The FODMAP Diet: What it is and the importance of follow through
The FODMAP diet is a diet that restricts foods that triggers digestive symptoms such as gas, stomach pain, and bloating. It primarily consists of foods that are low in fermentable carbohydrates. The acronym for FODMAP is “Fermentable Oligo-saccharide, Disaccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols,” which are a group of poorly absorbed complex and simple sugars that are found in a multitude of vegetables and fruits, as well as wheat and milk.
Rendering to Healthline, the major dietary sources of the four FODMAPs groups are:
- Oligo-saccharide: Rye, wheat, legumes (beans, lentils, and soybeans) and some fruits and vegetables like onions and garlic.
- Disaccharides: Soft cheese, yogurt, and milk. Lactose is the main carbohydrate.
- Monosaccharides: a variety of fruit such as mangoes and figs, sweeteners like agave nectar and honey. Fructose is the main carbohydrate.
- Polyols: Various vegetables and fruits including lychee and blackberries, as well as some sugar-free gum that contains low-calorie sweeteners.
Benefits of a FODMAP Diet
Often, a professional gastroenterologist will recommend the FODMAP diet for people with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, or for those with digestive issues like bloating and gas. The diet limits carbohydrates that are fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols. For the most part, the majority of people do not have an issue with FODMAPs unless too many are consumed. However, some people are sensitive to them. This is because FODMAPs attract water into the digestive tract, which can cause bloating and gas. According to WebMD, roughly three out of four people with IBS had immediate relief after starting a low FODMAP diet. In fact, the biggest relief was felt after seven or more days on the diet plan.
Since symptoms are generally eased right away, many are tempted to go off the FODMAP diet after a day or two. To reap the full benefits, it is important to follow through on the diet for the recommended amount of time. The FODMAP diet can be prescribed by a gastroenterologist for seven days or more, depending on your condition.
Foods Low in FODMAP
There are numerous foods that are low in FODMAPs from certain fruits and vegetables to whole grains and proteins. Some of the best sources of low FODMAP foods are:
- Oils: Olive oil and coconut oil
- Protein: Tofu, eggs, fish, prawns, chicken, beef, lamb, and pork
- Whole grains: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, maize, and buckwheat
- Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and linseeds
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pine nuts, and almonds (only 10 per serving)
- Fruits: Oranges, limes, mandarins, papaya, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, and rhubarb
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, zucchini, kale, spinach, carrots, bell peppers, bean sprouts, and eggplant
- Dairy: Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and lactose-free milk
- Beverages: Water, peppermint tea, green tea, white tea, black te,a and coffee
In addition, there are numerous spices such as basil, chives, chili, pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, ginger, fenugreek, lemongrass, saffron, salt, and white rice vinegar.
If you are having issues with your digestive system or suspect that you have IBS, contact a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. A gastroenterologist can discuss possible solutions or recommend a certain food regime like the FODMAP diet.
At GI North, both Dr. Sergio Quijano and Dr. Simon Cofrancesco are well known for their expertise as a gastroenterologist. Their advanced skills and combined knowledge are sought after in the North Atlanta area. Their expertise includes the diagnosis and treatment of IBS, gastroparesis, gastritis, and other stomach issues.
This information is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about the FODMAP diet, contact GI North or your local M.D.
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