New Year, New You

As diets go, the allowance of dark chocolate is a bonus. But one does not live on chocolate alone.

One of my family members has recently been advised to start a FODMAP diet. At first, this was considered a ghastly prescription for gastro-intestinal, tummy problems. No dairy products? No gluten products? No cruciferous vegetables?

To understand why so many healthy foods are nixed, let’s delve into food science. FODMAPs are a certain group of sugars and fibers that are commonly malabsorbed and can trigger irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. The term FODMAP is an acronym for: F- fermentable (increases gas); O-oligosaccharides (fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides, water-soluble fibers); D-disaccharides (lactose); M-monosaccharide (fructose); A- and P- polyols (sugar alcohols).

This is a learning diet, according to Kate Scarlata, an Australian registered dietitian and Dede Wilson, recipe developer. Both have suffered from dietary disorders and have teamed up to co-author “The Low-FODMAP Diet.” The idea is that by test-driving the diet, you can gradually re-introduce some foods depending on your own system.

I was curious to know how soy fares in the FODMAPs diet. It depends. Different forms of soy may or may not contain FODMAPS. Soy lecithin, soybean oils, edamame and firm tofu are low FODMAP sources. However, whole mature soybeans, soy milk made with the whole soybean, silken tofu and soy flour do contain FODMAPs and would not be suitable for this diet.

Scarlata and Wilson’s recipe book celebrates tofu and greens, with extra-firm tofu and low-sodium soy sauce as two of the ingredients.

It’s a New Year. Maybe this is a diet for a New You.