One in seven Australians battle with the debilitating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A bloated, windy tummy and inconsistent (although some might say inconsiderate) bowels are just some symptoms that disrupt the lives of many. The good news is, many IBS food culprits can be enjoyed… BUT it all comes down to the serve sizes, portions and keeping it all balanced. What we do know, thanks to the researchers from Monash University, is that the foods to be careful of contain FODMAPs.

What is FODMAP?

FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols” – now you can understand the need for an acronym, right? They are (in simple terms) sugars and carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and as such cause digestive problems.

When I found out that FODMAP foods were giving me grief, I was initially devastated. My mind jumped to the thought of a brunch without avocado, a summer without fruit and a lifetime without yoghurt and pizza… but, let me reassure you, it’s not a NO FODMAP approach, it’s just about keeping them LOW or opting for some alternatives.

Let’s look at some of the most scrumptious FODMAP ingredients and how you can use them or swap them.


Avocado 20g
Beetroot 2 slices fresh
Broccoli 1 cup florets
Corn ½ a cob
Button mushrooms Swap to champignons
Shiitake mushrooms Swap to oyster mushrooms
Onion Swap to spring onion green tops
Snow peas 5 pods
Sweet potato ½ cup
Peaches Swap for 1 cup chopped pineapple
Apples Swap for 1 orange
Watermelon Swap for ½ cup rockmelon
Pear Swap for 2 peeled kiwi fruit
Figs Swap for 1 cup of grapes
Milk Swap for lactose free milk
Low fat yoghurt Swap for 1 tub (125g) coconut yoghurt
Haloumi 50g
Feta ½ cup crumbled
Almonds 10 nuts
Lentils ½ cup canned, drained
Bread 1 slice


***All ingredients in the table sourced via Monash University Low FODMAP App.


With some thoughtful planning, you’ll find that following a low FODMAP approach is worth the effort and you can (hopefully) say goodbye to those pesky symptoms. A Low FODMAP diet has shown to help 4/5 people overcome their tummy discomfort.

Let’s put the LOW (not NO) into action!


2 poached eggs with 1 slice of bread topped with 20g avocado, served with a side of grilled tomato and wilted spinach sprinkled with feta.


A poached chicken salad with cucumber, tomato, ½ cup leftover roasted sweet potato dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and chives with 5 chopped almonds sprinkled on top.


Beef stir fry with spring onion tops, baby bok choy, coriander, peanut/sesame oil, carrot, capsicum, zucchini, a little celery and brown rice topped with some pine nuts.


Hard boiled egg and 1 cup grapes

2 rice cakes with 2 TBS peanut butter

1 tub coconut yoghurt with a sprinkle of blueberries

With the right tools in hand, you’ll have the knowledge to prepare delicious meals. I always recommend the Monash University Low FODMAP App, it’s fantastic. Getting the expertise of a low FODMAP dietitian will also give you that added support and reassurance.

You can also check out my Low FODMAP recipes in the 12WBT Recipe Index.

A low FODMAP life does not need to be a life sentence of bland food, it can be the most wonderful culinary adventure with the added bonus of no bloat! Just remember is it a low FODMAP approach, not a no FODMAP approach… and once you work out your triggers, you’ll have even more foods to choose from.

Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu
Lisa is the Lead Dietitian for 12WBT. With a Masters in Nutrition & Dietietics as well as a Bachelor of Education, Lisa is keen to help all 12 Weekers understand how to achieve health for life. Lisa studied Sports Dietetics at the Australian Institute of Sport and has a keen interest in gastrointestinal health. A highly regarded communicator, Lisa is a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, the ‘Dietitian in Residence’ at the University of Canberra and a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She has also been an expert on ABC Television’s Ask the Dr Series.

    You may also like

    Comments are closed.

    More in Nutrition