath test (“fructose malabsorption”) and functional bowel disorders such as IBS, were recruited. Healthy participants were recruited as a reference/control group
  • Participants were provided with 6 different sugar solutions (PART A) – some acted as control solutions (glucose only) and others were combinations of fructose and glucose, and fructans and glucose which were compared to fructose alone and fructan alone
  • Additional studies (PART B) were undertaken. where glucose was added to whole foods high in excess fructose
  • It was a series of two randomised controlled, double or single-blinded crossover trials – this means that the participants (and in part A the researchers) were not aware what solutions were being consumed and the solutions were given in a random order. As such the results are more reliable
  • Overall, breath hydrogen scores and patient symptoms did not improve with the addition of glucose to fructose or fructan solutions, or to whole foods
  • Breath hydrogen responses in healthy participants were similar to patients with functional bowel disorders – showing that “fructose malabsorption” is normal
  • The results of the study, question the reliability of breath hydrogen tests in a clinical setting. 

So we can conclude that: 1) breath hydrogen tests, particularly to fructose, are unreliable – this is consistent with a previous study we posted about  and 2) Overall, the strategy of adding glucose to drinks or foods to lessen the effects of dietary FODMAPs on functional gastrointestinal symptoms, has no evidence.

Some of you may have been doing this already – taking glucose tablets with high fructose foods. If you really feel it helps, you can continue, but remember these points:
  • Your total sugar intake will increase significantly
  • Your tolerance to FODMAPs, including fructose, can fluctuate over time, so maybe this strategy is working because your tolerance to fructose has improved and you can drop the glucose without significant symptoms

Something to consider…

Tuck CJ, Ross LA, Gibson PR, Barrett JS, Muir JG. Adding glucose to food and solutions to enhance fructose absorption is not effective in preventing fructose-induced functional gastrointestinal symptoms: Randomised controlled trials in patients with fructose malabsorption. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2016.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Low FODMAP Oat, Cranberry & Choc Chip Energy Balls

Looking for a low FODMAP pick me up? Try these delicious energy balls for the perfect school lunchbox treat, post workout snack or afternoon tea!

Ingredients (makes 12 balls):
  • 1 cup (80g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (90g) dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (64g) peanut butter
  • 3 tbs. (60g) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (15g) puffed quinoa
  • 2 tbs. (30g) mini dark chocolate chips

  1. Place oats into a food processor and process until they are flour like in consistency
  2. Add cranberries, peanut butter and maple syrup to food processor and continue to process until a dough begins to form and stick together.
  3. Add puffed quinoa and chocolate chips and pulse several times until well distributed through the dough.
  4. Using a large spoon, scoop out a spoonful of dough and roll between your hands into neat ball shapes. Place balls in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Nutrition Information/serve:







Sat fat








Wednesday, 16 November 2016

SOME Foods - Northern Indian Butter Chicken & Vegetables

Smother veggies in this Monash Low FODMAP Certified Northern Indian Butter Chicken sauce from 'SOME Foods' and even the fussiest “no veggie” eater won’t be able to resist!

Image by SOME Foods

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 1 jar of SOME Foods Northern Indian Butter Chicken
  • 400g skinless chicken
  • 300g red capsicum
  • 300g carrot
  • 160g baby spinach
  • 300g basmati rice
  1. Slice the chicken into strips or dice into cubes.  Slice the capsicum into lengths and finely slice the carrot.  Chop any large baby spinach leaves.
  2. Heat a medium fry pan or pot over a medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Add the capsicum and carrot to the pan, then add the jar of SOME Foods Northern Indian Butter Chicken. Stir to combine and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Add the baby spinach and stir through.
  3. Cook the rice according to the directions on the packet.
  4. Serve with the cooked rice.
Nutrition Information/serve:







Saturated fat




Dietary fibre




Where can I buy SOME Foods products?
  • SOME Foods Monash Low FODMAP Certified products are available for purchase online and from selected stockists within Australia. Please note that SOME Foods currently do not ship their products internationally.
  • To buy online or see a full list of stockists, please see the SOME Foods website: 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Dietary Fibre Series - Resistant Starch

By Dr Jaci Barrett 

This is part 4 of our series on dietary fibre. This week we’re talking about resistant starch! 

What is resistant starch?

As suggested by the name, resistant starch is starch that escapes digestion by the small intestine. There are four types of resistant starch:

  • RS1 is not accessible by digestive enzymes – sources include partially milled grains and legumes
  • RS2 escapes digestion because of the nature of the food – sources include underripe bananas and high-amylose starches
  • RS3 is produced when foods are cooked and then cooled – sources include bread, tortillas, cooked then cooled potatoes, rice and pasta
  • RS4 is a chemically modified starch

What does resistant starch do in the gut?

Resistant starch and other types of fibre move through the gut to the large intestine where they act as food for the gut bacteria. Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic – see previous blog post in this series ---link. Fermentation of resistant starch releases beneficial short chain fatty acids which promote a healthy colon.

Resistant starch is slowly fermented in the large intestine. It differs from FODMAPs due to this slow fermentation rate. FODMAPs are rapidly fermented and result in rapid increases in intestinal gas which, in IBS, can induce symptoms of pain, bloating and discomfort. 

Resistant starch is slowly fermented over time. The gradual release of gas does not result in the same degree of gaseous distension and discomfort as with FODMAPs.

What are some good food sources?

Food sources of the different subtypes of resistant starch are listed above, but the following table outlines the amount of resistant starch per serve in foods with a green low FODMAP serve, so that you can seek out high resistant starch foods to include in your diet to improve bowel health.

Resistant Starch (g)

Underripe banana, 1 medium
Rolled oats, 1/4 cup, uncooked
Oats, 1 cup, cooked
Lentils, 1/2 cup, cooked
Hi-maize resistant starch, 1 tablespoon

Reference: Murphy MM, Douglass JS, Birkett A. Resistant starch intakes in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108(1):67-78.