Eating out whilst following a low FODMAP diet can prove quite a challenging and stressful experience. However it is still possible to eat out during the elimination phase and enjoy it! It does eventually get easier once you have completed the reintroduction phase and know what your triggers and tolerance levels are.
Here are 10 tips to help you eat out on a low FODMAP diet.
Tips on eating out on the low FODMAP diet
- Pick a restaurant with a varied menu. This will increase the options of finding low FODMAP options.
- Consider choosing a restaurant that offers gluten-free options. This will open up more options such as pizza and pasta dishes. If you live in the UK become a member of Coeliac UK. Once you join (membership at a cost) you will be able to access their venue guide app which locates restaurants offering GF options in your area making life a bit easier.
- Check out the menu beforehand. Most restaurants have menus available online. This will allow you to find restaurants which may offer suitable low FODMAP options or have items on the menu that can be easily amended.
- Call the restaurant in advance. Ask if certain dishes could be altered to suit your needs such as omitting onion and garlic. If they are not accommodating over the phone then this is probably a sign that you should pick a different restaurant.
- Choose simple meals such as grilled meat, chicken, fish, rice (e.g. steamed rice), potatoes, salads with low FODMAP vegetables, eggs, omelette, sushi, sorbet or low FODMAP fruits for dessert.
- Ask for substitutions. e.g. swapping couscous for rice or grilled vegetable for a simple salad.
- Watch out for hidden high FODMAP ingredients.
Watch out for hidden onion and garlic in sauces, seasoning, stocks, soups, dressing etc.
If possible check the labels or ask your server.
- Keep your non-FODMAP triggers into consideration. High fat meals, spicy food, alcohol and caffeine are all common IBS triggers.
- Inform your server that you have to avoid certain foods due to a medical condition. Having a printed list which highlight the main foods you have to avoid may help.
- Remember that the low FODMAP diet is not a gluten free or a dairy free diet. This means you can have small amounts of milk or dairy products such as hard cheese.
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