How to Manage the Low Fodmap Reintroduction Phase

Sara B
Sara B

IBS Expert | 6D Energy Healer

Reintroducing FODMAPS doesn't have to be scary as these foods are critical for your microbiome!

As you know, I have mixed feelings about the low fodmap diet, but it has a time and place. However, the low fodmap reintroduction phase was the most nerve-wracking.

With an elimination diet, it is essential to reintroduce those foods. Especially with low fodmap because these foods are critical for gut bacteria diversity. It has been found that being a low fodmap for too long can damage the large intestines.

With SIBO, the bacteria in your small intestines aren’t necessarily harmful. The issue is that bacteria should be somewhere else in your digestive tract. By following strictly low fodmap for too long, it can cause more problems down the road.

low fodmap reintroduction phase sara b wellness

WHAT ARE FODMAPS?

Fodmaps are small-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for our digestive system to break down. The acronym stands for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides – Fructans and Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Disaccharides – Lactose (milk sugars)
  • Monosaccharides – Excess Fructose
  • Polyols – Sugar Alcohols (mannitol and sorbitol)

WHAT ARE HIGH FODMAP FOODS?

These fodmap-containing foods are often avoided during phase 1 of the fodmap protocol. This includes:

  • Fructans – Watermelon, ripe bananas, dates, onions, beets, fennel, and so on.
  • GOS – Chickpeas, lentils, cashews, pistachios, soy products, and so on.
  • Lactose – Kefir, milk, yogurt, ice cream, custard, and so on.
  • Excess Fructose – Apples, honey, pears, mangos, figs, and so on.
  • Polyols – Apricots, blackberries, peaches, cauliflower, and so on.

What is critical about these foods is that they contain fiber and prebiotics. That is why you don’t want to do low fodmap long term.

We want the prebiotics to feed our good bacteria. In our gut alone, we have tens of trillions of microorganisms. Some pertain to all humans, and some are specific to us. Essentially our intestines have their fingerprint.

low fodmap reintroduction phase sara b wellness

HOW TO START THE LOW FODMAP REINTRODUCTION PHASE

There are two ways to begin reintroducing fodmap foods. You can reintroduce over a 3-day period or all in 1-day.

3-Day Reintroduction

You would start on, say, a Monday, and you would start with a small amount and gradually increase the serving sizes over 3-days. 

  • Monday – 1/4 an Avocado
  • Tuesday 1/2 an Avocado
  • Wednesday – 1 whole Avocado

Then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are washout days. These are days you go back to a low fodmap lifestyle to let your body reset.

1-day Reintroduction

This is exactly like the 3-day reintroduction period, except all in one day. 

  • First Meal – 1/8 an Avocado
  • Second Meal – 1/4 an Avocado
  • Third Meal – 1/2 an Avocado

Over the day, you ate between 1-1.5 avocado(s). Then the next day, you would relax before reintroducing a different food on the third day.

Between the two, the 1-day is more aggressive of the fodmap reintroduction plans. 

SAMPLE FOODS TO REINTRODUCE

I highly recommend this fodmap app by Monash University! It gives loads of foods, how much to eat for it to be low fodmap and more.

Fructose

  • 1 teaspoon of honey increasing to 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 a medium-sized mango increasing to an entire medium mango

Sorbital (Polyols)

  • 3 blackberries increasing to 10 blackberries
  • 1/4 of an avocado increasing to a whole avocado
  • 1 fresh apricot as it also contains fructose

Mannitol (Polyols)

  • 1/2 portobello mushroom increasing to 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 100g of sweet potato increasing to 200g
  • 30g cauliflower increasing to 90g

Lactose

  • 125ml milk increasing to 375ml
  • 1 scoop icecream increasing to 3 scoops
  • 200ml of plain yogurt

Fructan (Bread, Cereals, Grains)*

  • 1 slice of white wheat bread increasing to 3 slices
  • 50g wheat pasta increasing to 150g (use the cooked weight)

*I don’t believe we need gluten at all. However, if you choose to consume it, aim for sourdough, organic, sprouted products.

Fructan (Vegetables)

  • 1/4 of a clove of garlic increasing to 1 clove
  • 1/4 cup of medium leek to a 1/2 whole leek
  • 1 tbsp onion to 1/2 an onion

Galactans (GOS)

  • 2 tbsp of chickpeas and increasing to 6 tbsps
  • 2 tbsps of black beans and rising to 6 tbsps
  • 15 almonds to 25 almonds

Fructose and Sorbitol

  • 1/2 an apple and increasing to an entire apple
  • 1/2 a pear and increasing to a whole pear

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A REACTION?

If you experience symptoms, you immediately stop the reintroduction. This doesn’t mean you need to start the protocol all over. It simply means that that specific food was too much. This is important to write down in your food/symptom diary.

It could have been the food itself or the amount of food. Going back to the avocado example, you may feel great with 1/2 an avocado, but a whole one is too much for you.

Something you can do to ease the symptoms and reset your gut:

  • Bone Broth
  • Ginger Tea
  • Peppermint Tea
  • DigestZen in a veggie capsule
  • Heating Pad 

You don’t have to do all of these, but these have been my go-to’s for flare-ups. And once you feel better and have no symptoms is when you can try a different fodmap.

MODIFIED FODMAP DIET

Once you have completed the reintroduction phase, you’ll have created a modified fodmap diet. You have found foods that trigger symptoms based on the type to how much of it you can eat.

Thank youu so much for reading, and I’d love it if you’d share this with others in the same situation!

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