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How to Follow a Low FODMAP Diet

Starting a Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP food list

The most important thing to do before starting this diet is to find out if the diet is right for you. See “Is this Diet for Everyone?” This will ensure that:


  1. A doctor is consulted to rule out any serious medical issues.
  2. You will take the proper steps to reach out to a FODMAP knowledgeable Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help find your personal dietary triggers and follow a Low FODMAP Diet with care.


From there, getting started will entail the following:


  1. Working with a credentialed FODMAP nutrition expert on a FODMAP elimination diet for a pre-set amount of time.
  2. Tracking your food intake and symptoms during the FODMAP elimination phase.
  3. Step-wise FODMAP re-introduction challenges.
  4. Tracking symptoms and reactions to the challenges.
  5. Identification of specific FODMAP triggers.
  6. Development of an individualized list of FODMAPs to avoid and a customized meal pattern to minimize their intake.
  7. Tracking symptoms and reactions to the meal plan.

Watch these short videos: The Basics of Following a Low FODMAP Diet and Re-introducing FODMAPs in the Diet ©2016 The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Used under license by Nestlé


In addition, other tools in this section can help keep a Low FODMAP Diet on track, with tips on label reading, low FODMAP grocery shopping lists, menu ideas, journal entries and more. Recipe suggestions can also be found on this site.

Food and Symptoms Journaling
food and symptom journals

Tracking Your Progress

Keeping a journal is a critical component of finding answers to unanswered questions about a person’s individual food triggers. Remember to record foods eaten, symptoms experienced and track progress. Click here for a printable food journal to help you get started.


A FODMAP knowledgeable Registered Dietitian Nutritionist should counsel about what they would like to see recorded. Essentially, on a daily basis the user should record information regarding food and beverage intake and ABCDE symptoms they experience. Note that symptoms can show up even a day or two after you've eaten the food. It is important to provide as much detail as possible including portion size, food preparation and any brand names. 


Day #:
I ate:
I drank:
Abdominal Pain (Before/After):
Bloating and Distention (Before/After):
Constipation (Before/After):
Diarrhea (Before/After):
Excessive Gas (Before/After):
Finding a FODMAP Knowledgeable Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
FODMAP knowledgeable registered dietitian nutritionist

A FODMAP knowledgeable registered dietitian nutritionist will provide information so that the Low FODMAP Diet is followed in a way that will:


  1. Effectively single out dietary triggers
  2. Reduce dietary restrictions
  3. Ensure the diet is maximizing nutritional requirements for good health
  4. Improve quality of life for the person with digestive sensitivities, including those who suffer from IBS


Ask your Gastroenterologist if there is a FODMAP expert in your area. Additionally, these resources may help:


Shopping, Reading Labels & Dining Out
low FODMAP grocery list

Planning ahead is key to living comfortably within a restrictive eating plan. With proper education and helpful tools, even a Low FODMAP Diet can be made easier, and help keep symptoms at bay. Some basic guidance is listed below – and prepared in a printable version – so guidance is always at your fingertips.


Grocery Shopping

Learning the ins and outs of low FODMAP foods is critical. Here are some tips to get familiar with them.


  • Keep lowFODMAP Grocery lists handy until individual triggers are clearly identified.
  • Download and use the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Smart Phone App, which invites the user to enter their individual dietary restrictions. With this information, the App then provides a customized red/yellow/green traffic light system for all of the foods in their extensive database.
  • Explore low FODMAP menu ideas and recipes through the various links on this site.
  • Try New ProNourish™ low FODMAP nutritional drinks. ProNourish™ drinks contribute 3 g of low FODMAP fiber, 15 g of protein, are suitable for lactose intolerance (not for individuals with Galactosemia), gluten free and do not contain sugar alcohols. Learn more and print a coupon at


Reading Labels

  • Become an avid ingredient label reader; scan for FODMAPs among ingredients compare with low FODMAP lists for high FODMAP ingredients and additives.
  • Read labels for all prepared items. For example, check for common high FODMAP ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, honey, mushrooms, garlic, onion, chicory or chicory root (inulin), wheat, rye, barley, polydextrose, fructooligosaccharides, non-fat milk, cream, sorbitol, mannitol.

Watch this short video: Reading Labels ©2016 The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Used under license by Nestlé

This table developed by the Nutrition team at Monash University helps to identify many FODMAP-containing ingredients that may need to be avoided, with the types of products that these ingredients may be found.


FODMAP-containing ingredients to avoid* Potential sources*

Soft drinks

Some sweet foods e.g. cakes, confectionary

Sports drinks and sports gels

High fructose corn syrup

Soft drinks

Granola bars




Sweetened products

Granola bars

Breakfast cereals


Lactose Dairy products

Chewing gums and mints

Artificially sweetened or diet products

Cough medicines / lozenges


Chewing gums and mints

Artificial sweetened or diet products

Cough medicines / lozenges

Xylitol Chewing gums and mints
Isomalt Chewing gums, diet candies and mints
Garlic or garlic products (e.g. garlic salt, garlic powder)

Flavored products (e.g., pasta sauces/pastes, stocks, flavored crackers, chips)


Onion or onion products (e.g. onion salt, onion powder)

Flavored products (e.g., pasta sauces/pastes, stocks, flavored crackers, chips)


Wheat when it is a main ingredient (i.e. listed as one of the top three on the ingredient list)


Breakfast cereals



Rye when it is a main ingredient (i.e. listed first to third on the ingredient list)


Breakfast cereals





Nutritional bars and drinks

Fructan High fiber foods
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

Protein powders

Sports products

Nutritional drinks

Chicory Coffee substitutes
Fruit juices (e.g., pear juice, apple juice)

Granola bars

Breakfast cereals



Fruit pieces which make up a significant portion of the food

Fruit yogurts

Granola bars

Breakfast cereals


*Please note that this table is not exhaustive and not all products listed will necessarily contain these ingredients. Always check the food label to see what ingredients the product contains.

Source: Tuck, C. Label reading – how to spot the FODMAPs. Monash University. Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Available at


Dining Out

This might seem daunting to the person on a restrictive diet, but it can be done, and everyone deserves to enjoy getting a night off from cooking at home.


Here are a few tips that will help ease menu selections and the anxiety of eating at a restaurant.


  • Find a restaurant that works:
    • Communicate with your server that you have important dietary restrictions.
    • Review the menu in advance.
    • Diners/Pancake Houses always serve eggs and omelets are easily customized
    • Asian-style menus offer many rice-based dishes
    • Steak house-style restaurants offer basics (meat, starch, vegetable) and are often willing to make exceptions
    • Sushi is generally a safe bet, though take caution with excess avocado
  • Stick with safe themes:
    • Omelets (watch for added onions, garlic or mushrooms)
    • Grilled meat, fish, poultry
    • Meat, vegetable, potato
    • Salads that can be customized, dressings kept simple
    • Gluten-free menu options, as this will remove wheat (but watch out for other high FODMAP ingredients).
  • Take caution with hidden ingredients – Ask a server/chef to clarify:
    • Sauces and dressings often have onion and garlic
    • Soups, risotto, Mexican-style dishes may have cream or sour cream
    • Soups may contain beans, noodles, onion, garlic or mushrooms
    • Ground meat may be prepared with garlic and onion


FODMAPs and food labels

Read labels to spot ingredients high in FODMAPs.

One Day Meal Plan
FODMAP meal plan

Looking for ideas on how to get started? This sample meal plan comes courtesy of Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN, emphasizing healthful ingredients and great taste. This sample meal plan can be printed as well by clicking here.


Egg omelet filled with baby spinach, red pepper and cheddar cheese. Enjoy with an orange.


Stuffed Baked Potato:  Carefully scoop out hot potato filling from one large baked potato. Mix with 1 tablespoon lactose free milk and 2 teaspoons butter. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, mash to blend and place back in hot potato. Top with sautéed red peppers and chopped chives.


Banana slices with spoonful of almond butter or peanut butter and sprinkle of semi-sweet chocolate chips.


Lean piece of grilled steak (London broil or Flank), Bibb lettuce salad with grated carrots, cherry tomatoes and orange pepper slices with red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing and side of roasted potatoes.


Vanilla lactose free yogurt with blueberries and 1 tablespoon chia seeds.


Additional recipes and menu ideas can be found within this site and at the following resources:


Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN. The Well Balanced FODMAPer Blog


Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Blog Spot

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Find a Nutrition Expert. Available at
  • Gibson, PR, Shepherd SJ. Food Choice as a Key Management Strategy for Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Am J Gastroenterol. 2012;107:657-66.
  • Halmos EP, et al. A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterol. 2014;146:67-75.
  • Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN. FODMAP Resources. Available at
  • Mansueto P, et al. Role of FODMAPs in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Review. NCP. 2015;30(15):665-82.
  • Monash University Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Available at
  • Monash University. 2016. The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet (Version 1.6) [Mobile Application Software]. Retrieved from
  • Mullin GE, et al. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Contemporary Nutrition Management Strategies. JPEN. 2014;38:781-99.