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Our Low FODMAP BBQ Guide

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It’s summer and every weekend someone is hosting a BBQ.  While these are often considered ‘fun’ and ‘delicious’ gatherings, when managing IBS, they can be daunting.  Below are a few tips on how to navigate any BBQ without worrying about IBS, bloating, or discomfort! 

MEATS & POULTRY

Man and son barbecuing with family in the background at park

Hamburgers & Cheeseburgers: Grilled beef with salt and pepper is a simple and safe option (black pepper is low FODMAP, but if spices irritate you, use it sparingly).  Feel free to add any of the following low FODMAP cheeses: cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack.  Enjoy with lettuce, tomatoes, Maille Dijon mustard (not all mustards are low in FODMAPs), mayonnaise, pickles, and bacon!  Avoid hamburger buns that are not gluten-free, ketchup, onions, mushrooms, American cheese, and BBQ sauce or Worcestershire sauce.

Hotdogs, Sausages & RibsAvoid these items because of the hidden FODMAPs in meats, marinades, and BBQ sauce such as onion powder and garlic powder.

Chicken: This is a great option for a low FODMAP diet with a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and herbs! Ensure it is not marinated with store purchased sauces, nor has onion or garlic powder. 

FISH

Cropped image of waitress displaying salmon dish in restaurant-1

Grilled Fish: A little olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon is all you need!  My all-time favorite is grilling a whole branzino with olive oil, lemon, thyme, salt, and black pepper. It’s super easy and fresh, and has a ton of flavor! 

Raw Bar: Oysters, clams, and shrimp are perfect on a summer day -- but steer clear of the cocktail sauce!  Sauces like these are typically FODMAP laden with ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

VEGGIES 

Selection of fresh red yellow and orange peppers on a wooden kitchen work surface

Grilled Vegetables: Throw a veggie or two on the BBQ! A few things to know regarding summer favorites and FODMAP friendly quantities: 

  • Green Zucchini: up to ⅓ cup
  • Green Bell Peppers: up to ½ cup
  • Red Bell Peppers: up to ½ cup
  • Eggplant: up to 1 cup
  • Corn on the cob - ½ cob

Avoid Mushrooms & Onions. 

Salads: You can enjoy fresh summer salads with olive oil, lemon, and vinegar. Avoid salads with onions, pasta, and any store-bought dressings, which usually contain garlic, onion, and honey or molasses, and are frequently not gluten-free.

CHIPS & DIPS

Texture of homemade potato chips

Potato Chips & Tortilla Chips:  most original and plain versions are low in FODMAPs, For example, Lays, Utz, Cape Cod, and Kettle are all safe! Avoid any flavored chips due to FODMAPS hidden in the seasoning. 

Dips: Avoid any prepared dips, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, unless your host has tailored them to be low FODMAP compliant. These are often full of onions, garlic, and other high FODMAP ingredients. 

FRUIT BOWLS & DESSERTS

 Fresh ripe summer raspberries and blueberries on black slate

Summer Fruits: Fresh fruit is always an easy, low sugar, gluten-free dessert option. Summer favorites and low FODMAP diet friendly quantities:

  • Strawberries - up to 10 strawberries
  • Blueberries - up to ¼ cup
  • Bananas - up to ⅓ banana
  • Raspberries - up to ⅓ cup
  • Cantaloupe - up to ¾ cup 
  • Melon - up to ½ cup
  • Kiwi - up to 2 whole 
  • Grapes - up to 1 cup
  • Oranges - up to one
  • Pineapple - up to 1 cup

Avoid watermelon, blackberries, cherries, figs, peaches. 

OTHER DESSERTS

Be mindful of prepared desserts as they often contain gluten, milk, heavy cream, honey, agave, high-fructose corn syrup, and other high FODMAPs. Sorbets are typically safe and low FODMAP, but it is important to first read the ingredient statement.  

NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: 

lemonade  

Refreshments:  Here are a few non-alcoholic options to cool you off without setting off any unpleasant symptoms:

  • Sparkling Water or Flavored Sparkling Water
  • Iced Coffee (ensure lactose free milk, or milk alternatives (e.g almond milk) 
  • Iced Green Tea - up to 8oz (ensure no honey or high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Iced Black Tea - up to 6oz (ensure no honey or high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Iced White Tea - up to 8oz (ensure no honey or high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Lemonade (ensure no honey or high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Arnold Palmer (ensure no honey or high-fructose corn syrup)
Avoid: sweetened sodas and store-purchased beverages with high fructose corn syrup. 

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Portrait of a happy three girlfriends drinking red wine outdoors in the restaurant

Alcoholic Beverages: Because alcohol can irritate the gut, it is recommended to keep it to a minimum under the low FODMAP diet. However, there are still some safe, FODMAP-friendly options for when you find yourself in a social setting where alcohol is served this summer.

  • Wine (Red, White, Rose) - up to 5 oz
  • Sparkling wine - up to 5 oz 
  • Gin - up to 1oz
  • Vodka - up to 1oz
  • Whiskey - up to 1oz
  • Beer (gluten-free) - up to 1 can or bottle

….. And now it’s time to embrace your next BBQ - worry-free! 

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About Author

Renee Cherkezian, RN
Renee Cherkezian, RN

Food and medicine have always been Renee’s two great passions. As a teenager, in her Armenian-American household in northern New Jersey, she was side-by-side with her mother in their kitchen, figuring out the perfect blend of herbs for the tabbouleh or the perfect rub for the kebabs. But she decided that medicine would be her career and attended Georgetown University School of Nursing before eventually becoming an OR nurse manager at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Naturally, amongst her friends and family, she was always serving as a defacto health expert and navigator. This is how Renee’s clinical and culinary passions came first truly came into alignment: A close friend was battling cancer. His oncologist recommended following the complex neutropenic diet, so Renee took over his kitchen. She invented recipes, she cooked entire weekends, and she made sure that he had everything he needed to get back to good health. She continued to hone her culinary skills, working nights at David Burke Townhouse after shifts in the OR; she moved to Paris to study at the Ritz Escoffier. This, combined with her clinical experience, would become the foundation of Epicured--a company dedicated to creating delicious, healing food that helps people keep chronic disease in check and feel great.

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