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Ask the Dietitian: FODMAP Diet

Ask the Dietitian: FODMAP Diet

Question:

I’ve heard that a low FODMAP diet is good for my irritable bowel syndrome but I really want to lose weight as well. Can I achieve this while on a low FODMAP diet?

Answer:

Lowering your FODMAPS can go a far way in reducing your digestive issues. Problems such as: bloating, gas and abdominal pain can all affect body weight and have the potential to be significantly reduced using this approach.

When it comes to weight loss, your greatest consideration is calories in versus calories out. Provided that you take in less calories than you burn throughout the day, you will lose weight.

This is certainly achievable on a low FODMAP plan considering you make some of the following choices:

-Be careful not to overdo gluten-free breads and cereals. Gluten-free does not mean low calorie.  Watch portion sizes and opt for gluten free selections that are rich in fiber. Great options include oats and quinoa.   Aim for options that have 5 grams of fiber or more/serving.

-Consume a low FODMAP fruit and/or vegetable serving at every meal and snack.

-When selecting dairy alternatives, aim for low fat and low sugar options.

-Enjoy protein rich nuts and seeds for snacks but watch your portion size. These snacks are protein rich but contain a significant amount of calories.  A small handful is all that you need.

-Watch the amount of hidden sources of fats you might be adding to your foods. For example, oils added during cooking, spreads added to grains, or dressings/sauces added to other dishes.

-Choose cooking methods that require minimal fat. For example, grilled, roasted and baked are preferable methods over frying or sautéing.

-Watch added sugars. While choices such as chewing gum may be permissible, those extra calories will have an effect on your waistline.

-Drink lots of water throughout the day.

-Get in lots of exercise. Moving your body on most days of the week has been proven to help with irritable bowel syndrome and weight loss.

-Finally, watch portion sizes and avoid skipping meals. Frequent small meals/snacks will go a long way in curbing your appetite, making you feel satisfied and and will lead to long term sustained weight loss in the long run.

Question:

I’ve heard that fermented foods are so good for health and longevity. How can I add these foods into my diet?

Answer:

Fermented foods have been linked to maintaining healthy immune systems and optimal gut functioning. Here are 10 easy ways to add fermented foods to your daily diet;

Make yogurt parfaits with yogurts that have live active culture.

Make smoothies with yogurt or kefir with fruit.

Add homemade fermented fruit chutney to toast.

Top eggs with cultured sour cream/cultured butter and fermented salsa.

Add sauerkraut to your favorite sandwich.

Add tempeh to salads and stir fries.

Incorporate miso or cultured sour cream to soups.

Drink Kombucha tea

Eat peanut butter and fermented fruit chutney sandwiches.

Add pecorino cheese to your favorite salad.

Be sure to purchase these products in the refrigerated section of the grocery store as the bacteria will still be alive. Any type of canning or pasteurizing kills all of the bacteria.

Question:

I suffer from GERD on a regular basis. What are some dietary ways that I can find relief?

Answer: 

Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a digestive disorder that affects the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach. Reflux occurs when the muscle weakens and stomach contents flow back up through the esophagus.

This event can be triggered by such conditions as: pregnancy, obesity, or hiatal hernias.

In some cases, diet can relieve symptoms associated with GERD.

Certain foods and beverages can trigger reflux. These include: chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee and alcohol.  Other foods can cause discomfort to an esophagus that has been damaged by long-term reflux.  These foods include: citrus fruits, juice, tomato products, and pepper.

Other dietary strategies to consider:

-Reduce your portion sizes at meal time.

-Eat meals 2-3 hours before bed. Eating too close to bedtime can allow stomach contents to come back up.

-Being overweight can increase symptoms. Reducing body weight will help considerably.

-Realize that long term use of antacids will produce side effects.

Other natural remedies include: chamomile, licorice, and slippery elm.