How To Easily Explain FODMAPs To Your Friends and Family

[Last updated 14th August, 2018]

Do you follow a low FODMAP diet?

If so, be prepared for the inevitable… You’ll have to explain yourself at some stage at a party or social event.

This can quickly become tedious and frustrating – even embarrassing – but it doesn’t have to be.

Use this simple explanation to avoid anymore awkward and confused looks from your friends and family.

The FODMAP Elevator Explanation

FODMAP Elevator Explanation

Ever heard of an elevator pitch?

In business terms it’s a short, persuasive statement you use to explain what your company does.

The idea is that you can easily say it in the brief time you’d be standing in an elevator with someone who asks.

FODMAP Elevator Explanation

Likewise, a quick and easy explanation of FODMAPs and why you’re on a low FODMAP diet is especially useful at social events.

I call it the FODMAP elevator explanation.

If you’re at a friend’s or a relative’s place and someone asks what FODMAPs are or why you’re politely declining certain foods…

You can say:

“FODMAPs refers to certain sugars known to trigger digestive problems. Eating a diet low in these sugars helps control symptoms, and it’s been incredibly beneficial for me.”

That’s it.

Some will be genuinely curious and ask more questions, but most people won’t. They’ll simply say, “Oh, okay. That makes sense.”

In fact, chances are there’s someone else in the room experiencing the same issues as you who just started learning about IBS and FODMAPs.

Using the FODMAP elevator explanation opens up a non-judgemental dialogue where you’ll now be able to help others too.

Easily Explain the FODMAP Diet During The Holidays

Following a low FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be socially awkward.

Equip yourself with that FODMAP elevator explanation and be prepared to navigate all those inevitable situations.

It’s also worth learning what common Christmas foods are low FODMAP so you won’t be left feeling miserable during the holidays.

Aside from using the ultimate low FODMAPs food list and these low FODMAP recipes for ideas, here’s a great list from Everyday Nutrition:

FODMAP christmas

And if you’re looking for additional tips or low FODMAP Christmas recipes, I recommend Alana’s guide.

Lastly, if the FODMAP elevator explanation sounds too complicated to remember, just show them this article!

Use this simple explanation of the FODMAP diet to avoid anymore awkward and confused looks from your friends and family when eating together.


About Joe Leech, Dietitian (MSc Nutrition & Dietetics)

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in exercise science, followed by a Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page