Tips For A Stress Free Low FODMAP Supermarket Shop
by FoodMaestro | 10 October 2016
Written by Alana Scott from alittlebityummy.com
Navigating the supermarket and finding low FODMAP groceries can feel like a nightmare, especially when starting the low FODMAP diet. However a few simple tips can make life easier!
1. Plan your meals. Creating a quick meal plan can help reduce shopping stress. Dinners are often the hardest and you can find plenty of low FODMAP meal inspiration at A Little Bit Yummy. I suggest you choose one meal you can batch cook and freeze like spaghetti bolognese (double the amount of meat & sauce). This creates your own ready meal that you can fix within a matter of minutes later in the week. For lunches, salads, soups, and even sandwiches on gluten free bread are all good options. Also check out this list for some handy low FODMAP snack ideas.
2. Write a detailed shopping list. Wandering aimlessly around the supermarket isn’t helpful when you are stressed! Going in prepared will help you focus on locating low FODMAP products instead of thinking about what to cook. You can even locate low FODMAP products in advance using the FoodMaestro FODMAP app.
3. Eat before you go. There is nothing worse than trying to shop when you are hangry! So grab a snack (small banana, handful of peanuts, or rice cakes with cheese) before you go. It will help you focus and stop you impulse buying high FODMAP foods.
4. Give yourself plenty of time for your first shop. If you usually speed around the supermarket, then be prepared for your first low FODMAP shop to take an hour (at least), while you familiarise yourself with low FODMAP products. If possible, shop when the supermarket is quiet so you can move around the store at your own pace. Avoid the chaotic after work supermarket shop at all costs!
5. Shop the fresh produce, meat and dairy aisles first. The low FODMAP diet does force you to create delicious meals from fresh produce. This means you can pick up many of your staple grocery items in the fresh produce aisles, so grab these first before moving onto processed products.
6. Read labels carefully. High FODMAP foods love to sneak into processed products. The FoodMaestro FODMAP app can help by giving you a list of products that should be lower in FODMAPs. You can even scan the product barcode through the app while you are in store and get a FODMAP rating. Otherwise check the ingredient labels for obvious high FODMAP foods like apple fibre, honey, fructose-glucose syrup, inulin, chicory root, fruit juice concentrate, date paste, onion and garlic (dried, powdered, fresh). For a detailed article on how to spot sneaky FODMAPs in labels read this.
7. Be prepared for your first couple of shops to be more expensive. The low FODMAP diet does require you to stock your shelves with some cupboard essentials. This means your first couple of shops might be a bit more expensive and then it should settle. To keep costs down, try to avoid buying too may gluten free or specialty foods, as these will destroy your budget, instead try using potatoes and rice as staples for your meals.
The key to a stress free supermarket shop is planning ahead. So grab a pen and a piece of paper and take a few minutes to plan some delicious low FODMAP meals before you dash to the supermarket.
Alana is an experienced low FODMAP & allergy-friendly cook. Her own daily struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Coeliac disease, along with her nut allergy and dairy intolerance means she understands how difficult it can be to create healthy and delicious meals. Check out A Little Bit Yummy for lots of helpful tips and tasty low FODMAP recipes.
Image credit: Shutterstock: Goran Bogicevic