Written by Shaynie Ashkenazi BSc. MHumNutr. Registered Associate Nutritionist, Founding Director, FodShop
Living with IBS - The Challenges
When you live with IBS, IBD and/or other gastrointestinal disorders, sourcing low FODMAP food products which are less likely to trigger your symptoms can be a challenging exercise.
Gut health nutrition practitioners such as dietitians, nutritionists and naturopaths are focussed on helping patients achieve healthy, balanced diets factoring in an individual's unique dietary & lifestyle choices.
Having a balanced plate, managing IBS symptoms and correcting nutrient deficiencies are common, and the challenges around having the energy & time to cook and prepare nutritious meals which meet nutrition goals, in the face of a hectic lifestyle, is becoming more and more challenging for many.
How do Convenience Foods Help with IBS?
Such challenges have led to the role of low FODMAP convenience foods & products in assisting to save time, helping to achieve nutrition goals while balancing these with managing bowel symptoms.
The convenience of readily-available flavour enhancers, heat-and-eat sauces, low FODMAP certified, clinically proven nutritional supplements and plant-based 'healthier' snacks can bring back quality of life that those with gastrointestinal conditions often miss due to undesirable symptoms brought on by high FODMAP foods, stress, medications and more.
FodShop's Top Gut Health Expert-approved Food Products for 2021
1. Tomorrow's Nutrition Sunfiber™ - Top Rated Low FODMAP Soluble Fibre Supplement
Sunfiber™ is the most recommended clinically proven soluble prebiotic fibre, primarily shown to improve symptoms of bloating & constipation in IBS-C predominant patients.
Data has also shown that Sunfiber™ uniquely helps with occasional diarrhoea as well, returning stool content to a normal healthy state*.
The supplement is an excellent source of fibre, delivering 6 grams of soluble fibre per serving. Sunfiber™ is Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™, and also 100% gluten free.
2. FreeFod Garlic Replacer - Garlic Flavour Enhancer
One of the main ingredients people with IBS are told to avoid when following a low FODMAP diet is garlic.
FreeFod Garlic Replacer can be used in a wide range of cooking applications, including soups, sauces, pasta, garlic bread, meat rubs, and everything in between.
The product is water soluble and provides very strong flavour - 1 teaspoon of replacer is equivalent to 1 clove of garlic.
3. Fodbods Low FODMAP Protein Snack Bars
As a certified FODMAP friendly product, you can trust these plant-based protein snack bars won't cause symptoms.
Fodbods bars are made in Australia from raw natural ingredients – no preservatives and nothing artificial.
They're also vegan, gluten and dairy free and recommended by many Australian dietitians in their clinics.
4. Bay's Kitchen Mild Korma
Tasting just like your local Indian takeaway meal, this Mild Korma makes no onion no garlic cooking easy while in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
The product, like the rest in the Bay's Kitchen range, is easily prepared by pouring into a pan and simmering with chosen protein & low FODMAP vegetables in the appropriate serving sizes.
This product is also safe for those with dairy and gluten intolerance, and it is vegan, ticking a number of food intolerance & lifestyle boxes.
5. FODMAPPED Soup Selection
Ready-to-eat soups like the FODMAPPED range take the guesswork out of a ready-to-heat-and-eat meal at work or when from-scratch cooking isn't an option.
Formulated only with low FODMAP ingredients, this FODMAP Friendly certified meal solution is made with the IBS gut in mind.
The FODMAPPED soup range is FODMAP friendly certified per 250ml serve, making the meal a hearty, nourishing option without triggering gastrointestinal distress.
6. Cobram Estate Onion Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is renowned for its heart healthy benefits. Full of monounsaturated fats for good cholesterol levels, while assisting to reduce 'bad' cholesterol levels.
Cobram Estate's infusion of extra virgin olive oil with roasted onion aromatics is a flavour and health combination very few have managed to achieve. The taste of onion without the FODMAPs has made this product an easy low FODMAP 'swap' option for those in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Together with FreeFod Onion Replacer, Cobram Estate Onion Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the most recommended FODMAP friendly certified onion 'replacers', and its added health benefits sees it as one of the top gut health expert-approved food products for 2021.
Top Tips when looking for low FODMAP food products
1. Check the order of the ingredients and standard serving size on product packaging
Ingredients listed first are present in the highest amounts. As you go down the ingredients list, the quantities of ingredients in the product decreases i.e. quantities are in descending order.
The overall serving size of the product will determine whether or not the ingredients present are in 'safe' amounts while following a low FODMAP diet.
For example, if an almond protein bar contains 45% almonds in a 45g bar, this equates to only 23g of almonds; a safe serving size per the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet smartphone App.
However, if the protein bar also contains a combination of other nuts such as cashews, pumpkin seeds etc.. the quantities of these ingredients will also need to be taken into consideration when determining the FODMAP status of the food product.
2. Check for a low FODMAP certification logo
Food products which display a certification trademark logo have been laboratory tested at the specified serving size, and proven to be low FODMAP based on stringent testing protocols.
The presence of a logo makes it easier for consumers to identify low FODMAP food products, without having to second-guess the ingredients and any high FODMAP quantities.
The below certification logos are the ones to look out for:
The Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™ logo.
The FODMAP Friendly certification logo.
Andersen et al. (2017) Low-FODMAP diet reduces irritable bowel symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 May 14; 23(18): 3356–3366. Published online 2017 May 14. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i18.3356
Halak et al. (2016) Randomized clinical study: Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) versus placebo in the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Nutrition & Metabolism volume 13, Article number: 10.
Monash FODMAP 'Get the App' https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/i-have-ibs/get-the-app/.
Muir, J. (2019). An Overview of Fiber and Fiber Supplements for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y) Jul; 15(7): 387–389.
The FODMAP Friendly Food Program 'FODMAP Friendly Certified Products' https://fodmapfriendly.com/certified-products/.