FODMAP Stacking and How to Avoid it
No not FODBOD stacking – FODMAP stacking. You may have heard of the phrase and are wondering what all the fuss is about, or perhaps you’ve been following a low FODMAP diet and are yet to experience any symptom improvement despite following the guidelines.
As the name suggests, a low FODMAP diet focuses on eating primarily low FODMAP foods. Typically, it takes us 12-48 hours for our food to fully digest. So, if we regularly eat foods that are low FODMAP, those small amounts of FODMAPs can build or “stack” up on each other and exceed the low FODMAP threshold. Whether they are eaten in the same meal or in meals close together, it is a very common and easy trap to fall into because most foods are low FODMAP, not no FODMAP.
- Let’s say you’re a big smoothie fan. You add in some berries, a banana, some almond butter, and coconut water. If you were to eat each item alone at separate times, they would remain low FODMAP however when eaten together, at the same time, they “stack” to become high FODMAP.
Everyone has a unique gut and digestive system with varying tolerance levels to different types of FODMAPs – ie. what causes symptoms for you may not cause symptoms for a fellow IBS sufferer. For this reason, it is quite difficult to set strict guidelines on what and how much you can eat. To minimize your chances of FODMAP stacking, here are some tips:
- Eat from a variety of food groups/different FODMAP categories. We recommend using the Monash FODMAP app which tells you which FODMAP each food contains.
- Always stick to the low FODMAP serving size. Even foods that have been FODMAP Friendly certified have only been tested for the specified serving size.
- Spread your meals and snacks out. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours (if you can’t wait that long, refer to tip number 4).
- Eat more FODMAP-free foods!
- Don’t stress about stacking lactose-containing foods unless you are lactose intolerant as it is digested differently.