If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you know how difficult it can be to eat out at restaurants. The fear of triggering symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea can make dining out a stressful experience. But fear not, because we have compiled the ultimate guide to eating out on a low FODMAP diet.
What is a Low FODMAP Diet?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can cause digestive symptoms in people with IBS. A low FODMAP diet involves avoiding high FODMAP foods for a period of time and then gradually reintroducing them to determine which ones trigger symptoms.
Tips for Eating Out on a Low FODMAP Diet
1. Research restaurants ahead of time
Many restaurants now offer low FODMAP options on their menus, so it’s worth doing some research before you go out to eat. Check online menus or call ahead to ask about low FODMAP options. Some restaurants may also be willing to modify dishes to make them low FODMAP.
2. Stick to simple dishes
The more ingredients a dish has, the more likely it is to contain high FODMAP foods. Stick to simple dishes like grilled meats, fish, or salads with low FODMAP dressings. Avoid dishes with sauces, marinades, or gravies that may contain high FODMAP ingredients.
3. Be careful with sides
Sides like garlic bread, onion rings, or coleslaw are high FODMAP and should be avoided. Instead, opt for low FODMAP sides like roasted vegetables, steamed rice, or a simple green salad.
4. Watch out for hidden FODMAPs
Some dishes may contain hidden sources of FODMAPs, like wheat in soy sauce or honey in salad dressings. Be sure to ask your server about any potential sources of FODMAPs.
5. Bring your own low FODMAP snacks
If you’re unsure about the low FODMAP options at a restaurant, consider bringing your own low FODMAP snacks like rice cakes or nuts to tide you over until you can find a suitable meal.
Low FODMAP Options at Popular Restaurants
Here are some low FODMAP options at popular restaurants:
– Chipotle: Chicken or steak bowls with lettuce, rice, and salsa (avoid beans, cheese, and guacamole)
– Panera Bread: You Pick 2 with a low FODMAP salad (avoid bread, soups, and sandwiches)
– Olive Garden: Grilled chicken or shrimp with steamed vegetables (avoid pasta dishes and garlic bread)
– Outback Steakhouse: Grilled chicken or steak with a side of steamed vegetables or a side salad (avoid sauces and marinades)
Eating out on a low FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little bit of planning and knowledge, you can enjoy dining out while managing your IBS symptoms. Happy eating!