Before FODMAPs, clean eating often meant eating lightly and was connected to weight loss or a general sense of well-being.
Certainly, some FODMAPers are trying to lose weight, and we all want to be generally healthy, but some FODMAPers are trying to gain while other’s focus is on getting their constipation or loose stools in check. Not to mention the legion of those who are trying to tame their extreme bloating, which comes with debilitating pain. So, what does clean eating mean for someone following the Low FODMAP diet?
As described above, you can see how the definition could be varied, but we want to focus on the various steps of the diet and the Low FODMAP elimination phase is the first step.
When you initially consult a registered dietitian (and we recommend that you do) they will help you understand and follow a FODMAP elimination plan, which is the strictest part of the diet, hence its moniker. You will be eliminating foods that have perhaps been part of your routine for years, possibly life-long, and this can be a huge change. A dietitian can help you prepare psychologically for the Low FODMAP elimination phase, as well.
We want you to know that as drastic as that sounds, that if you are one of the 75% for whom the diet is going to work that you might very well feel positive results within a couple of days, and almost certainly within one week. Dieticians have story after story of patients who respond well - and right away. When your digestive track is working, it can feel like a miracle, but it is because the lack of FODMAPs is allowing your body to calm down and be less reactive. Clean eating can be looked upon as adhering to the initial FODMAP elimination plan, allowing the diet to work.
The Low FODMAP elimination phase can last up to 6 weeks. On the one hand this can seem like forever, but truly, it is a drop in the bucket and can actually give you back your health and positive relationship with food. After the Low FODMAP elimination phase is the challenge phase, during which you will systematically reintroduce foods with FODMAP content to assess your unique relationship with FODMAPs.
You and your best friend might both have IBS, but each of you might discover during the challenge phase that your reactions to FODMAPs are different: you might learn that lactose is your biggest trigger, while they might discover that fructans are the issue. What this ultimately means is that each of you will come out of the elimination and challenge phases with a different diet to follow from there on in. The Low FODMAP diet is not about eliminating FODMAPs totally, forever. It is about lowering them to a point where you can eat well and thrive, while also eating broadly enough to create and maintain a healthy microbiome.
So, our version of clean eating is about discovering your individual FODMAP reactions and creating a diet just for you. It is an incredibly empowering experience to be able to eat and feel great and is the reason why we at Fody Foods develop the food products that we do.
We will continue to be here to support you in your FODMAP elimination plan, and hope to be part of that journey. Deprivation should never be a part of the picture. Eating deliciously should be!