Browsing supermarket shelves for the first time on the low FODMAP diet can be a daunting process – we know! At your last dietitian appointment, you would’ve received information on foods to reduce and those that can be eaten in larger amounts. But, putting this all into practice can be more complicated than it sounds, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. This is where FODMAP certification can take away the stress and uncertainty.
There are two major certifications for low FODMAP products. The Monash FODMAP certification and the FODMAP Friendly certification. On the whole, food manufacturers apply for these certifications by having their products laboratory tested for FODMAP content. This ensures the product is low in all FODMAP groups at the specified serving size.
If a product is certified, one of the logos will usually be displayed prominently on the package. In addition the Monash FODMAP and FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps list products they have certified. If you see this, you can rest assured that “one serve” of the product is proven to be low in all FODMAP groups.
Your local supermarket can be a “creative” place for marketing, and it’s important not be persuaded by claims such as “tummy friendly” or “fructose friendly” which carry no weight. These claims are not regulated, meaning they are marketing statements and the product has not been certified as low FODMAP. That doesn’t mean the product is low FODMAP, nor does it mean the product isn’t low FODMAP. In either case, you’ll need to read the ingredients list in combination with your Monash FODMAP smartphone app. From this you can make an educated decision about whether you think the product is low FODMAP at the serving size you choose to eat. You can read more about how to interpret a label for FODMAPs here.
No need to stress if you see a product like this. If the product is certified, the testing process ensures that the product is below all FODMAP cut offs at the specified serving size, so you can still eat this serve on all phases of the low FODMAP diet, including the Elimination phase. It’s important to remember that it is a “Low” FODMAP diet, and not a “No” FODMAP diet. You will learn more about your individual tolerance and how far over FODMAP cut offs you can go as you move through the challenge phase of the FODMAP diet.
This can happen for a few different reasons, the most common of which are discussed in this article. The gut can be fickle from time to time, it can be set off by stress and other gut irritants – think about fatty or spicy food, coffee and alcohol. Ultimately, if the reaction is a “one off”, make note of it and keep going. If it happens regularly, we recommend booking in to see one of our specialist FODMAP dietitians to troubleshoot.
This article was written for Everyday Nutrition by William Antolasic APD.
William is a dietitian with a passion for all things gut health. If he isn’t whipping up a storm in the kitchen creating his next gluten free delight, you’ll find him hiking around the Yarra Valley’s beautiful landscapes. He is dedicated to providing you support with a smile and working together to find the best solution that suits you and your lifestyle. You can connect with William via Linked In or email him here.