What is the Low FODMAP Diet?

The low FODMAP diet is a form of an elimination diet to help treat conditions like IBS and can also help identify food intolerances and food sensitivities.

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The low FODMAP diet is a dietary approach that involves avoiding certain types of carbohydrates that are known to contribute to digestive symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal pain, in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders.The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can cause digestive symptoms in some people. The low FODMAP diet involves avoiding foods that are high in these types of carbohydrates for a period of time, and then gradually reintroducing them to see how the body responds. This dietary approach has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of IBS and other digestive disorders in some people, but it should be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian. The diet consists of an elimination stage and later reintroduces more foods, it is not necessarilly suitable as longterm diet.

First you eliminate all foods high in FODMAPs for two to four weeks, then you slowly start to reintroduce the eliminated foods and observe your bodies reactions, to find out which foods cause problems and have to be cut out of your diet, and which ones you can keep eating.

Here are some examples of foods that are generally low in FODMAPs:

  • Fruits: banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, clementines, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, oranges, papaya, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries
  • Vegetables: carrot, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, potato, pumpkin, tomato, zucchini
  • Grains: rice, quinoa, oats (in moderation), corn (in moderation)
  • Meats: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, fish, eggs
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds (in moderation), peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Dairy substitutes: almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk

Here are some examples of foods that are generally high in FODMAPs, these should be avoided:

  • Fruits: apples, apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, figs, mango, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon (all dried forms)
  • Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, spring onion (white part only)
  • Grains: wheat, rye, barley, bran, wheat-based products (such as pasta, bread, and baked goods)
  • Dairy: milk, ice cream, yogurt, soft cheeses (such as brie and camembert)
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, baked beans
  • Sweeteners: honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar
  • Other: mushrooms, processed meats (such as salami and ham), artificial sweeteners (such as sorbitol and mannitol)

To determine which foods are high or low in FODMAPs, there are helpful apps like FODMAP A to Z (free).

It’s important to note that not all high FODMAP foods will cause digestive symptoms in everyone, and it’s best to work with a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider experienced in the low FODMAP diet to determine which foods are well-tolerated by an individual. The low FODMAP diet is a restrictive diet and should only be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

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