Frequently Asked Questions

We answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the FODMAP diet

By Laura Tilt

How soon will I be able to tell if the low FODMAP diet is working?

Many people notice a reduction in their symptoms within a few days, but it can take up to a month to achieve the greatest symptom response.

If after 2-4 weeks of avoiding FODMAPs you don't experience any symptom improvement, it's unlikely they are a trigger for you.

Is a low FODMAP diet a gluten free diet?

You'll notice that some low FODMAP foods are gluten-free. For example gluten-free bread and pasta, and gluten free cakes and biscuits.

Gluten is a protein found in the cereal grains wheat, rye and barley. These grains are also high in fructans, a FODMAP.

This means that some gluten free foods and products like rice and corn, gluten free flour and bread also happen to be low in FODMAPs.

Gluten is also found in trace amounts in foods like soy sauce and regular oats. You don't have to avoid these foods unless you are coeliac as they are not a major source of fructans / FODMAPs.

What happens if I eat a high FODMAP food during elimination?

If you slip up – when eating out for example – you might experience a flare up of your IBS symptoms.

These might feel worse than usual if there has been an improvement since starting the diet. Remember that you're not harming your gut, and you don't have to start over. Return to low FODMAP eating as soon as you can.

Can you give me an example of a day's menu plan that is low FODMAP?

No problem. Here's an example of three meals and a snack that would be suitable for a low FODMAP diet:

Breakfast Lactose free yoghurt with berries and mixed seeds or scrambled eggs, spinach and gluten free toast  

Mid morning snack: Latte made with lactose free milk and a firm banana

Lunch Quinoa salad (quinoa mixed with cucumber, fresh herbs, green pepper, olive oil and lemon) with chicken or firm tofu

Dinner Salmon with green beans, aubergine and rice.

Snacks kiwi fruit and cheddar cheese