“If you have been experiencing digestive issues for a long time, there is a chance they are triggered by the foods that you eat. Because symptoms can be vague and most people have experienced them for many years, people often learn to live with food intolerances. But you don’t need to put up with them. Whether it’s an intolerance to one food group or a condition like irritable bowel syndrome, a low FODMAP diet could help you avoid any more tummy troubles. But what is a FODMAP diet, and will it work for you? Keep reading to find out.
What is a FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the body. Instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream, they reach the far end of your intestine, where most of your gut bacteria reside. Your gut bacteria then use these carbs for fuel, producing hydrogen gas and causing digestive symptoms in sensitive individuals. Strong links have been found between FODMAPs and digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea, and constipation. Low FODMAP diets can provide remarkable benefits for many people with common digestive disorders.
Which foods are high in FODMAPs?
The following food groups are considered to be high FODMAP:
Fructose: a simple sugar found in many fruits and vegetables that also makes up the structure of table sugar and most added sugars.
Lactose: a carbohydrate found in dairy products like milk.
Fructans: found in many foods, including grains like wheat, spelt, rye, and barley.
Galactans: found in large amounts in legumes.
Polyols: sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol. They are found in some fruits and vegetables and are often used as sweeteners.
Sometimes people have an obvious intolerance to just one group of these foods, and sometimes all the foods in the FODMAPs cause symptoms.
Starting a low FODMAP diet
The goal of a low FODMAP diet is usually to remove the problem foods and then slowly reintroduce them over time. Carry out any changes to your diet with help from your doctor or a dietitian. It’s generally recommended to completely eliminate all high FODMAP foods for a few weeks. This diet is unlikely to work if you only eliminate some high FODMAP foods but not others. If FODMAPs are the culprit, you are likely to notice results quite quickly after cutting them out. If your symptoms improved after 2-6 weeks on the diet, it is time to begin reintroducing foods one at a time to single out what exactly isn’t agreeing with you.
Is a low FODMAP diet right for you?
If you frequently experience digestive upset that lowers your quality of life, FODMAPs should be on your list of top suspects. Though a low FODMAP diet may not eliminate all digestive problems, it may lead to significant improvements.
myWellaBee has your low FODMAP food needs covered
The myWellaBee site allows you to search for foods based on ingredients, which can save you plenty of time when trying to work out if something is low FODMAP. We have so many great products available, suitable for any dietary restrictions. Shop for food for people with allergies and intolerances online today.