Starting a SIBO diet can be extremely challenging! Here are some substitutions to use for foods you may be missing:
- Garlic is high FODMAP and is an issue for many people, even in small amounts. Substitute store bought garlic oil (Here are some recommended brands. I like the Garlic Gold brand.) or sauté garlic cloves (smashed or whole) in oil for about a minute and then remove and discard them. By sautéing and then removing the garlic, you’ll get some of the flavor and all of that yummy garlic smell.
- Onions are high FODMAP and, like garlic, cause symptoms in many people. As a substitute, use the green parts (not the white) of green onions. They can be used raw or cooked as tolerated. Chives are smaller, have a more delicate flavor and are also a nice option. They are easy to grow in an herb garden and you can use a kitchen scissors to cut them into small pieces. Chives are delicious in scrambled eggs or a side salad.
- Eggs are low FODMAP but not everyone will tolerate them. If you feel like you may be reacting to them you can take them out for a couple weeks and then test them. You can also use part of the egg. If you have an issue with digesting protein then you may have an issue digesting egg whites. You can use two egg yolks to equal one egg. Depending on what else you tolerate you can try gelatin egg replacer, flax seed (low FODMAP in 1 Tablespoon) and chia seed (low FODMAP in 2 T) egg replacer options.
- If you love wheat based pasta, no substitute will taste exactly the same, so I recommend that you look for pasta substitutes that are tasty, but not an exact replacement for the taste of wheat based pasta. For vegetable based pasta, make zucchini noodles (zoodles!) by using a Spiralizer. Spaghetti squash is also another option for veggie noodles. There are several options for low FODMAP noodles out there if you tolerate grains. Many specialty Asian food stores sell rice noodles that are made with just white rice and water. If you tolerate brown rice, some grocery store pasta will be made with that. There is also quinoa based, corn based and other low FODMAP pastas. Check labels and test them to see what you tolerate.
- Bread is so versatile and many people miss it if they’re on a SIBO diet that doesn’t recommend any grains. For those diets, try using lettuce or deli meat as the outside of a wrap. There are also coconut flour wraps and almond flour wraps available. Check labels for gums and other ingredients. There are also low FODMAP breads listed on the FODMAP app and lots of low FODMAP bread recipes out there. Start by testing a small amount to see what you tolerate.
- Coconut aminos. That’s it – it’s that simple! Most recipes will work with a 1:1 substitution.
- 24-hour yogurt will work well if you tolerate casein and whey, the proteins contained in milk. Because of the 24-hour processing, yogurt doesn’t contain lactose and includes healthy amounts of probiotics. For some people, adding yogurt to their diet is very helpful because of its versatility in recipes and the probiotics. Others don’t tolerate it as well. If you are sensitive, test it in small amounts, like a teaspoon to a tablespoon and wait 24 hours to see if you notice symptoms. 24-hour yogurt is easy to make once you get used to the process and it’s also available in stores from White Mountain Foods.
Raw fruits & veggies
- Raw fruits and vegetables are hard to digest for many people. When possible, peel and deseed fruits and vegetables. Eat them in a variety of ways, in soups, compotes, stews, cooked and pureed. Try smaller portions of raw vegetables and fruits. Use softer lettuces like butter lettuce or spinach instead of harder greens like kale.