FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates-fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols found in certain foods, including wheat and beans.
These are poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates.
FODMAPs are found in many foods and are associated with IBS problems, like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and flatulence.
The following foods contain FODMAPs:
oligosaccharides, including fructans (in wheat, onions, garlic) and galactans (in beans, lentils, soybeans)
disaccharides, including lactose (in milk and other dairy products)
monosaccharides, including fructose (in apples, honey)
polyols, including sorbitol and mannitol (in some fruits, vegetables, artificial sweeteners).
Studies have shown strong links between FODMAPs and digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation.
Low-FODMAP diets can provide remarkable benefits for many people with common digestive disorders.
FODMAPs are short-chain carbs that are resistant to digestion.
FODMAPS are not absorbed into the bloodstream, but reach the far end of the intestine where gut bacteria reside.
Bacteria then use these carbs for fuel, producing hydrogen gas and causing digestive symptoms in sensitive individuals.
In addition FODMAPs draw liquid into the intestine, which may cause diarrhea.
Not everyone is sensitive to FODMAP.
Sensitivity to FODMAPS is very common among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
50% to 86% of people with IBS respond well to a low-FODMAP diet.
People with IBS who follow a low-FODMAP diet for four weeks are twice as likely to have improved quality of life and lower levels of anxiety compared with those who followed a more traditional diet.
Common FODMAPs include:
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 often used as sweeteners.
FODMAPs are small carbs that many people cannot digest.
They are completely resistant to digestion and are categorized as a dietary fiber.
Some carbohydrates function like FODMAPs only in some individuals : lactose and fructose sensitivity to these carbs differs between people.
FODMAPs are fermented and used as fuel by gut bacteria.
Bowel bacteria tend to produce methane, whereas the bacteria that feed on FODMAPs produce hydrogen.
Hydrogen production may lead to gas, bloating, stomach cramps, pain, and constipation, and abdominal distention.
FODMAPs are also osmotically active, drawing water into the intestine and contributing to diarrhea.
About 75% of people with IBS can benefit from a low-FODMAP diet.
A low-FODMAP diet may also be beneficial for other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
It can be useful for people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Common foods and ingredients that are high in FODMAPs
Fruits: Apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, canned fruit, dates, figs, pears, peaches, watermelon
Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol
Dairy products: Milk (from cows, goats and sheep), ice cream, most yogurts, sour cream, soft and fresh cheeses (cottage, ricotta, etc) and whey protein supplements
Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, shallots
Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
Wheat: Bread, pasta, most breakfast cereals, tortillas, waffles, pancakes, crackers, biscuits
Other grains: Barley and rye
Beverages: Beer, fortified wines, soft drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, milk, soy milk, fruit juices
Foods You Can Eat on a Low-FODMAP Diet
Meats, fish and eggs: well tolerated unless they have added high-FODMAP ingredients like wheat or high-fructose corn syrup
All fats and oils
Most herbs and spices
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds ( not pistachios, which are high in FODMAPs)
Fruits: Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, lime, mandarins, melons, oranges, passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries (except watermelon),
Sweeteners: Maple syrup, molasses, stevia and most sugar alcohols
Dairy products: Lactose-free dairy products, hard cheeses and aged softer varieties like brie and camembert
Vegetables: Alfalfa, bell peppers, bok choy, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, chives, olives, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, spinach, green spring onion, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, yams, water chestnuts, zucchini
Grains: Corn, oats, rice, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca
Beverages: Water, coffee, tea
It is recommended to eliminate all high-FODMAP foods for a few weeks, then reintroduce some of them one at a time.