In this blog post, we are learning all about FODMAPs and arming you with the knowledge to reclaim your digestive bliss!
If you've ever experienced tummy troubles like bloating, gas, or discomfort, this post may be a helpful one to read.
What exactly are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols! They are a group of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in various foods. Sound confusing? Let’s elaborate.
These compounds are not fully absorbed in the small intestine and instead travel to the large intestine, where they can cause trouble for sensitive tummies, leading to those unwelcome digestive symptoms .
Let's meet the members of the different FODMAP groups and common foods which fall within these groups:
Oligosaccharides: These include fructans and GOS (Galacto-Oligosaccharides) and are commonly found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic, and legumes .
Disaccharides: Lactose, the sugar present in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, falls into this category.
For those with lactose intolerance, consuming these foods can lead to unpleasant symptoms, commonly loose bowel movements .
Monosaccharides: Fructose, the natural sugar found in fruits, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup, is part of this group.
While fruits are healthy options, some individuals may experience gut symptoms after eating certain high-fructose fruits .
Polyols: These are sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol, which can be found in sugar-free gum, stone fruits, and certain artificial sweeteners .
These could be the sneaky additions to your diet that contribute to your symptoms of bloating!
What is the low FODMAP diet approach?
Let's discuss the low FODMAP diet approach.
A common myth is that the low FODMAP diet is something you must maintain or stick to in order to maintain your symptoms. This is totally incorrect!
The low FODMAP diet is a 3-step process, not a life-long diet. It's not about banning all FODMAPs forever, because this would actually be terrible for your gut health long-term.
Although they can be problematic to sensitive tummies, These FODMAPs actually provide an essential food source to the healthy bacteria living in your gut, so cutting them out for long periods of time can actually do more harm than good!
Rather we use this low FODMAP diet approach to eliminate these FODMAPs temporarily and then re-introduce each of them to identify your personal food triggers in order to expand your diet again. It involves reducing high FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks, followed by systematically reintroducing them to determine your triggers and tolerance levels .
Remember, it's a 3-step approach, and you don't have to face it alone. Consulting with a registered FODMAP Dietitian can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.
Following a low FODMAP diet doesn't mean giving up on delicious meals.
It's all about making smart swaps and exploring FODMAP-friendly options. Seeing your registered FODMAP Dietitian can make the process a lot smoother by providing FODMAP-friendly recipes and meal plans.
Here are some quick tips on what foods to choose on the low FODMAP diet, phase 1:
- Vegetables: Embrace a range of colourful low-FODMAP veggies like carrots, zucchini, spinach, and bell peppers .
- Proteins: Enjoy a variety of lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and tofu, which are naturally low in FODMAPs .
- Grains: Opt for gluten-free alternatives like rice, quinoa, oats, and corn-based products .
- Fruits: There are plenty of low-FODMAP fruit options to choose from such as strawberries, blueberries, oranges, and grapes !
- Sweeteners: Choose natural alternatives like maple syrup or stevia instead of high-FODMAP sweeteners .
Please note, this is just a very small glimpse of what you can consume on the low FODMAP diet and you should always consult your local doctor or FODMAP Dietitian before starting the low FODMAP diet.
Reducing your symptoms beyond the Low FODMAP Diet
Remember, taking care of your gut health and overall well-being goes beyond the food you eat.
Managing stress, practising relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active can all contribute to a healthier gut . So, pamper yourself, find activities that bring you joy, and let your inner glow shine.
Remember, the low FODMAP diet should never be undertaken without guidance from a trained professional. For more questions and direction around FODMAPs and the low FODMAP diet, see your doctor or registered FODMAP Dietitian!
 Monash University. (n.d.). About FODMAPs. Retrieved from https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/
 Gibson, P. R., & Shepherd, S. J. (2010). Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 25(2), 252-258. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x
 Monash University. (n.d.). Vegetables, Proteins, Grains, Fruits, Sweeteners. Retrieved from https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/vegetables/
 Halmos, E. P., Power, V. A., Shepherd, S. J., Gibson, P. R., & Muir, J. G. (2014). A diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and a probiotic restores Bifidobacterium species: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology, 146(1), 67-75. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.09.046