When starting the low FODMAP elimination phase, it’s inevitable that certain once-loved foods will need to be temporarily eliminated. The key word here is temporarily, as the premise of the low FODMAP diet is not to permanently restrict your diet, but rather, temporarily eliminate foods to determine whether you are sensitive to FODMAPs and then systematically reintroduce these foods in order to identify your personal dietary triggers. Of course, with each season, there are popular foods that may need to be temporarily eliminated and for the Fall season, apples tend to be a beloved and missed food. However, there are so many wonderful, fall-themed foods that are a suitable part of a low FODMAP diet. If you’re having some apple FOMO (fear of missing out) this season, consider including these other fall flavors into your diet so you can enjoy some added nutrition and the cozy flavors of the season!
Pumpkins are the quintessential fall symbol and canned pumpkin happens to be low FODMAP in servings of 1/3 C or less. This is great news for those who want to get their baking on during the fall season, since pretty much everything becomes pumpkin flavored! While 1/3 C may not seem like a significant amount, pumpkin is so flavorful and it is typically not used in very large quantities in recipes. You have probably already tried pumpkin-themed baked goods, but some other ways to enjoy pumpkin this season include adding pumpkin puree to oatmeal (or overnight oats), making a fall-flavored smoothie or adding to chia pudding. Pumpkin is a nutrition powerhouse that is rich in beta-carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A), vitamin C and fiber – so enjoy adding it to all of your favorite foods this season, knowing that you are nourishing your body and your taste buds!
Sweet potato is low FODMAP in ½ C portion and it is so versatile. I love making baked sweet potato fries with cinnamon for some ultimate low FODMAP fall flavor! Other ways you can enjoy this sweet veggie include mashing cooked sweet potato on a sandwich, toasting slices to make sweet potato toast (and topping with fun add-ons, like peanut butter, seeds, sliced hard boiled eggs or lactose-free yogurt), or roasting with other low FODMAP root veggies (to help you stick to the low FODMAP portion while adding some additional volume). Sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of beta carotene (again, that precursor to vitamin A) and potassium!
Pure maple syrup is a great low FODMAP alternative to honey and agave and it happens to have that signature, cozy, fall flavor. It’s a delicious sweetener to drizzle over yogurt or oatmeal, mixed into tea, baked into a homemade granola or used in your favorite baking recipe in place of honey. It also adds some autumn flavor to roasted veggies and cooked meats, such as a roasted pork tenderloin. Check out my Maple Rosemary Roasted Carrots here for a tasty and fall flavored veggie side dish!
Parsnips do not have detectable FODMAPs and can be enjoyed freely while following the low FODMAP diet. Plus, one cup of parsnip slices contains 7 grams of gut-friendly fiber, 37% of your daily value (DV) vitamin C and 14% of your DV potassium! Parsnips are a root veggie related to the carrot and are surprisingly sweet. They are very versatile and can be roasted, boiled in soup to add some sweet flavor, baked as parsnip fries or mashed into a puree.
Whenever there is a need for dietary restrictions, it is so important to focus on the foods that you can include, rather than emphasizing the foods that need to be avoided. Also, it is important to remember that the low FODMAP diet is a 3-phase diet, which includes a temporary elimination phase, a reintroduction phase and a maintenance phase. Once you have completed the elimination and reintroduction phases, you will likely be able to liberalize your diet and include well tolerated FODMAPs. Working with a dietitian can be very helpful during this process so you can ensure that you are meeting your nutrient needs, following the low FODMAP diet correctly and enjoying the process with delicious foods that you can tolerate.