Fodmaps : What Is It and Why It’s For You

Did you know that 23 percent of the entire population is living with a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that affects them daily? The extent can range from mere cramps, bloating, and constipation to more severe issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). No matter what form of discomfort you are experiencing, it affects your life. Recently, I heard of the low FODMAPS diet, and it has changed my life.

What are FODMAPS?

FODMAPS are types of carbohydrates that do not digest in your system the way that they should, and because they are more difficult to digest, they create an irritation within the digestive tract. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Polyols

This means that you essentially need to lower your carbohydrates, sugars, and other foods that cause digestive distress.

When you ingest food that is difficult to digest, it basically sits in you intestines and feed the microbes that live there. The result is the main reason that you experience gas and feel bloated. If the food remains in your colon for too long of a period, constipation, diarrhea, and cramping could be the result.

Professor Peter Gibson and his team at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia was the first group to pinpoint that the FODMAPS are behind the digestive discomfort that many of us are experiencing.

As a result of their research, it was discovered that consuming a low FODMAP diet nearly diminished the symptoms of IBS in 75 percent of the individuals who participated in the research.

fodmaps-food-chart

 

High FODMAP Foods

Foods that are high FODMAP include: milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, beans, cashews, apples, pears, plums, peaches, watermelon, corn, peas, onion, garlic, mushrooms, honey, and high fructose corn syrup.

 

Low FODMAP Foods

Foods that are low in FODMAP include: lactose free milk, coconut milk, almond milk, chicken, eggs, fish, beef, almonds, oranges, bananas, limes, kiwi, strawberries, bananas, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, maple syrup, and stevia.

 

How does it Work?

This diet is not designed to keep you from eating foods permanently.

It is not a weight loss diet; it is something that is designed to improve your digestion and help you feel better overall.

Start the diet with a low FODMAP food intake for about four to eight weeks of time. Once you do not have the high FODMAP foods in your digestive system, you can start slowly reintroducing the foods that you enjoy eating.

If you start to feel gastrointestinal distress, then you know that the food item you just introduced back into your diet is the culprit causing the discomfort.

 

If you have a GI disorder, a low FODMAP diet could be the key to a healthy digestive tract and a pain free way of life.