The Low Fodmap Diet
The low FODMAP diet is a way of eating designed to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It involves eliminating foods which are high in a specific type of short-chain carbohydrate known as a FODMAP.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. They are found in certain fruits, vegetables and wheat, and are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.
They are suspected to cause digestive upset for some individuals, particularly those with IBS.
Foods to Eat
- Bean Sprouts
- Bell Pepper
- Mandarin Oranges
- Cheddar Cheese
- Lactose-Free Milk
- Parmesan Cheese
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea
- Peppermint Tea
Nuts & Seeds
- Macadamia Nuts
- Pine Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
Many foods are naturally low in FODMAPS and can be included on the low FODMAP diet, such as the ones listed above.
Foods to Avoid
- Soft cheeses
- Chicory Leaves
- Snow Peas
- High fructose corn syrups
- Sorbitol & mannitol (used as artificial sweeteners)
Foods which are high in FODMAPS, such as these, are known to cause digestive upset in those with IBS, and should be limited as much as possible.
10 Fundamental Principles of The Low Fodmap Diet
- More fruit and vegetables every day (including berries, cabbages, root vegetables, legumes, potatoes and herbs).
- More whole grain, especially oats, rye and barley
- More food from the sea and lakes
- Higher-quality meat, but less of it
- More food from wild landscapes
- Organic produce whenever possible
- Avoiding food additives
- More meals based on seasonal produce
- More home-cooked food
- Less waste
The low FODMAP diet had mostly been studied in humans with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). According to research, about 75% of people with IBS can benefit from a low-FODMAP diet.
The diet may also be beneficial for other gastrointestinal symptoms, and promote gut healing for those without an official diagnosis of IBS.
The benefits of a low FODMAP diet may include:
- Less gas
- Less bloating
- Less diarrhea
- Less constipation
- Less stomach pain
Disadvantages of the Fodmap Diet
The low FODMAP diet has some drawbacks, including:
- being unable to eat some ready-made or processed foods
- restriction of certain foods
- difficulty modifying diet
- limited options for eating out
- consider chef-prepared meal delivery services: https://mealplanpros.com/low-fodmap-meal-delivery/
The word “diet” often implies weight loss or other goals associated with the physique. However, the low FODMAP diet is a program used to identify foods that trigger uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
Since it is used for health reasons, it’s not an easy diet to adopt, but when done correctly can provide relief for people with IBS or other digestive issues.
It is not recommended to follow this diet unless needed, as it may do more harm than good. FODMAPS provide prebiotics for the digestive tract which support growth of beneficial bacteria.
As with any form of restrictive diet, make sure to consult with a medical professional before beginning this diet to assure that it is safe for you.
Kristen Kuminski, RD, CDN
Kristen is a consultant Dietitian with experience working with a variety of individuals and populations. Kristen has experience counseling/ coaching clients in eating disorders, pediatrics, weight management, mental health nutrition and other chronic health conditions.