If you have irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut you have probably heard the term FODMAP. This acronym stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. To put this more simply, FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that pull water into your gut. This process can cause the carbohydrates to ferment and contribute to digestive distress.
Stanford Medicine’s Digestive Health Center notes that FODMAPs are common and are found in:
- Fructose in honey, some fruits, and high fructose corn syrup
- Lactose in dairy products
- Fructans in garlic, onion, and wheat
- Galactans in legumes, soy, lentils, and beans
- Polyols in sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, and mannitol as well as stone fruits like avocados, cherries, peaches, plums, and nectarines
The foods on this list are high in FODMAPs and can cause common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms including constipation, gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. If you experience these symptoms after consuming high FODMAP foods, you might want to try the low FODMAP diet plan created by researchers in Australia at Monash University.
Low FODMAP Diet Plan
A low FODMAP diet plan starts by eliminating high FODMAP foods for four to six weeks. During this period you should notice an improvement in your gut health and reduced (or eliminated) digestive distress after eating.
During the second phase of a low FODMAP diet, you reintroduce high FODMAP foods, one at a time. This allows you to quickly identify the foods that trigger unpleasant symptoms as well as the foods you can enjoy that don’t cause IBS symptoms.
High FODMAP Foods to Avoid
In the first phase of a low FODMAP diet, you need to eliminate the following foods from your diet.
Dairy and Milk
|Cow’s milk||Goat’s milk||Evaporated milk|
|Fresh cheeses||Ice cream||Soy milk|
|Sweetened condensed milk||Whey protein supplements||Yogurt|
Proteins, Nuts, and Seeds
|Apples||Apple juice||Apple sauce|
|Onion||Sugar snap peas|| |
|High fructose corn syrup||Honey||Xylitol|
|Soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup||Soft drinks sweetened with sugar alcohols|
Moderate FODMAP Foods to Limit
The foods on this list are considered moderate FODMAP foods. Limit these foods to one small serving, once a day. If you continue to experience gastrointestinal upset while on a low FODMAP diet plan, eliminate these moderate FODMAP foods during the first phase of the diet plan.
|Green peas||Pumpkin||Snow peas|
|Sweet potatoes|| || |
|Shredded coconut||Dried banana chips|| |
Low FODMAP Foods to Enjoy
Yes, there are a lot of foods that contain FODMAPs. Fortunately, there are even more foods that don’t contain these carbohydrates known for causing digestive upset in people with gastrointestinal diseases. The foods on this list can be consumed freely.
|Eggs||Free-range poultry||Wild-caught fish|
|Grass-fed lamb||Grass-fed beef||Tempeh|
Dairy and Milk Alternatives
|Almond milk||Cheddar cheese||Coconut milk|
|Colby cheese||Parmesan cheese||Rice milk|
|Swiss cheese|| || |
Breads and Grains
|Gluten-free breads||Gluten-free pasta||Gluten-free oats|
|Gluten-free corn||GMO-free rice||Quinoa|
|Sourdough spelt|| || |
|Bean sprouts||Bamboo shoots||Bell peppers|
|Choy sum||Cucumbers||Fresh herbs|
Nuts & Seeds
|Pine nuts||Pumpkin seeds||Walnuts|
Low FODMAP Diet Benefits
A low FODMAP diet can benefit many aspects of your health including:
- Weight loss
- Less stomach pain
- Less diarrhea
- Less bloating
- Less gas
- Less constipation
- Reduced stress
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced depression
However, many high FODMAP foods contain important vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients. When you begin a low FODMAP diet it would be wise to take a vitamin supplement to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need.