Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review on fibre for as we aim for 5 vegetables per day for National Nutrition Week

By Shirley Webber (Research Dietitian)
It’s National Nutrition Week this week and we’re taking this time to talk about fibre 101.
FSANZ define dietary fibre as:
Dietary fibre means that fraction of the edible parts of plants or their extracts, or synthetic analogues, that are resistant to the digestion and absorption in the small intestine, usually with complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine.
This includes polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and lignans.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Low FODMAP Muesli

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Having ready-made muesli for breakfast is a popular and easy choice but it can be a real challenge to find a low FODMAP version and it is often very expensive! So why not make your own? Here is a healthy, easy to prepare, delicious recipe that keeps really well.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Interested in the latest dietary research study?

By Shirley Webber (Research Dietitian)

If you live in Melbourne, then here’s your chance to get involved in one of our research studies.

We are currently recruiting for a study investigating the effects of A1 versus A2 beta-casein milk on gut physiology and behaviour.

For our research we are looking for healthy and IBS (non-diarrhoea predominant) volunteers to help shine some light on this topic.

Healthy volunteers:
·         Age between 18 – 60 years
·         Live in Melbourne
·         Have no known gastrointestinal conditions
·         Age between 18 – 60 years
·         Living in Melbourne
·         Have non-diarrhoea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
·         Do not have any other gastrointestinal disease (eg. Coeliac disease, Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis)

What do you get?
We will be providing our participants with all milk that is to be consumed during two intervention periods of this study (A1/A1 and A2/A2 milks) as well as providing our participants with cheese and some snacks. At the end of the study as a thank you participants will receive a $100 groceries voucher. You will also get full access to a dietitian to assist you throughout the study and a free consultation at the conclusion of your participation.

What are we asking of participants?
To follow a dairy free diet with the exception of the milk and cheese that we will be providing. Be able to attend 5 consultations at the Alfred Hospital over a 12-week period. Participants will be asked to fill in questionnaires provide a blood, urine and stool sample. As well as wear an activity tracker for 1 week during each intervention period.

If you want more information or want to know if you qualify for participation please email: or click here 

If you want to know more about the differences in A1 and A2-beta casein milks click here to read more about it in a previous blog.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Fast and Healthy Stir-fried Vegetables

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)
Asian inspired stir-fries are one of the world’s fastest and healthiest meals you can easily prepare. They are also very cheap if seasonal veggies are used. Apart from being delicious they provide a tantalising range of colours and textures all in the same dish. This easy and versatile recipe allows you to choose your own low FODMAP ingredients according to your tastes and what's in your fridge!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Low FODMAP Chicken Cacciatore

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)
Hugely popular chicken cacciatore is traditionally an Italian, rustic hunter's’ dish so it is a delicious way to incorporate healthy, low FODMAP seasonal vegetables and herbs in a nourishing, mouth-watering lunch or dinner. Regardless of the season your whole family will enjoy this dish!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Setting the filters on the Monash Low FODMAP App

By Dr Jane Varney and Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitians)
We have recently received feedback that our filter options in the App can be a bit confusing. The Monash FODMAP team really appreciate feedback and are always working towards making the App as user friendly as possible. The filters in the App have recently been modified to hopefully make the filters clearer.  
So, why should you use filters?
The filters enable you to modify the food guide section to suit your individual sensitivities. The filters are most useful after you have completed the re-challenge phase of the low FODMAP diet and identified the FODMAP subgroups that trigger your symptoms.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Monash University ‘Recipe’ Certification Program

Dr Marina Iacovou and Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitians)

What’s new for the Monash University Low FODMAP Certification Program? If you haven’t seen our latest social media posts yet, the Monash team are excited to introduce the Monash University Low FODMAP ‘Recipe’ Certification Program!

Monday, 28 August 2017

New research: Enzyme therapy can help reduce symptoms in IBS patients sensitive to galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) present in legumes, soy milk and nuts

By Dr Caroline Tuck and Dr Jane Varney

Our team at Monash University are excited to be able to share with you results from one of our latest studies, recently published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The results are especially important for vegetarians and vegans following a low FODMAP diet.

The study measured whether an oral enzyme supplement 'alpha-galactosidase' could help people with IBS to better tolerate galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) containing foods.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Winter Warming Fun - Asian Hot Pot!

By Perri Yiu (Dietitian)

Hot pot is a wonderful way to socialise and enjoy a wide variety of food with friends and family (the more people, the more variety of food you can have!).  Hot pot involves setting the table with a variety of raw ingredients and a consistently simmering pot of stock to cook the food in. Once the table is set, everyone can pick what they like and start cooking.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Does caffeine affect IBS symptoms?

By Dr Jane Varney (Research Dietitian)

Caffeine (usually in the form of coffee) is commonly implicated as a trigger of IBS symptoms. But does caffeine really play a role in triggering IBS symptoms and should you adjust your intake?

Friday, 18 August 2017

Classic Bolognaise Sauce (minus the FODMAPs!)

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Bolognaise sauce is a great favourite in many homes and the kids love it too! However, most recipes invariably start off with problematic onions and garlic. This simple, fast and delicious recipe gives you all the flavour of your favourite bolognaise but it is low FODMAP! It’s also very versatile and easy to store for a quick meal or snack (see the tips and serving suggestions below).

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Does fat play a role in the management of IBS?

By Dr Jane Varney and Dr CK Yao
Patients commonly associate the consumption of fatty meals with the onset of IBS symptoms, but are these effects real and is fat restriction necessary to manage IBS symptoms?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Using Non-Traditional Cereals and Grains

By Dr Jane Varney (Research Dietitian) 

You may have found that since starting your low FODMAP diet, many of your favourite grain and cereal foods (pasta, gnocchi, breakfast cereal, bread, biscuits and many snack products) are off limits. These restrictions are due to the high fructan content of grains that commonly form the basis of these foods, namely wheat, rye and barley. While many of these foods have low FODMAP serves, to get all the nutritional benefits of wholegrain foods, you may need to broaden your horizons and try some non-traditional grain and cereal foods, many of which are low in FODMAPs. Low FODMAP grains and cereals to consider include:

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Carrot and Pepita Dip

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)
This simple, delicious and healthy recipe is one the whole family will enjoy! It is versatile as it can be used as a dip with veggies or crackers or a spread on your favourite low FODMAP bread so it’s great for entertaining, snacks, breakfasts or lunch boxes (see tips below for some suggestions!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Does Endurance Exercise Affect Gut Health?

By Dr Ricardo Costa 
Senior Lecturer & Researcher in Exercise Physiology, Metabolism & Dietetics - Monash University 

A recent Monash University review of published studies has found that all people who exercise excessively may be prone to acute or chronic gut issues [1].

Friday, 28 July 2017

Low FODMAP Croutons

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)
Making croutons is very easy and it is a great way to use up your old bread! They are a delicious addition to many salads or sprinkled on soups to give your dishes that lovely crunch. You can use any of our Monash certified breads for this recipe to ensure your croutons are low FODMAP. The croutons are also easy to store and will keep for more than a week (see the tips below).

Monday, 24 July 2017

What's the go with SIBO???

By Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitian)

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (better known as SIBO) is gaining more and more attention as a potential cause of gut symptoms in at least a subset (4-78%) of IBS patients (1-2). But what is SIBO? And what exactly do we know about the relationship between SIBO and IBS?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Research Update: Long-term impact of the low-FODMAP diet on gastrointestinal symptoms, dietary intake, patient acceptability, and health care utilization in irritable bowel syndrome

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

Ever wondered what the impact of a low FODMAP diet is long term, in regards to nutritional adequacy and quality of life? This study is the first comprehensive report on the long term implications of a low FODMAP diet - here is a summary.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Carrot, Walnut and Linseed Cake or Cup-Cakes

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

This satisfyingly filling, moist, tasty and naturally (but not too) sweet recipe makes either a whole cake or individual cup-cakes that the whole family will love! The cakes are great for any occasion such as quick snacks, lunchboxes, afternoon tea or a sweetish treat after dinner. The cakes are simple and easy to make and are good keepers if stored at room temperature in an air airtight container. They are also handy to freeze as either individual cake slices or cup-cakes. Additionally, they are pretty healthy as they are a source of dietary fibre, minerals and even sneak in some vegetables and linseeds into your diet.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Salad Dressing)

By Trish Vetch (Research Chef)

As a follow up to our recent blog post about short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), we thought you may enjoy trying a recipe that incorporates apple cider vinegar, a rich source of the SCFA, acetate. While we don’t yet know whether consuming SCFAs through diet confers any health benefits, we think it can’t hurt to include them in the meantime.
This dressing is a terrifically easy and tasty way to incorporate the SCFA, acetate into your everyday diet. Many salads (see some suggestions under tips) require a dressing and this versatile recipe can be used to enhance their flavour. It is also has a really good shelf life so can always be ready for those quick meals after a long day. Or why not take a jar to work to pour on your healthy lunchtime salads?

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The health benefits of fermented foods – is it the probiotics, their by-products or both?

By Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitian)

Fermented foods are constantly promoted for their health benefits, particularly when it comes to improving digestion, gut function and the balance of good bugs living in our gut. In the past, these benefits have been attributed to the probiotics, or beneficial bacteria naturally found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha. But what if there is another side to the fermented foods story? One which until recently, has received relatively little attention….

As well as probiotics, fermented foods generally contain the by-products of bacterial fermentation – namely acetate, which is the main organic acid responsible for the sour taste of many fermented foods. Apple cider vinegar for instance is a fermented liquid that is a particularly good source of acetate (1). 

Acetate, like its big brothers butyrate and propionate, is a type of short chain fatty acid (SCFA). You may be familiar with the term SCFA, which are produced by beneficial bacteria in our gut as a by-product of the fermentation of dietary fibre (2).

It is these SCFAs that appear to act as an intermediate between our gut microbiome and the rest of our body to deliver health benefits (2-4). For example, butyrate is used as a major energy source by the cells lining our gut, helping to keep them healthy and functioning at their prime (2). In recent years, scientists have turned their attention to studying SCFAs and exactly how they confer health benefits. Although human research is still in its infancy, there is ample animal data to suggest that SCFAs play important regulatory roles within our immune system, particularly when it comes to reducing inflammation and allergic responses (3-4).

Whilst all of the research so far points to the importance of consuming a high fibre diet for optimal SCFA production in the gut itself, there remains a huge question mark around how dietary sources of SCFAs might also play a role. For example, can a dose of acetate from drinking apple cider vinegar have any direct effects on the immune system in humans?

Paul Gill, one of our students here at Monash University is currently conducting his PhD on this very topic. Up until now, the actual amount of SCFAs contained in different foods and beverages was largely unknown. Paul’s research so far has seen him develop methodology for quantifying levels of SCFAs in different foods and drinks and he has now developed a database with over 30 different fermented foods and drinks. Paul now plans to explore the immune effects of high dietary sources of SCFAs in human trials. We hope that this research will add to our understanding of SCFAs and whether oral sources are of any additional benefit to a high fibre diet.

Whilst time will tell, in the meantime, it can’t hurt to try incorporating more fermented foods into your diet where you can – but be sure to check the app first, as not all are low in FODMAPs (read more about fermented foods and FODMAPs here:

  1. Budak NH, Aykin E, Seydim AC, Greene AK, Guzel-Seydim ZB. Functional properties of vinegar. Journal of food science. 2014;79(5):R757-64.
  2. Wong JMW, de Souza R, Kendall CWC, Emam A, Jenkins DJA. Colonic Health: Fermentation and Short Chain Fatty Acids. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2006;40(3):235-43.
  3. Tan J, McKenzie C, Potamitis M, Thorburn AN, Mackay CR, Macia L. The Role of Short Chain Fatty Acids in Health and Disease. Advances in Immunology. 2014;121:91-119
  4. Rooks MG, Garrett WS. Gut microbiota, metabolites and host immunity. Nat Rev Immunol. 2016;16(6):341-52. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Double Chocolate and Teff Bliss Balls

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Are you craving some date packed bliss balls that are normally so problematic? Well, the problem is solved, so now you can indulge in these delicious, chocolaty treats from time to time without having to worry about FODMAPs! Teff is a cereal with the healthy benefits of dietary fibre, calcium, iron and protein. Toasting teff gives it a delectable crunch and makes it a perfect coating for these easy to make balls. These bliss balls keep well and are great snacks at any time of the day, good in lunch-boxes, go really well with coffee and kids will love them too.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Eating out on a Low FODMAP Diet – Italian, Chinese, French and Indian!

By Erin Dwyer – Research Dietitian
Last week we gave you 5 tips on how to eat out on low FODMAP diet. Today we investigate some go-to meals and tips for popular cuisines. Also, don’t forget to follow the tips from last week and most importantly, enjoy dining out!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Low FODMAP Vegetable and Chickpea Soup

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Vegetable soups are great favourites regardless of the season and they can be a terrific way to use up those odds and ends in the fridge! This mouth-watering recipe is very easy and healthy as just one serve provides more than half your daily recommended serves of vegetables. And don’t forget about all the dietary fibre! It’s also versatile as you can use whatever low FODMAP veggies you like and perhaps use what’s seasonal, cheap or growing in your garden. Also, if you are craving some legumes in your diet this soup recipe allows low FODMAP amounts.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Eating out on a Low FODMAP Diet

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

Eating out when you are on a Low FODMAP diet is definitely possible, here are our 5 tips you can use so that you don’t miss out on the fun of socialising over food!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Low FODMAP Thai Tom Yum Soup

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Delicious tom yum soup is very popular both in Thailand and in Thai restaurants everywhere. However, traditional home or restaurant made, packet and instant versions can be packed with high FODMAP garlic and onions and often have a lot of salt and additives! This recipe is worth the effort as it omits these problematic ingredients. However, it maintains the vibrant traditional flavour with all its wonderful, aromatic characteristics of this much loved soup.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Friday, 2 June 2017

Low FODMAP Oat & Banana Pancakes

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Pancakes, flapjacks or griddle cakes are an old favourite for breakfasts and snacks and the kids love them as well! They are quick and easy to make but the traditional recipes usually use high FODMAP wheat flours. This recipe is a delicious and simple alternative with the added benefits of extra fibre. There are many toppings that you can add depending on your mood and taste, the only limit is your imagination (see the tips below for some suggestions)!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Low FODMAP stock concentrate

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Used as a foundation for savoury recipes, good stocks can transform a recipe from ordinary to gourmet. Stocks are often used in dishes such as soups, sauces, gravies, stews, casseroles, risottos, tagines, biryanis or even steamboats. However, many commercial stocks are salty, expensive and often contain onion and/or garlic, making them unhealthy and high in FODMAPs. They can also have cuisine based limitations, making them unsuitable for the delicious Asian dishes you love.

Here are two very simple, but mouthwatering stock recipes. They also reduce well to make concentrates, meaning they can be frozen in ice-cube trays and pulled out next time you want to make a delectable dish that is bursting with natural umami!

Stocks require several hours of cooking time, making them perfect to prepare and freeze on the weekend, then pull out to use on busy work days.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Savoury Low FODMAP Muffins

By Trish Veitch (Professional research chef)

Low FODMAP muffins are great served as snacks or treats when entertaining. They also freeze and reheat well, meaning you can pull them out of the freezer whenever you’re hungry. Here is a delicious, easy recipe for savoury low FODMAP muffins that is easy to modify to suit your taste or inspiration (see the tips below)!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Update: Bananas Re-Tested!

By Shirley Webber & Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitians)
From time-to-time, we re-test a food tested in the past, to ensure that the information we provide to app users is up-to-date. This is important as changes in agricultural and environmental factors can influence FODMAP levels in food. Our scientific testing methods have also become more advanced over time, allowing us to detect FODMAPs with even greater sensitivity and accuracy.
Our most recently re-tested food was banana. We chose banana in part, because many people had reported discomfort after eating ripe bananas. Our app has since been updated with these new data.

New FODMAP ratings of common ripe bananas versus unripe bananas

Ripe banana


Unripe banana


Why has the FODMAP rating of bananas changed so significantly?
We know that agricultural and environmental factors influence FODMAP levels in food and believe that the changes in our FODMAP results may reflect this.
From published research we know that plants naturally tend to accumulate fructans in response to environmental stressors such as cold temperatures and drought.(1) Fructans provide plant cells with greater structural integrity, making them more hardy and resistant to damage from environmental changes and disease.(1)

Studies investigating bananas specifically have found that their fructan content increases when they are stored and ripened in cold storage, which is now relatively common practice by supermarket chains to prevent spoilage and guarantee even ripening.(2, 3) Farmers may also be selectively breeding varieties of crops with a higher fructan content, as they tend to be more resilient to pests and diseases.(1)
As our findings have confirmed, simple changes in how we grow or even store food over time can have a significant effect on their FODMAP content by the time they reach consumers. This emphasises just how important it is to test and retest foods to ensure that the FODMAP composition data provided in our app is consistent with the foods currently in the food supply.
To reflect these new findings, we have updated the banana listings in the app and revised the banana recipes. Remember to check the app for this updated information, including serving size information. When you look at the serving size information, you will see that you can still have a small serve of ripe banana (1/3 banana). It is important to remember that if you currently tolerate ripe bananas well, then there is no need to remove them from your diet. Remember, your diet only needs to be as strict as your symptoms require!

  1. Valluru R, Van den Ende W. Plant fructans in stress environments: emerging concepts and future prospects. J Exp Bot 2008; 59 (11): 2905-2916. Shalini R, Antony U.
  2. Agopian R G D, Purgatto E, Cordenunsi B R, Lajolo F M, Paulo U D S. Synthesis of fructooligosaccharides in banana `prata` and its relation to invertase activity and sucrose accumulation. Amer Chemical Soc. 2009.
  3. Fructan distribution in banana cultivars and effect of ripening and processing on Nendran banana. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2015;52(12):8244-8251.