FODMAPs are a group of food contents that are not completely digested or absorbed in our intestines. When FODMAPs reach the small intestine, they move slowly, attracting water. When they pass into the large intestine, FODMAPs are fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas as a result. The extra gas and water cause the intestinal wall to stretch and expand, and symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome
FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods, when eaten, they move slowly through the small intestine attracting water. When they reach the large intestine, gut bacteria use the FODMAPs as a fuel source to survive. The bacteria rapidly ferment FODMAPs, producing gas as a result.
These events occur in all people (i.e. people with and without IBS). The difference is that people with IBS can have problems with motility (the speed at which contents move through the intestines) and/or a highly sensitive gut wall. The extra water and gas in the intestines, causes the intestinal wall to stretch and expand and results in common gut issues such as pain, excessive wind, bloating, distension and altered bowel habit (diarrhea, constipation or both).
The Low FODMAP Diet is not a common or traditional diet like other diets. It is for those who struggle with absorbing specific carbohydrates in certain foods. FODMAP stands for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. These are types of carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, which are found in various foods. These carbohydrates, or FODMAPs, are not easily absorbed by the bowel. This malabsorption can lead to irritable bowel syndrome or other bowel disorders. Symptoms of these disorders include gas, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and/or pain after consuming foods that contain FODMAPs. Anything that contains fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or sorbitol is considered a FODMAP food. These include certain fruits and vegetables, processed foods, some medications, and various other food items.
Some fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables contain a high amount of fructose that may cause some symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If these symptoms occur, it is best to avoid those foods. Below, is a chart of which fruits, juices, and other foods may be avoided or reduced depending on the level of FODMAP present. When taking liquid medication such as cough medicine, it is best to check the label to see if there is any sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, or isomalt present. These sugar alcohols may cause adverse gastrointestinal symptoms.
The Low FODMAP Diet works by first eliminating any high FODMAP foods that you eat too much of. The list of these foods is found in the chart below. If this doesn’t quite work, then cut out all high FODMAP foods for 6-8 weeks. After this period of time, slowly start to incorporate high FODMAP foods back into your diet and see which ones make symptoms worse. After a while, you should be able to determine which FODMAP foods you are intolerant to.
|Food Group||Serving Size and Suggestions||Low FODMAP||Moderate FODMAP||High FODMAP|
|Fruits||½ cup of cut fruit or a medium (baseball size) whole fruit. Limit to 1 to 2 servings per day. |
Fresh or fresh frozen fruit may be better tolerated than canned fruit.
Tolerance may depend on the amount you eat at one time.
Limit concentrated sources of fruit, such as dried fruit and fruit juices.
Dried Fruits (e.g., raisins, dates)
|Vegetables||½ cup for most vegetables or 1 cup of leafy greens |
Limit to 1½ to 3 servings per day.
Cooked vegetables may be tolerated best since cooking causes a loss of free sugars.
Keep in mind tolerance may depend on the amount you eat at one time.
Red bell pepper
Green bell peppers
Lactose Free Milk
Lactose Free Cottage Cheese
Lactose Free Yogurt
Hard or Aged Cheeses
Sourdough White Bread
|Legumes and Nuts||Firm And Medium Tofu |
|Canned and drained |
chickpeas and lentils
Nuts and nut butters except
pistachios and cashews
|Soy (silken tofu, textured
vegetable protein, edamame,
soy nuts, soy milk)
|Soft drinks that include
high fructose corn syrup
or crystalline fructose
Other Fruit Juices
|Sweeteners||Granulated Sugar |
Evaporated Cane Juice
Brown Rice Syrup
Pure Maple Syrup
Sugar Cane Molasses
|Cocoa||High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar Beet Molasses