Book review: the Low FODMAP diet

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Book & cookbook reviews, General | 0 comments

Do you like our new look on Low FODMAP.com?  It might seem early in the life of this site to be doing a redesign, but hey, there’s nothing like a new dress for spring, right?

Onto the book review…

Finding out that your IBS symptoms are being triggered by some of the most commonly consumed foods presents a mixed bag.  It can be a relief to finally learn what has been bringing on all the trouble.  But at the same time the recommended dietary changes can feel overwhelming.  I think most of us find removing onion and wheat the biggest challenges.  I have been particularly missing apples this year too.

During the time of adjusting to the low FOMDAP diet it is important to gather current and accurate information from trustworthy sources.  Late in 2010, The Eastern Health Clinical School at Monash University published a timely booklet to address this need, The Low FODMAP diet: reducing poorly absorbed sugars to control gastrointestinal symptoms.  This booklet has 31 pages with a softcover.  It is A5 in size and sells for $10 plus postage directly from the EHCS.

The first 4 pages explain the role of the gastrointestinal tract in maintaining good health, irritable bowel syndrome, its symptoms and triggers, and introduce FODMAPs.  The booklet then goes on to give more detail about how FODMAPs affect people with IBS.  A diagram adds to this explanation.  Breath testing is described and shown in photo.

Two pages are devoted to listing the foods that have been shown to contain excess FODMAPs.  Each type of FODMAP has its own table, and foods are listed as either having a high excess of a particular FODMAP or a moderate amount.  Foods that are only moderate also have a recommended amount that a serving should be limited to.  The information in these pages is based on the most up-to-date food testing data available at the time of publication.  There are differences from previous lists of foods to avoid that I have seen; some foods are new to the list and other foods have been removed from the high FODMAP list.  These tables are easy to read and clarify which foods contain which FODMAPs (some foods contain more than one FODMAP in excess amounts).

The remainder of the booklet includes a shopping guide or list of “safe” foods, dietary and menu guides to healthy low FODMAP eating, examples of food labels and how to identify FODMAPs on products, a fibre counter of “safe foods”, and a collection of 6 recipes.  The booklet is finished with 8 frequently asked questions and answers.

When I purchased my copy of The Low FODMAP Diet booklet 10 months ago I found it a great help in clarifying how I was managing my IBS and diet.  The graphics and photos add to understanding the text.  It is worth noting that the food lists are not exhaustive.  Obviously not all foods have been tested and there are bound to be foods available to you that are not included in this booklet.  I have heard many people’s frustrations about food lists that keep changing.  It is this very reason that leads me to recommend this booklet.  The most important thing for me is that the information it contains is research-based and in my mind that means trustworthy.

If you would like to learn more about the EHCS or order your own copy of The low FOMDAP Diet booklet click here.

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