Eating out can be a daunting challenge for anyone following the Low FODMAP Diet, particularly when you are in the elimination phase. It can also feel rather embarrassing to be that person who has long frustrating conversations with the staff about what is in each dish. It often feels easier to just deal with the consequences of what you eat rather than being the ‘fussy’ one. The stress of it all can feel too much to handle, with that stress potentially causing an IBS flare-up by itself. Our top tips are here to make eating out much less stressful and easier to avoid those hard-to-digest, triggering ingredients.
Keep it simple
It’s a good idea to go for simple dishes like steak and vegetables to ensure you are avoiding as many high FODMAP foods as possible. Many of these dishes will list out what vegetables it includes and if not, it’s an easy conversation to have with your server. You can more simply tailor a meal with meat, potatoes and veg to be low FODMAP rather than a dish with added/hidden ingredients.
Salads are a brilliant choice when trying to avoid high FODMAP ingredients. This is because you can see what foods have been used and more easily put any high FODMAP ingredients to one side. It’s also less complicated for the chef to avoid using certain ingredients whilst making your salad. Just remember to ask for the dressing on the side too!
Gluten free options
Choosing a restaurant that offer gluten-free dishes/menus is a good idea. Whilst most of us are ok with some gluten, gluten-free often eliminates wheat, which is a high FODMAP ingredient. It also shows that the restaurant is willing to cater for free from diets and is likely to be more accommodating to your needs.
Be organised and check the website before heading to your chosen restaurant. It makes it a lot less complicated if you have ideas of what is safe to order before you arrive for your meal. You could email or call-in advance to discuss options and ingredients in dishes. This allows you to gain information without the pressure to order quickly.
Found a safe dish or accommodating restaurant? Make sure to take note so that you have easy options to choose in the future. Find dishes you like and suggest going back to those restaurants when friends and family suggest a meal out!
Keep a diary
Keeping a food diary, like our Food & Symptom Diary, is always handy throughout your whole IBS and Low FODMAP journey. If you're already using a food diary, then be sure to note down the dishes you've eaten, the restaurant and your symptoms following your meal out. This way you can keep track of your intake and resulting symptoms making it easier to avoid certain dishes and restaurants in the future. If you don't currently use a food diary, we highly recommend starting one to find patterns between your intake and symptoms allowing you to pinpoint your specific trigger ingredients. This will also make eating out more simple as you'll know what ingredients to completely avoid.
By using these tips, you may not always be able to avoid all high FODMAP ingredients, but we hope that they help you to make more informed decisions and take away some of the worry that surrounds eating out.
Had a bad reaction whilst eating out? Don’t panic! Use one of our delicious, Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free products to create a worry-free dish to make sure your gut gets straight to healing.
Written by Bay Burdett, Founder & CEO of Bay’s Kitchen.
Copyright Bay’s Kitchen. Please do not reprint without permission.
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