For those who have been on or who are on the Low FODMAP diet, we know that going out can be a struggle. Overwhelming menu options and being unsure about what’s really behind each food in terms of ingredients can get stressful. Here are some tips on making your night out one to enjoy and not one to dread.
- Calling the day prior to or before you arrive at the restaurant can ensure that there are suitable options for you. Politely ensuring that the catering staff are aware of your dietary restrictions is an important step to getting a suitable meal prepared for you. It is also handy to ask the kitchen staff which meals they are most likely to be able to modify for you.
- Choose a basic meat option and ensure no garlic or onion is added to this step.
(I.e. Grilled meat, fish or poultry)
- Asking for a salad instead of vegetables can sometimes be an easier option whilst out. More places will have suitable salad options compared to always having Low FODMAP vegetables. When choosing a salad with your meal, lettuce leaves, tomatoes (gourmet or up to 5 cherry tomato’s) and cucumber are Low FODMAP. It is also best to ask for olive oil as a dressing in this instance or bring your own Low FODMAP dressing/sauce to be sure of ingredients. A lot of dressings may contain garlic and onion. It is still fine to ask about vegetables if you want them. Ensure that they are Low FODMAP and consume only the recommended amount as per the Monash Low FODMAP app. It is also important to ask whether the vegetables are cooked with any garlic or onion.
- Choose a side of gluten free chips or baked potatoes with your meal to compliment your meat and salad (most pubs and restaurants do a side of potatoes/chips and salad). Gluten free chips are a safe option as sometimes restaurants may have a flour coating on their chips (containing a High FODMAP ingredient of wheat).
Ensuring that you notify the kitchen staff that you must avoid garlic and onion for medical reasons ensures that your dish won’t be hidden with surprises when it comes out. A lot of restaurants these days include onion in salads, so please be mindful of this.
Be aware of the foods that may contain hidden ingredients:
- Ground meat may have been dressed or prepared with garlic or onion.
- Sauces/dressings may contain garlic or onion.
- Gluten free options (whilst the removal of wheat is Low FODMAP, these foods may still contain garlic, onion or inulin which are High FODMAP).
- Pasta and Risotto’s may contain cream, mushrooms, onion and garlic.