Thursday, 11 December 2014

It's starting to taste a lot like Christmas!

Christmas is around the corner, so what better way to get into the festive spirit than with some low FODMAP Christmas cooking! Below are some low FODMAP Christmas recipes that the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash team has prepared.

Orange Ginger bread

1½ cups quinoa flour
1½ cups almond meal
1/3 cups castor sugar
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 large eggs
¾ cup lactose free yoghurt
½ cup grated pumpkin
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 tblp fresh orange juice

Sift dry ingredients (except almond meal and sugar) into a large bowl. Add almond meal and sugar. Mix in the eggs, yoghurt, pumpkin, orange juice and rind, syrup and oil. Mix well. Prepare a loaf tin – lightly spray with oil and line the base with baking paper. Pour mix into tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the bread. Cool completely in the pan. Turn the ginger bread out of the tin and it’s ready to eat!

Roasted red pepper dip

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup of quinoa grain
½ cup of goat’s feta cheese (crumbled)
1 tsp sambal oelek
½ lemon, juiced
1 ¼ cup roasted red peppers*
½ bunch chives, finely chopped
Sea salt and cracked pepper

* To roast your own peppers
Grill fresh red peppers (skin on) in the oven or over an open flame until the skin starts to shrivel and blacken. Turn over until the whole pepper has charred. Remove from the oven and place in a bag to cool completely (allow approximately 20 minutes). Remove the skin and rinse the peppers prior to use.

Preheat oven to 180ᴼC. Add the water and quinoa to a pan. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes until the quinoa is light and the grain has opened. Cool completely and fluff gently with a fork. Puree the quinoa with half the goat’s cheese. Add the sambal oelek, lemon juice, red pepper and chives and season to taste. Process until the mix is smooth. Pour into a baking dish. Top with remaining goat’s cheese. Bake until the edges are beginning to brown. Serve warm with julienned carrots and cucumber or rice wafers.

Salmon fillets with pine nut and roasted red pepper salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa grain
1 ¼ cups of roasted red pepper, chopped
½ bunch spring onions (green tops only), chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly roasted
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp flax seed oil
2 x 150g salmon fillets
Olive oil
½ cup goat’s feta cheese, crumbled
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until fluffy (approximately 15 minutes - the germ should come out). Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool completely. Combine the quinoa, roasted red peppers, goat’s feta cheese, spring onions and pine nuts. Fold through the lemon juice and flax seed oil. Season to taste.

Preheat BBQ or grill. Reduce to a medium heat. Grease lightly with the olive oil. Lightly brush the salmon with a little olive oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on either side. Serve immediately with salad on the side.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Getting enough fibre on a low FODMAP diet

By Dr Jane Varney

Achieving an adequate fibre intake can be a challenge for people following a low FODMAP diet as the diet excludes many high fibre foods. These include certain types of legumes and pulses, some types of grains and cereals and some types of fruits and vegetables. Despite this difficulty, a fibre intake of 25-30g per day is recommended for people with IBS. This recommendation is consistent with the recommended fibre intake for the general population. So how might you boost your fibre intake while following a low FODMAP diet? Here are some ideas:

·      Snack on low FODMAP fruit such as bananas, raspberries, rhubarb, kiwifruit, mandarin, strawberries, passionfruit and oranges

·      Include low FODMAP vegetables with your meals, for example carrot (skin on), green beans, potato (skin on), corn, silverbeet and eggplant (skin on)

·     Check food labels when buying low FODMAP bread and cereal products. Compare products in the per 100g column to find higher fibre options. Some examples include quinoa flakes, brown rice, gluten free multigrain bread, rice bran, oat bran, sourdough spelt bread and porridge (oats).

·      Add canned lentils/ canned chick peas to a casserole/salad. A ‘green’ or low FODMAP serve is considered ¼ cup of canned chickpeas or ½ cup of canned lentils. Rinse the canned lentils/chickpeas well before use to help reduce the FODMAP content.

·      Snack on almonds. A ‘green’ or low FODMAP serve of almonds is considered 10 nuts

·      Add oat bran or rice bran to your breakfast cereal. A ‘green’ or low FODMAP serve of oat or rice bran is considered 2 tablespoons 

·      Talk to your pharmacist about trying a fibre supplement made from sterculia. Stericulia is considered less ‘gas forming’ than other fibre supplements and may help to treat constipation in people with IBS. This said, few well designed studies have been conducted to measure the efficacy of this fibre supplement. 


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Eating vegan on a low FODMAP diet

By Lucy Taylor (Dietitian)

As FODMAPs are found exclusively in plant foods (with the exception of lactose in dairy products), and vegans rely solely on plant-based sources of dietary protein, this can make it difficult (though not impossible!) for vegans to follow a low FODMAP diet and get enough protein. There are many good sources of plant-based protein which are also low in FODMAPs, including soy foods and grains.

Although whole soy beans contain a significant amount of the galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) stachyose and raffinose, many products made from soy beans are actually low in FODMAPs. 

Tofu is a curd made from soy beans, and during the production of tofu, the FODMAPs are separated out so tofu is naturally low in FODMAPs. Firm tofu is a very good source of protein, with around 15g per 100g. It is also a good source of iron and zinc. 

Tempeh is another high-protein soy product which contains around 18g of protein per 100g. Although tempeh is made from whole soy beans, as it is fermented, it is low in FODMAPs.

Soy milk
Soy milk made from soy protein (rather than whole soy bean) is also low in FODMAPs, and a good source of protein at around 8g per 250mL cup. 

Some low FODMAP and gluten-free grains are also relatively higher in protein including quinoa (4g per 1/2 cup serve) and oats (4.2 per 1/2 cup serve). Grains also provide dietary fibre and B vitamins.

Legumes & lentils
Although most legumes are high in GOS, canned brown lentils can also be included in small quantities (up to half a cup; 46g; 1.62oz). 

Nuts & seeds
Nuts and seeds including brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamias, pecans, sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds and walnuts are also low in FODMAPs and contain good amounts of protein. 

Search our recipe section in our Contents for vegan recipes


Dining out on a low FODMAP diet: Greek cuisine

By Marina Iacovou (Dietitian and PhD Candidate)

When dining out, our advice is to limit rich, spicy, heavily flavoured or sauced foods such as curries, soups or pasta dishes.  We also advise you choose plain meat or fish dishes with plain rice or rice noodles, baked potatoes served with fresh salads or steamed vegetables.

Pizza restaurants are a popular eatery among Australians.  Many of them now make gluten-free bases and all you need to do is choose low FODMAP toppings.  But have you ever thought about going Greek for a low FODMAP meal? Because it’s not all about garlic and onions.  

Whilst we recommend you avoid dips, moussaka, pasticho (baked pasta with béchamel sauce) and the honey based desserts – there is still plenty to choose from. 

Some classic foods that can be found at most traditional Greek restaurants and are low FODMAP include:                                                                                                              
  • Saganaki with lemon - a grilled Greek cheese 
  • Haloumi -  a Cypriot cheese which is often grilled       
  • Olives – ask for plain olives or with a marinade of olive oil and rosemary or oregano with coriander seeds (no garlic)
  • Horta - pan fried wild greens, lemon, olive oil
  • Elliniki Salata – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives – olive oil, vinegar based dressing with herbs (ask for no onion)
  • Plain Greek yoghurtif you are not lactose intolerant or simply ask for a small amount
  • Chargrilled fish, scallops
  • Htapodi - chargrilled octopus, olive oil, lemon.
  • Garithes - Chargrilled tiger prawns, ouzo spiced salt            
  • Quail
  • Tiganites Patates - potatoes fried in olive oil, oregano, salt                    
  • Psites patates – roasted potatoes
  • Arni Sto Fourno - Slow roasted shoulder of lamb on the bone
  • Chicken from the spit
  • Mixed grills - with salad and patates 
In loving memory of Amanda Banfield


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Bourghal: Newly tested for FODMAP content

Bourghal  - 1 serve 
(1/2 cup, cooked; 88grams)
Bourghal – ½ serve 
(1/4 cup, cooked; 44grams)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Brazil Nuts: Newly tested for FODMAP content


Brazil nuts are another food that people have frequently asked us to test for FODMAP content! 

Brazil nuts have been given an overall rating of green. The serving sizes specified here are low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.  

Avoid very large servings of brazil nuts (> 100 grams) which contain high amounts of the Oligos-GOS.

Brazil Nuts
- 1 serve (10 nuts; 40g; 1.4 ounces)
- ½ serve (5 nuts; 20g; 0.7 ounces)


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

FAQ: The low FODMAP diet is helping to control my symptoms, should I stay on it forever?

By Caroline Tuck

The short answer is no. In fact, we do not encourage patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who have been following a low FODMAP diet to continue the diet in the long term. This is for a number of reasons:

1. Many people can re-introduce some higher FODMAP foods into their diet and still have good symptom control. So it is not necessary to stay on a strict low FODMAP diet.

2. Foods higher in FODMAPs are also high in prebiotics, which means they help to feed the good bacteria in our gut.

3. It is important for food variety to reintroduce any foods well tolerated back into the diet.

So how do I start the re-introduction process you ask? Speak with a dietitian who is experienced in this area to get you started! See links below to find your local dietitian association listings:



New Zealand

South Africa




Monash University's Peter Gibson features in The New Yorker

The New Yorker have recently published a feature on how gluten intolerances have developed over the years, featuring the research of our Director of Gastroenterology's Peter Gibson. 

It can be read here: The New Yorker: Against the Grain

Monday, 27 October 2014

Tomato Sauce & Ketchup: Newly tested for FODMAP content

We have received many requests about the FODMAP content of tomato sauce. We have now tested tomato sauce from Australia and also tomato ketchup from the USA.

Please Note: Tomato sauce and ketchup tend to be high in salt and sugars and so should be consumed in moderation.

Tomato Sauce (Australia)

Tomato sauce - 1 serve
(2 sachets, 13 grams, 0.45 ounces)
Tomato sauce  – ½ serve
(1 sachet, 6 grams, 0.23 ounces)

Tomato sauce sourced from Australia has been given an overall rating of green.   The serving sizes specified here are low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.  Large quantities of tomato sauce (26 grams or 4 sachets) contains moderate amounts of Oligos-fructans, intake should be limited.

Ketchup (USA), sweetened with sucrose

Ketchup (USA)- 1 serve 
(2 sachets, 0.90 ounces or 26 grams)
Ketchup (USA)  – ½ serve 
(1 sachet, 0.45 ounces or 13 grams)

Tomato Ketchup sourced from the USA that has been sweetened with sucrose has been given an overall rating of red.   The serving size specified here (1 serve= 2 sachets, 0.90 ounces) is high in Oligos-fructans and should be avoided by most individuals with IBS.   However, a smaller quantity of tomato ketchup (1 sachet, 0.45 ounces) is low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.  

Ketchup (USA), sweetened with high fructose corn syrup

Ketchup (USA)- 1 serve 
(2 sachets, 0.90 ounces or 26 grams)
Ketchup (USA)  – ½ serve 
(1 sachet, 0.45 ounces or 13 grams)

Tomato Ketchup sourced from the USA that has been sweetened with high fructose corn syrup has been given an overall rating of red.   The serving size specified here (1 serve= 2 sachets, 0.9 ounces) is high in Oligos-fructans and should be avoided by most individuals with IBS.   However, a smaller quantity of tomato ketchup (1 sachet, 0.45 ounces) is low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.