Deciding what is safe to eat on a low FODMAP diet can be a difficult task. The low FODMAP food list page offers a useful overview of which foods contain a high amount of FODMAPs and which are considered low and individually safe to eat. What happens when you consume enough foods on the low list? IBS symptoms that might start to appear and this leads us to the idea of FODMAP stacking. Below is information on FODMAP stacking and you can find a list of foods that are considered FODMAP free foods to help counteract FODMAP stacking.
What is FODMAP stacking?
FODMAP stacking is what happens when foods that are considered low FODMAP are eaten with other foods that are on the low FODMAP list and start to take you past a threshold, called a dose response, that causes IBS symptoms. This threshold is individual from person to person so it is important to work with a dietitian and keep a food diary so you can adjust food quantities and tailor your own individual low FODMAP food list based on your symptoms.
Monash University have offered advice on what to do to avoid FODMAP stacking which boils down to:
- Try to space out your meals - it is best to leave about 3-4 hours between meals so the additive effects of FODMAPs are reduced but if you are feeling hungry then try and eat FODMAP free foods.
- Eat FODMAP free foods - this is great trick to be able to snack between meals as these foods are completely free of FODMAPs so do not cause stacking issues. See the list below for examples of FODMAP free foods.
- Be careful of fruit - You should also avoid too much fruit, particularly during the same meal, as they contain many types of FODMAPs so there is a high likelihood of FODMAP stacking. According to Monash you should stick to 1 serving of fruit from the low food list per sitting and limit your daily fruit intake to 2 servings a day. There are some FODMAP free fruits such as grapes, strawberries and oranges - these can be consumed more freely.
- Lactose is less of a concern - although lactose has FODMAPs it is digested differently and is only an issue for those who are lactose intolerant. They say to stick to lactose foods on the low list so stacking will not be an issue.
FODMAP Free Food List
The foods below have had no FODMAPs detected in testing so you are able to eat these more freely such as in between meals when you are feeling a little peckish. Please refer to the low FODMAP food list for a larger list of foods that are high and low in FODMAPs.
- Bamboo shoots
- Lettuce - iceberg, red coral, butterhead, rocket
- Red peppers
- Seaweed, nori
- Oranges, navel
Meat and Fish
- Fresh Fish - e.g. cod, haddock, herring, mackerel
- Canned fish - e.g. tuna, sardines
- Shellfish - e.g. prawns, shrimp, crab, lobster
- Cooking oils - e.g. olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil
- Rice - white, basmati and brown
- Vegetable Oil
- Vinegar, malt