You have no items in your shopping cart.
Swipe to the left
12 June 2015 1 comment
Is this diet for you?
No we are not talking about a Food Map! The word FODMAP is an acronym which stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Cool term huh? They’re basically short chain carbohydrates that share the common characteristic of being poorly absorbed in your intestinal tract. Some people have difficulty with FODMAP foods and may have symptoms suggestive of a FODMAP intolerance. Here are some examples of foods high in FODMAPs:
|Carbohydrate Group||Examples of Each Group||Sources|
||Fructans – polymers of fructose
||Galactans – polymers of galactose
||Dairy products, particularly:
Cow’s milk, yoghurt, soft cheeses, cream, ice cream
||High fructose corn syrup, honey
Maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol and mannitol
|Xylitol - naturally found in mushrooms, oats and berries
Sorbitol - naturally present in stone fruits e.g. peaches, cherries, nectarines, prunes, and apricots
Sugar alcohols are used in foods as low calorie sweeteners
Polyols are also in stone fruits, apples, pears, blackberries, watermelon and cauliflower
|Copyright © Return2Health Limited. All Rights Reserved.|
Note: If you have a sensitivity to FODMAPs, try to reduce your intake of the foods in the table above.
The Biochemistry and Physiology of FODMAPs in a Nutshell
FODMAP carbohydrates are generally poorly absorbed in our intestines, however not everyone experiences symptoms as a result of this. Any leftover FODMAPs from our small intestines pass into the large intestine where they’re fermented by our beneficial gut bacteria. In those who have a gut hypersensitivity or who have altered gut microflora, the large amount of gas produced leads to bloating, flatulence and discomfort.
Bloating and flatulence distend the lumen of your intestines. To some people, that distention can be quite uncomfortable and painful. In addition, distention decreases the motility of your intestines. Motility ensures that your food travels down and eventually out the other end. Too many FODMAPs in your diet increase your chances of poor bowel motility and constipation.
Who is a Low-FODMAP diet for?
People who experience too much bloating and flatulence can get relief from a low-FODMAPs diet. If you’re diagnosed with a FODMAP intolerance by your healthcare practitioner, you will need to shift to a low-FODMAP diet. Additionally, those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD - such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or symptoms of bloating, excessive gas, diarrhoea or abdominal discomfort can also benefit from a diet low in FODMAP foods.
How do you know that you have a FODMAP intolerance or sensitivity?
You may have a FODMAP intolerance and not know it. Here are some symptoms which suggest a FODMAP intolerance:
- 1. Bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. When oligosaccharides aren’t absorbed in your small intestines, they proceed to your large intestines where they’re treated like aliens (foreign substances). The resident bacteria react by producing excessive gas. The result? A lot of bloating. Bloating is a feeling of being full which may be accompanied by abdominal pain. It’s an uncomfortable sensation which brings a lot of discomfort to your daily activities. At other times, bloating can also be accompanied by diarrhoea and/or constipation. Either you’re too familiar with your toilet seat or you miss it! Diarrhoea relieves your discomfort while constipation seems to prolong it.
- 2. I’m already eating healthy food! You begin to wonder why you still suffer from the same symptoms over and over again, even though you’re already eating healthy food. What’s worse is that as time passes, the healthy food that you’re eating is worsening your symptoms. For most people in the western world, healthy food generally equates to vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. However if you have a FODMAP intolerance, many of these foods can be quite problematic for you.
- 3. The trip to your healthcare practitioner didn’t help much. Many people afflicted with a FODMAP intolerance have visited their doctors and several other doctors for help with their medical problems that don’t seem to go away. Most of them are misdiagnosed as having irritable bowel syndrome and told to go on a high fibre, vegetable and fruit diet. FODMAP intolerance is not well recognised by most doctors.
- 4. You begin to worship your digestive system. Thinking about what to eat all the time in order to avoid your symptoms can have a dominating effect on your life. You’re always wondering which foods might bring you discomfort. Some people have difficulty getting through each day just because of this.
What Foods to Eat
And now you want to know which foods you can eat? Here is our list of foods and food groups that are low in FODMAP’s.
While a FODMAP diet is not fixing the underlying problem, it can help to resolve most digestive symptoms caused by poor digestion of these short chain carbohydrates. If you suspect you may have a sensitivity to one or more of the FODMAP foods, talk to your healthcare practitioner about modifying your diet to one low in FODMAP’s to improve your feeling of health and well-being.
- Bolen, B., & Bradley, K. (2014). The everything guide to the low-FODMAP diet: A healthy plan for managing IBS and other digestive disorders.
- Campbell, T. C., & Campbell, T. M. (2005). The China study: the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books.
- Ross, A. (2014). Modern nutrition in health and disease (11th Ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Gibson PR and Shepherd SJ. Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. J Gastroenterology Hepatol. 2010. 25(2):252-8.
- Born P Carbohydrate malabsorption in patients with non-specific abdominal complaints World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2007, 13(43): 5687-5691