How can you enjoy a traditional Christmas meal and avoid gut pain? Enter low FODMAP foods. Most of us look forward to one day of the year when we can eat all we want and pig out. For some, though, the rich Christmas lunch can mean awful wind and diarrhoea to follow, making it an unpleasant and embarrassing afternoon and evening.
What are Low FODMAP foods?
A low FODMAP diet focuses on reducing fermentable carbohydrates, specifically Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, hence the acronym ‘FODMAP’. By opting for foods and drinks with lower FODMAP content, you can minimize the risk of wind and diarrhoea, providing a more pleasant Christmas Day experience.
Tips for a Low FODMAP Christmas Lunch:
- All plain meat is low FODMAP so you’ll be safe with plain turkey, beef, or chicken.
- Shop bought stuffing will unfortunately contain wheat, onion and garlic but it can be made using gluten free bread crumbs, plain sausage meat and dried sage!
- Gluten /wheat free Yorkshire puddings are available to buy for example from a ‘free from’ range. They do contain milk but just a small amount which should not affect you, even if you do react to lactose. You can still use your Yorkshire pudding recipe by simply swapping the flour type for gluten free flour.
- Suitable vegetables include: swede, turnip, potato, carrots, parsnips, sprouts (no more than 2) and broccoli (heads only).
- If making mashed potatoes, a tiny amount of butter and cream is suitable even for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Stay clear of cauliflower cheese! (too much fermentable oligosaccharide here!)
- If you eat pork, shop made pigs in blankets will not be suitable. You can easily make your own though, just make sure to buy plain pork sausages (gluten free/wheat free and do not contain garlic or onion) and wrap them with bacon. Sprinkle with herbs/paprika for more flavour.
- Sauces can be tricky as they often have hidden ingredients such as onion and garlic so you need to be careful with these!
- Homemade gravy is the way to go. An easy recipe is as follows:
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 3-4tbsp water
- 1/2tsp Compton’s gravy salt
- Roast meat juices
- Cranberry sauce is suitably free of onion, garlic, apple, and fructose!
- Heinz mint and horseradish sauce are fine, but the ingredients change so always check the label!
- Bread sauce has to be made from scratch with gluten free bread crumbs, switching onions to the green part of spring onion and adding lactose free milk.
By following these tips, you can create a delicious and low FODMAP Christmas feast that allows you to savour the celebration without the worry of digestive discomfort. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!