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
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 & Ribs: Avoid 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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: 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!