Reintroducing FODMAPs: I can eat avocado and maybe beans too!

I’m finally getting round to trying a more systematic introduction of fodmaps into my diet. The low fodmap diet is not a long term solution, but I’ve been stuck in the elimination stage for ages.

 I tried to reintroduce foods without much success a few months ago, and my GP just told me to stick with the restrictive stage indefinitely. It took me so long to manage to eat entirely low-fodmap in the first place, as I was so wary of eliminating foods and still managing to eat somewhat healthily. Then I wanted to give my tummy a chance to recover after Christmas and going to Paris in January. After that I was onto my second placement. The nerves and stress of placement had my tummy all over the place, so there was no point in trying to reintroduce anything as I wouldn’t be able to tell whether my body was reacting to what I’d eaten or just to my general stress.  So, here we are at last, in April!

The idea is that you reintroduce FODMAPs one at a time so you can try to work out what your triggers are. Hopefully you find that you can handle some of the foods you’ve eliminated, and then you can gradually reintroduce them and modify the low fodmap diet to suit you.

You don’t have to do the reintroduction in any particular order, so I’m doing it in the order of what I think I can handle. I really miss bread and garlic (and garlic bread!), but I’m so nervous about reintroducing them as cutting down on wheat and garlic immediately made a huge difference. I’ve been using Lee Martin’s Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs guide. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s so clear and concise. I wish my GP or nutritionist had told me about it, it would have been very helpful!

So, round one was galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), which include beans, lentils and chickpeas. I certainly didn’t know that word before I started on this low-fodmap journey! Oh, the things you learn. I was so excited about this reintroduction. Since eating low-fodmap, I’ve actually dreamt about baked beans. So I did my reintroductions with butter beans. The small and medium portions are two tablespoons and four tablespoons respectively, which I added to a casserole. I managed fine with them both, hooray! For the large portion Craig made me a fodmap-friendly tomato sauce so I could have something a bit like beans on toast.

So many butter beans.

I know it doesn’t look great. But oh my goodness, it was fantastic. The large portion (6 tablespoons!) made me quite uncomfortable but not severely so. I’ve marked it as amber on my spreadsheet (I’m nothing if not efficient). I’m pretty unlikely to be eating so many butter beans in one go again, but I could definitely go through the equivalent of chickpeas in hummus. It’s good to know that whilst I definitely do have an upper limit, I should be able to cope with moderate portions. 

Round two was the reintroduction of sorbitol which I got to test by eating homemade guacamole! Avocado is a sorbitol containing food, as well as blackberries, broccoli and coconut. I’d already done an unsystematic reintroduction of avocado, and was regularly eating half an avocado with no symptoms. Craig and I have avocado salsa either on toast (wheat-free for me) or with tortilla chips pretty much every weekend. The large portion is one whole avocado, which I also managed symptom free. Guys, I feel like I’m winning!

Next up for round three is lactose, and then I think I’ll try some of the fructans.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


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7 thoughts on “Reintroducing FODMAPs: I can eat avocado and maybe beans too!

  1. Great to read you are re-introducing things – I think you are so brave. I too follow the low FODMAP diet, and have recently been allowing myself to “try” a few things – how amazing is Avocado!! I too can handle it. I haven’t tried beans yet, but you have inspired me to try them, so that will be my next attempt. Thanks for telling us about your journey – you certainly are not alone.

    1. Avocado is fab, such a delight to be able to reintroduce it! Good luck with your reintroductions, I hope they go well for you.

  2. I’m absolutely fascinated here! I don’t even know what to say. It’s never occurred to me that someone us thinking so hard about what they eat when I take for granted the fact that I can eat anything I want. I’m delighted for you that you got your baked beans with its butter bean substitute and that you can eat a whole avocado and I can’t wait to see how the Fructans go. I’ll keep my fingers crossed too!

    Ama / Albatroz & Co.

    1. Thanks Ama! I feel like all I think about is food now! It’s all worth it to feel a bit healthier and more normal though!

  3. I definitely understand the struggle that is not being able to eat garlic bread! I think it’s what I miss the most too. I’m also currently going through the re-introduction process, but so far I’ve only discovered what I CAN’T eat. That being said, it’s so worth it when you feel the difference it has on your body. Congrats on the beans and avocado!!

    1. I have made a kind of garlic bread by drizzling some garlic oil and chives on Tesco petit pain, and it’s a pretty good substitute! Good luck with your reintroductions. It’s so useful to get closer to pin pointing what is upsetting your tummy. And it can all change over time! Hope you have some more success!

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