Healthy and low FODMAP are not one in the same. The low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet, which automatically triggers our instinct to find substitutes for the foods we are eliminating.
Over the past few years, it’s become pretty easy to find dairy free and gluten free substitutes. The hard part is eliminating fructose. Because it is in so many healthy foods and is almost impossible to naturally avoid.
So, how do I know what ingredients to avoid?
The GF symbol on certified Gluten Free foods has become a really helpful indicator for the best gluten-free options. It’s usually displayed clearly on the box or bag of food. In fact, most grocery stores even have an entire GF aisle or section of the store. Dairy free options are also usually grouped together in the grocery store, providing an easier way to safely shop lactose-free.
Unfortunately, fructose free foods aren’t labeled and ingredients are easily missed. The “no high fructose corn syrup” label has become popular especially on children foods. But the elimination of high fructose corn syrup does not mean that it is a low fructose product.
Knowledge is power when effectively following the low FODMAP diet. The best way to make sure what you are buying is truly low fructose is by reading the labels. This can be a tedious and frustrating task. So many of the foods that seem like they are going to be a good fit have sneaky ingredients that make them unsafe.
As a helpful guide, here is a list of common ingredients found in healthy foods that are NOT low FODMAP:
- Figs/dried figs
- Prunes/dried prunes
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cherries/dried cherries
- Mango/dried mango
- Apples/dried apples
- Sweeteners: Sorbitol, Mannitol, Isomalt, Xylitol
This is a good starting point when eliminating fructose but is not a comprehensive list include all of the high FODMAP foods to avoid.
Being aware and staying consistent will put you in the driver's seat in eliminating your symptoms of IBS.