This article is part of the FODMAP toolkit: Your complete guide to going low-FODMAP. Full print ready version available for purchase, details here.
Stage 1 Elimination
The aim of the elimination stage of the diet is to reduce the total number of all FODMAPs in the diet and give your digestive system some rest.
By the end of this stage you should know whether FODMAPs are the trigger group of foods for your symptoms. Seventy five to 80 per cent of people following a low-FODMAP diet for IBS find they have at least 70 per cent improvement in their symptoms after the elimination stage.
Stage 1: Elimination FAQ
How much fruit can I eat at a time?
You should eat no more than one serve of ‘suitable’ fruit per meal or sitting. One serve is usually one metric cup of cut-up fruit, or one whole piece of fruit, such as one orange or banana. Try to have 2-3 serves of fruit each day, spread throughout the day.
How do I avoid FODMAPs if I’m a vegetarian or vegan?
Vegetarians often eat a lot of legumes as an important source of protein. However, these contain FODMAPs. As there is a risk that your vegetarian or vegan diet will become nutritionally inadequate if you cut out legumes, it’s advisable to see a dietitian to tailor the diet for you. The best approach will depend on your individual tolerance. Good news though, firm tofu is low in FODMAPs, so can be included as a protein source.
I’ve followed the low-FODMAP eating plan for four weeks and I feel no different. What do I do?
About three quarters of people will have about 75 per cent or more improvement in their symptoms within four weeks of being on a low-FODMAP eating plan. However, some people need a bit longer. Sometimes this may be if you have more severe symptoms, your symptoms have been going on for a very long time (decades rather than years), or high-FODMAP foods have been creeping into your diet.
There may be other food intolerances or food triggers (or non-food triggers) that need to be looked at. It’s time to book an appointment with a specialist dietitian to get an individual opinion.