Those of us who tend to suffer digestion issues may have some difficulties with all the tasty seasonal food option, but by knowing which holiday foods to avoid, and what to eat instead, it’s really quite simple to eliminate the problem. Many people, myself included, adhere to the FODMAPS diet to reduce symptoms of IBS or other digestion problems. Many people even treat major GI disorders like Chrohn’s Disease by following the FODMAPS diet. FODMAPS stands for seven types of sugars and carbohydrates found in many different foods. By avoiding these, digestion is much easier and symptoms are less likely to occur. The holidays tend to be a time people are more lenient with their diets, but for someone with digestive issues, the holidays are not a time to forget about your trigger foods, especially foods high in FODMAPS. If you’d like to learn more about the FODMAPS diet, I’ll include sources at the end of the article, but for those of you familiar with it, be sure you’re aware of these holiday foods to avoid so you don’t mistakenly eat something that will cause severe pain, embarrassment, or keep you from attending social events due to digestive problems.
Stuffing is high on the list of the holiday foods to avoid for many reasons. Typical stuffing always contains wheat, which is rich in fructans, the first type of sugar in the acronym, FODMAPS. Fructans ferment in the gut and cause gas, bloating and pain quickly for sensitive individuals. Gluten in all forms is to be avoided if you follow a FODMAPS diet, and traditional stuffing is full of gluten. Onions are also a huge problem for people with digestive issues, and they have natural sources of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that feeds healthy bacteria in the gut, causing fermentation. This causes issues for people with GI disorders. Since onions are almost always in stuffing, this is another reason to avoid it.
Typically, cookies are rich in both sugar, gluten and additives that make them rich in FODMAPS. Just avoid it. Unless you make a safe version you find tolerable, don’t eat just any cookie out there or you might be in pain all night over a few measly bites of those yummy holiday cookies we all love.
3. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is rich in sugars that will cause major GI issues due to the high level of FODMAPS, so it’s best to avoid if you’re sensitive to fruits and most form of sugar.
4. Apple Pie
Apples are one of the worst offenders for flare ups for people with digestive issues. They’re rich in sugars that ferment in the gut, causing gas and bloating quickly. The crust in apple pie is also a source of gluten to avoid. You might be safer with pumpkin pie if it’s make with lactose free milk, and you avoid the crust.
Oh boy, just don’t drink this, please. Eggnog is rich in lactose from milk and will cause major abdominal pain quite quickly, especially considering it’s combined with lots of sugar and fatty eggs. This strains digestion in multiple ways, but the milk’s lactose sugars are what makes it a high FODMAP food.
6. Macaroni and Cheese
Unfortunately, this holiday dish is also rich in cheese, therefore rich in milk and lactose, which will cause issues in no time. Macaroni noodles also contain wheat, unless you buy gluten-free. The healthier option would be to make your own with dairy-free ingredients if you tolerate them, and use gluten-free noodles.
Those holiday rolls and biscuits are just so pretty, aren’t they? They’re also delicious! I admit, I still look at these to this day and miss them, but aside from their lack of nutrition, they’re also rich in FODMAPS from wheat.
Corn in all forms is one of the worst offenders that’s high in FODMAPS. I love cornbread as much as the next gal out there, but I know for my stomach’s sake, it’s best to avoid.
9. Coconut Cream Pie
I love coconut in all forms, but if you’re going to eat coconut, don’t eat it in the form of a cream pie made the traditional way. Coconut cream pie is rich in milk, sugar and the crust usually has gluten. All three of these reasons make it high in FODMAPs and a food to avoid.
Foods that are fairly safe for you to eat will be any food that’s naturally lower in carbs, since all FODMAPS are sources of carbohydrates. This might include options like turkey, green beans, asparagus, and even sweet potatoes, which seem to work very well for most people following a FODMAPS diet. I do suggest avoiding the sweet potato pie though, and just eating yours baked. No sour cream or butter though! If you need a topping for your potato, try a teeny drop of melted coconut oil instead. I also suggest experimenting with low FODMAPS recipes whenever you can, which you can find here on Pinterest here: pinterest.com. Do you follow a low FODMAPS diet?