This week I was lucky enough to catch up with Kathlene from Nutrition Plus to discuss her views on the low FODMAP diet and find out a little more about what she is seeing at her practice. Of course the low FODMAP diet can be daunting at first so it was good to hear from a dietitian’s perspective how to approach it.
Introducing you to Kathlene Don Paul from Nutrition Plus based in Melbourne. She is an accredited practicing dietitian and has been for the past four years. The initial question that popped into my head was ‘why did you decide to become a dietician?’ as I too had contemplated becoming a dietician in the past because I knew I had such a passion for food. But for Kathlene it was a passion for being able to help people and enjoying the interaction others. She also told me ‘I found a love for studying health and nutrition, so putting them together to help people learn more about good nutrition seemed like the next decision for me to make in my career.’ After finding out what Kathlene’s drivers were, we got onto discussing fructose malabsorption and the low FODMAP diet in more detail.
How prevalent is fructose malabsorption within your clients? It is very common. Irritable bowel is a common complaint and most often people don’t realise how much their bowel health impacts their lifestyle until they get it under control.
Do you treat many of your clients with the FODMAP diet? Yes, the low FODMAP diet is a commonly used elimination diet that we go through with clients suspected of intolerances. If a client has a confirmed fructose malabsorption (from a breath test), then we may decide together to continue with a low FODMAP diet to test for other intolerances as well.
What is the most common misconception about about a low fructose or low FODMAP diet? That you have to avoid all fruit!
What foods do you as a dietician consider key staples while following the low FODMAP diet to ensure proper nutrition is maintained? All of the core food groups should be key staples in a healthy diet whether you’re following the low FODMAP diet or not. The important thing to remember is to swap your high FODMAP items for low FODMAP options and to not completely eliminate key foods.
What are some of the best resources you like to recommend to your clients who are starting out on the low FODMAP diet? There are a range of great apps that can help keep track of low and high FODMAP foods and also some recipes books (such as Irresistible for the Irritable by Dr Sue Shepherd)
I hear you like travelling, do you have any tips for people travelling on a low FODMAP diet? It can be hard travelling, but some good advice given to me is to stick with the things you know and then you can add in some low FODMAP extras – instead of going for a wild and crazy, never-before-tried meal and then suffering later.
And finally, Kathlene was kind enough to share with us one of her favourite low FODMAP recipes, Banana and Blueberry Pancakes! Yum!! I tried them out over the weekend and served them with pure maple syrup.
Serves 6 – 8
150g (1¼ cups) gluten free flour
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 free range eggs, or equivalent egg replacer
200g (¾ cup) water
spray olive oil for greasing
125g (¾ cup) blueberries
1. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
2. Mix chia, eggs, mashed banana and water together and add to dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries.
3. Stir well until batter is smooth and reaches the consistency of thin cream. If the batter is not reaching this consistency add more water.
4. Spray frying pan with oil and place over medium heat. Allow pan to get hot, then pour enough mixture so pancake is roughly 15cm in circumference.
5. When air bubbles start to present on the surface of the pancake it is ready to be turned. Use a spatula and flip the pancake over. Brown this side of the pancake and transfer to a plate.
6. Cover pancake with a clean tea towel to retain heat. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter, spraying the pan between batches.
Serve and enjoy.