the FODMAP diet-A way to cope with IBS

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Exploring the FODMAP diet concept

As a food consultant working across Leicester and the whole of the United Kingdom, I am always interested in staying at the fore of all things new and exciting, especially in regards to any developments in the food industry.

Recently I’ve heard more and more about the FODMAP diet as a way of helping to control IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and I thought it would be a good idea to explore this concept in a little more detail and share my findings with you.

But first things first, what exactly does FODMAP stand for?

In recent times, research has shown that certain carbohydrates can contribute to symptoms of IBS sufferers and these carbohydrates are:

Fermentable – sources include the obvious sugary treats including cookies, cakes, and soft drinks, but they also include less obvious food such as bread, crackers and breakfast cereals.

Oligo-saccharides- sources include wheat, beans, peas and pulses, some vegetables- particularly onion and sweeteners including processed food additives

Di-saccharides- animal milk such as cow and goats milk

Mono-saccharides- sources include apples, honey, sugar snap peas and fructose

Polyols- sources include peaches, plums, mushrooms, cauliflower and sugar free sweets.

As you may or may not already be aware of, carbohydrates can be present in different forms in foods, ranging from long-chain carbohydrates (such as starch) to simple sugars (such as glucose) that are well-digested and absorbed to produce energy. Resistant starch and fibre are long-chain carbohydrates resistant to digestion and are essential in normal bowel function.

Through extensive research an Australian group have produced fantastic evidence to demonstrate that a group of short-chain carbohydrates, named FODMAPs are problematic to those suffering with IBS. These short chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. It is the production of gas by these bacteria which is a major contributor to the array of unpleasant symptoms.

Ask anyone suffering with IBS and the majority will confirm that their symptoms are related to the consumption of certain foods. With this in mind, adopting a low FODMAP diet may well help sufferers to reduce the severity of their symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life all round.

How can FODMAP help IBS sufferers?

IBS is a debilitating condition that can reduce the quality of life due to an array of unpleasant symptoms including abdominal pain, intestinal gas, bloating and altered bowel habits spanning all extremes, and so eating yourself well is a important aspect of living with the condition.

In recent times, a wide range of therapies have been tried and tested to control the unpleasant symptoms of IBS including bulking agents, laxatives and various medications, as well as a myriad of lifestyle changes. But rather than popping oodles of pills, day in, day out it seems that following a low FODMAP could be a fantastic alternative.

Tailoring the diet to meet your individual lifestyle and preferences, the low FODMAP diet allows for successful drug-free management of symptoms through diet in many patients but will unfortunately not cure IBS entirely. That said, adopting this diet has been proven to improve the symptoms of IBS amongst sufferers which can only be a positive thing and isn’t restricted to just this condition.

Other clinical studies have confirmed that the application of the low FODMAP diet has also improved gut symptoms in more than 50% of people with inflammatory bowel disease and has also helped those with no colon whatsoever.

Here to help

So, the verdict is out, the low FODMAP diet seems to be a no brainer when it comes to tackling the symptoms of IBS. If you would like to discuss your own individual requirements, get in touch- I’ll be happy to discuss how I can help you in your quest to live with the condition.

As a personal and private chef, I am available throughout Leicester and the wider surrounding areas (as well as across the United Kingdom) to develop diet plans, bespoke meals and also come into your home to cook for you in line with your requirements to ensure you feel fighting fit from here on in!

Why not check out this delicious low FODMAP meal and discover how following such concepts could help control the symptoms of this condition for you.


Kick start your metabolism ready for the summer

Spring and finally sprung and what better time than now to start a healthy detox to kick start your metabolism and get you ready for the summer?!

As a food consultant working across Leicester and the surrounding region, I understand that most people would like to be in better shape and feeling healthy in time for the summer sun. For many a healthy detox can be just the ticket but why should you embrace a health detox, and what are the benefits in doing so?

Firstly, there’s no magic formula that you can take that will suddenly turn you into a healthier version of yourself, however hopefully you can benefit from some of the tips and guidance I am about to share with you.

The Key to Your Metabolism

With a wealth of experience in the food industry the key to a fitter, healthier you lies in your metabolism and how clean your internal body is. As a biochemical process, metabolism dictates how fast you turn calories into energy and this is something which you need to address in order to kickstart your healthy lifestyle and get yourself summer ready!

I’m sure you are aware that you use energy and burn fat when you are exercising and digesting food, but did you know that you also continue to burn fat even when you are resting? The rate at which you burn fat when at rest is called your BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate. It’ll be music to your ears but there are methods to speed up your BMR so that you can burn fat faster even when you aren’t doing much and also speed up your metabolic rate.

As with everything in life, in contrast to speeding up your metabolism it can also slow down. In fact, you may well be doing things currently that slow down your metabolism and allow your body to store excess fat without even realising it. Such factors include:

  • Eating Poorly – My first suggestion is to stop with the fizzy drinks and sugary treats. While we all deserve a little treat once in while why not speak to me about planning your meals to focus on organic, healthy, and natural foods instead of high processed fat foods?
  • Not Enough Sleep – If your body is exhausted then the efficiency with which it burns calories diminishes. A well rested body is more efficient and not only will it make you feel better, your body will thank you in the long run too.
  • Being Stressed Out – Stress causes high levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body, which leads to excess fat and a lower metabolism. As difficult as it may sound, try to kick back, relax and unwind, and stop stressing…positive mental attitude really will help to kick-start your metabolism and change your attitude towards food in a positive way!
  • Fad Dieting –Avoid fad diets and super low calorie diets. Low calorie diets cause your body to switch to starvation mode, your metabolism slows down to keep you from burning too many calories, then when you eat again your body stores the calories as fat. Fad diets may work in the short term, but the true path to a healthier you is to improve your overall eating habits over the long term.
  • Age- unfortunately some factors affecting your metabolism include some that are beyond your control, such as older age. Your metabolism naturally slows down with age and this is especially true in women.
  • Health conditions- an under-active thyroid, family genetics or adrenal burnout can also lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism. But that doesn’t mean you cannot kick-start your healthy living and speed up your metabolism in time for the summer!

With this in mind, if you have any concerns or questions about how to change your eating habits, how to safely begin a healthy detox and how to eat more ‘clean’ foods, I can help you.

So, what’s the best way to speed up your metabolism? You’ve guessed it- a combination of exercise and delicious, clean and healthy food. As a private chef working across Leicester and the rest of the UK and with many years of experience working as a food consultant, I am on hand to help get your food choices on track, enjoying a healthy detox and kick start your metabolism ready for the summer!

I live and breathe delicious food, all day, every day and look forward to being able to help you live, eat and think ‘clean’. What's more, as a judge for the fantastic FreeFrom Food Awards- now in its 10th year- I have a wealth of experience in preparing and cooking delicious dishes which are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free- perfect for those with allergies and sensitivities.

I was honoured to have attended the annual awards only a few days ago on the 28th March 2017 and cannot wait to share the details with you very soon. Watch this space!

Get in touch today to find out how I can help you by emailing through my online form or by calling me on: 07789 326 547 to discuss your individual preferences, requirements and goals for the summer months.