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Low FODMAP Diet

Articles, Nutrition

Low FODMAP Diet

 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common gastrointestinal disorder and primarily affects the large intestine. Although in most cases physicians are unable to identify the primary cause of IBS, researchers have been able to identify dietary modifications that can help reduce or eliminate symptoms. At Monash University, researchers have developed the Low FODMAP diet and found that it can improve symptoms of IBS. So what is the Low FODMAP diet exactly?

FODMAPs are carbohydrates, or sugars, that are found in foods; however, not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs.

The FODMAPs in the diet are:

  • Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup)
  • Lactose (Dairy)
  • Fructans (wheat, onion, garlic, etc.)
  • Galactans (legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans)
  • Polyols (sweetners that contain mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol and stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, peaches)

FODMAPS are osmotic, meaning they pull water into the intestinal tract, and may not be absorbed or digested well when eaten in excess. Therefore, diets that are high in FODMAPs can cause inflammation and poor digestion, resulting in an increase of symptoms of IBS.

Here is a complete FODMAPs list that has been found to lower symptoms:

 

Food Group Low FODMAPs High FODMAPs (try to avoid
Fruits*Limit intake on fruits to one serving per meal

*When choosing some dry fruit, use caution to make sure they aren?t coated in a sugar base

bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tangerine apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, canned fruit, dates, dried fruits, figs, guava, mango, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, persimmon, prunes, watermelon
Vegetables*Onion is considered a main contributor to IBS symptoms. Use caution when selecting food to ensure there are no onion additives. alfalfa/bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, bok choy, carrots, cabbage (common), cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, lettuce, parsnips, pumpkin, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, seaweed (nori), spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts, zucchini artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Chicory, Dandelion leaves, Fennel, Garlic, Leek, Legumes, Okra, Onion (brown, white, & Spanish), Peas, Radicchio lettuce, Shallot, Spring onion (white section), sugar snap peas
Grains made with gluten free/spelt grains (corn, oats, potato, quinoa, rice, tapioca, etc): bagels, biscuits, breads, cereals, chips, crackers, noodles, pancakes, pastas, pretzels, tortillas, wafflesoatmeal, oat bran, popcorn, quinoa, rice, rice bran made with wheat/barley/rye when it?s the major ingredient, gluten free/spelt grains made with foods to limit, chicory root, inulin
Dairy lactose free dairy (any), low lactose dairy: cream cheese, half and half, hard cheeses (cheddar, colby, parmesan, swiss, etc), soft cheeses (brie, feta, mozzarella, etc), sherbet, yogurt (greek), whipped cream high lactose dairy: buttermilk, chocolate, creamy/cheesy sauces, custard, ice cream, milk (cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, condensed, evaporated), soft cheeses (cottage, ricotta, etc), sour cream
Other Golden syrup, Treacle, Molasses, Maple syrup, White, brown, raw & castor sugar (sucrose) eaten in moderation, Tea, coffee, & herbal teas, Nuts & seeds (moderation), Oat bran, Barley bran, Psyllium, Rice bran, Suitable sweeteners (nutrasweet, sucralose, aspartame, stevia, saccharine, tic tacs, regular gum). Honey, Corn syrups, Corn syrup solids, Fruisana, Chickory, Dandelion tea, Inulin, Artificial sweeteners, Sugar free or low carb sweets, mints, gums, & dairy desserts, Baked beans, lentils, & chick peas

 

Tips for a Low FODMAP diet

  • Limit Alcohol intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Read food labels
  • Review food list then make a meal plan before you go to the grocery store
  • Limit serving sizes for low lactose dairy to small amounts and low FODMAP fruits/vegetables to a 1?2 cup per meal (1?2 cup=size of a tennis ball) if you have symptoms after eating these foods.
  • Try to limit your processed food, as they could have hidden FODMAPs.
  • Once you?re ready, start and follow the diet for 6 weeks. After the trial is over, you can slowly add high FODMAP foods one at a time back into your diet in small amounts to identify which foods could ?trigger? your symptoms.

The Monash team has more tips and resources such as the Low FODMAPs App, FAQs, Booklets, and seminars that can help you on your journey to a healthier gut.