Following the low FODMAP diet when going out can often feel very daunting. However, with some preparation and mindful decision-making, it is possible to enjoy dining out with family and friends while sticking to your dietary needs.
Before heading out, research the restaurant’s menu to see if they have low FODMAP options available. Look at the menu ahead of time to help you decide which dishes may be suitably low in FODMAPs or are able to be modified. Some restaurants might also have an allergen or dietary restriction section on their website.
Once you’re at the restaurant don’t hesitate to speak with your server about any modifications you may need for your meal. Many dishes can be modified to exclude high FODMAP ingredients such as onions, garlic, and wheat. For instance, you can order a salad without onions or request your sandwich to be served without the bread or condiments.
When deciding what to order stick to simple dishes that have easily identifiable ingredients. Look for choices such as grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables as these can be a great option. Salads with low FODMAP ingredients such as lettuce, cucumber, and carrots are also one to look out for as most restaurants usually offer some form of salad. Avoid dishes with complex sauces or gravies, as these often contain high FODMAP ingredients. Instead, ask for sauces or dressings to be served on the side so you can control the amount you consume.
It’s also important to be mindful of the drinks you choose when eating out. Many alcoholic beverages like beer and wine can irritate the gut, and some mixers like fruit juice can be high in FODMAPs. Opt for low FODMAP options such as vodka or gin, or choose non-alcoholic beverages like water or herbal tea.
It’s always a good idea to bring along some low FODMAP snacks or meal options just in case. This can be particularly helpful if you’re unsure about the low FODMAP options available at the restaurant. Snacks such as low FODMAP protein bars or homemade trail mix can help keep hunger at bay while you wait for your food, and can also serve as a backup option in case you’re unable to find a suitable low FODMAP meal.
Eating out on the low FODMAP diet can feel intimidating at first, but with some preparation and mindfulness, you can successfully navigate dining out while sticking to your dietary needs. By researching the restaurant’s menu ahead of time, speaking with your server, choosing simple dishes with easily identifiable ingredients, being cautious with beverages, and bringing along some low FODMAP snacks or meal options, you can enjoy social outings while staying true to your dietary needs.