How To Feel Better By Avoiding Foods You’re Allergic To (FODMAPS)
The most important thing, when it comes to diet, is not the label, be it vegan, paleo, or any other identity-based diet. It’s avoiding foods you can’t digest properly, also known as food allergies. And this is something that only gets worse with age – when I slip up on my diet, I feel it.
Some common symptoms of food allergies are stomach aches, diarrhea, inflammation, leaky gut, IBS, skin problems and even mood disorders.
As the years have passed my gut has gotten progressively worse as well as the way my body reacts to sugar and carbs, and avoiding foods I’m allergic too has become a necessity. Not because I want to (foods I’m allergic to are my favorites), but because I have to, to be functional.
A good way to figure out what you’re allergic to is to understand FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”), which in layman’s terms means short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine.
Some common FODMAPS are:
– Most fruits
– Onions and garlic (and any sauces made with onions and garlic
– Dairy: anything with lactose or containing dairy
– Gluten: this includes bread, cookies, pasta, pastries and cereals
Some Non-FODMAP Allergens are:
– Alcohol (especially beer due to gluten)
*deep fried foods
I have problems with all the above. Not all of these will affect you, but it’s important to know which ones do and to avoid them. For example you might be able to eat nuts without a problem but garlic hurts your gut. Or vice versa. The way to find out which foods you can tolerate, and which ones you can’t, is with a basic elimination test. That means starting with a FODMAP free diet, building up from there, and monitoring for any allergic reactions.
The simplest FODMAP free diet is:
– Chicken breast (organic if possible with minimal seasoning)
– Beef (organic if possible with minimal seasoning)
– Fish (organic if possible with minimal seasoning)
– Rice (brown rice if you can)
– Potatoes (not french fries)
– No alcohol or caffeine
When I follow the above diet I feel terrific. When I follow the above and cheat occasionally I feel good. But when I cheat a lot – NOT GOOD.
If you struggle with eating healthy, at least aim to eat healthy during the day so that you can have energy to take care of business and cheat at night. Chicken breast and rice or steak and potatoes is the perfect lunch to give you energy for the rest of the day.
If you want to get even healthier than limit your potatoes and rice to keep from overloading on carbs and have your blood sugar stay nice and even.
As for caffeine and alcohol, I’ve quit both at various times. My life is better with caffeine for now, but it looks like alcohol is no longer a plus as it starts to take more of a toll on my body. I will probably be phasing it out completely.
As for vegetables, you can’t eat enough in terms of health. With that said, if you’re not getting enough, you can always take a concentrated superfoods greens powder every morning, with a superpowered multivitamin like I do.
Lastly it’s a good idea to avoid foods that have been deep fried, yes barbecue chicken is better than baked, and french fries are better than potatoes, but foods that have been fried in dirty oils aren’t good for your gut either and will slow you down and possibly cause problems with your gut.