One of the most common difficulties people with IBS have is eating out when following a low FODMAP diet.
High FODMAP foods (such as onion, garlic, legumes, cow’s milk and wheat-based breads, cereals and pastas to name a few) can creep into many meals, and can often be difficult to avoid.
Here are some tips to make it easier for you, along with suggestions of meals and cuisines that are likely to be easier options.
1. Do your research
If you know where you are going, checking out the menu first means you already know what’s available. Look for meals that have suitable ingredients.
2. Call ahead
When booking or choosing where you will be going, it can be a good idea to let the wait staff know of your dietary needs as well. Many restaurants will be happy to change menu items to be suitable, particularly if enough notice is provided.
3. Get curious
If you’re unsure of ingredients in a dish, for example what is in a sauce, ask the wait staff. This is often where high FODMAP foods will be hiding.
4. Keep it simple
Do what you can to manage stress before eating out, as for many individuals, stress can exacerbate symptoms.
5. Prep yourself
Eat low FODMAP in the lead-up! If you know you’re eating out, planning ahead and choosing low FODMAP options when you have complete control can mean there’s more room in your individual tolerance levels for some higher FODMAP choices when you are eating away from home.
Chloe McLeod is a dietician and the Director of The FODMAP Challenge.