Thank heavens for acronyms. For people on low-FODMAP diets, it’s probably hard enough to steer clear of ill-tolerated foods—fruits, milk, broccoli, avocados—without trying to pronounce “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols,” the names for the carbohydrates that these foods, among many others, contain. FODMAPs, as the culprits are more conveniently known, have been shown to cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and symptoms that are often associated with celiac disease. As the New York Times reported in 2014, many people with gluten sensitivity have been found not to have celiac disease but rather a nonceliac gluten sensitivity to FODMAPs.
The increasing awareness of how these carbohydrates affect some people and the increasing popularity of low-FODMAP diets have led to success for recent books on the topic, including 2013’s The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet by Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson (The Experiment), which has sold 50,000 print copies. This season brings more books for readers seeking relief.
Happy Gut Cookbook
Cecilie Hauge Ågotnes. Sterling, Nov.
Ågotnes turned to the low-FODMAP diet after her IBS, which has been traced to the culprit carbs, became so severe that she had to give up her career as a nail artist. In Happy Gut Cookbook, she offers 80 recipes for FODMAP-free dishes, such as salmon poké and chocolate cake, and offers advice on steering clear of common ingredients, such as onions, that have been said to exacerbate digestive issues.
The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step
Kate Scarlata and Dédé Wilson. Da Capo, Dec.
Foods containing FODMAPs are so ubiquitous that those hoping to avoid them will likely have to rethink their whole approach to food—and, consequently, restock their kitchens. This book, by dietician Scarlata and former Bon Appetit contributing editor Wilson, offers readers advice on what to buy for their pantries, as well as 135 recipes. Scarlata, whose previous books include The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well with IBS (Alpha, 2010), has collaborated on research with gastroenterologist Peter Gibson and his team at Australia’s Monash University, who first developed the low-FODMAP diet.
The Low-FODMAP 6-Week Plan and Cookbook
Suzanne Perazzini. Fair Winds, Feb. 2018
This guide by nutritional therapist Perazzini cites research suggesting that low-FODMAP diets allay IBS symptoms in 75% of sufferers. The book includes recipes, a meal plan, and tactics for easing into the low-FODMAP lifestyle, as well as advice on reincorporating certain ingredients and recognizing one’s “trigger foods.”