FODMAP is an acronym used to describe a group of carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria to produce gas. This can lead to bloating, excess gas, pain and nausea. They can also change how fast or slow food moves through the intestines causing diarrhea or constipation.
Some individuals are more sensitive to these foods than others. The low-FODMAP diet reduces these carbohydrates in a person’s diet to temporarily control their symptoms, but it is not meant to be followed long-term. Individuals who may benefit from a low-FODMAP diet include those with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and more.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols
Examples of FODMAPs include:
Fructose (in excess) found in certain fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup
Lactose: milk and milk products
Fructans: wheat, onion, garlic, and inulin
Galactans: legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils
Polyols: peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms and often added as artificial sweeteners
To ensure success, it is highly recommended that you seek guidance from a Registered Dietitian who is experienced with the low-FODMAP diet. The dietitian will ensure that your diet remains nutritionally adequate and that you will be provided with suitable food alternatives. Generally, the low-FODMAP diet is followed for 2-6 weeks, followed by reintroduction to test tolerance to each FODMAP category.
Shepherd, Sue, and Peter Gibson. The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders. New York: The Experiment, LLC, 2013. Print
Halmos, Emma, et al. “A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Gastroenterology 146.1 (2014): 67-75. Print.
Barrett, Jacqueline, and Peter Gibson. “Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals?” Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology 5.4 (2012): 261-268. Print.
Mullin, Gerard, et al. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Contemporary Nutrition Management Strategies.” Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 38.7 (2014): 781-799. Print.