All About Low FODMAP

It has long been understood that the foods you consume have a significant effect on your body. Some of the more common effects that people experience are digestive issues. And as such, there has been continual research looking for the best diet to improve the performance of the digestive system.

This research further proved that there is a correlation between FODMAPs and symptoms associated with digestion trouble, including stomach pain, gas, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.

If you suffer from such symptoms or were diagnosed with IBS, the low FODMAP diet may be able to bring you relief. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique yet effective diet, explore the information below and contact your doctor to see if it’s right for you.

What Are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym for:

Fermentable

Oligosaccharides

Disaccharides

Monosaccharides

And

Polyols

These are scientific terms used to classify carbohydrate groups, which are notorious for causing digestive symptoms such as gas, stomach pain, and bloating.

Moreover, you can find FODMAPs present in a wide variety of foods and in many different amounts. Some foods, for example, contain only a single FODMAP type. However, there are others that contain multiple FODMAP types.

In addition, there are four dietary sources found in FODMAPs. The main dietary sources of the four fermentable groups within FODMAP include:

Oligosaccharides: This group refers to foods like beans, wheat, and rye, as well as various vegetables and fruits, such as onions and garlic.

Disaccharides: The “Di” group consists of foods like milk, soft cheese, and yogurt. And it’s the lactose in dairy that serves as the main carbohydrate.

Monosaccharides: Here, the monosaccharides are foods consisting of various fruits. These can be anything from mangos and figs, as well as sweeteners like agave nectar and honey. What’s more, fructose is the primary carbohydrate.

Polyols: And lastly, polyols refers to certain vegetables and fruits, like blackberries and lychees. Moreover, polyols can be some low-calorie sweeteners, such as those found in sugar-free gum.

Why Start Low FODMAP Diet?

Low FODMAP diets restrict foods that are high in FODMAPs. There are many notable benefits of following a low FODMAP diet, as it’s been tested in over 30 studies and on thousands of IBS patients.

For starters, the low FODMAP diet can greatly diminish digestive system symptoms. However, it’s worth noting that the symptoms of IBS can vary greatly, including:

  • Bowel urgency
  • Stomach pain
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Reflux

Stomach pain remains one of the key indicators of this condition. What’s more, studies show that bloating affects over 80% of IBS patients. As such, these symptoms are often quite debilitating in those who suffer from IBS.

A large study revealed that sufferers of IBS claimed that they’d be willing to forfeit 25% of the last years in their lives just to be free from their IBS symptoms.

Fortunately, a low FODMAP diet can significantly reduce bloating and stomach pain. Evidence from at least four respectable studies determined that patients who follow low FODMAP diets greatly increase their chances of relieving bloating and stomach pain by as much as 75% and 81%, respectively.

In addition, many other studies also revealed that diet alone plays a significant role in helping to control constipation, flatulence, and diarrhea.

What’s more, the low FODMAP diet can greatly improve the quality of life in patients suffering from IBS. Such patients frequently report a significant decline in the quality of their lives. Related to this are severe signs of digestive problems.

The good news is that there have been multiple studies showing that low FODMAP dieting can improve quality of life overall. In fact, evidence shows that low FODMAP dieting might increase energy levels in patients with IBS. However, there is a need for placebo-controlled research and more clinical studies to support such findings.

Who Should Do Low FODMAP Diet?

Low FODMAP diets are certainly not for everybody. Unless you have an IBS diagnosis, research shows that following a low FODMAP diet can actually hurt you rather than help you. This is due to the fact that a vast majority of FODMAPs are prebiotic, which means they support and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

In addition, most studies are directed at adults. Therefore, support for the diet of children with IBS is limited. If you have IBS, please consider this diet if you meet the following conditions:

  • There are persistent bowel symptoms.
  • Has not yet responded to the stress management strategy.
  • No response to first-line dietary recommendations, including restrictions on alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and other common trigger foods.

In other words, some people speculate that this diet may benefit other diseases, including diverticulitis and digestive problems caused by exercise.

More research is underway. It is important to realize that eating is a complicated process. Therefore, it is not recommended to try for the first time during travel or busy or stressful times.

How to Start Low FODMAP Diet?

Low FODMAP dieting is actually a lot more complicated than you might think. It involves three unique stages that need to be taken into consideration. Let’s explore each stage or phase to give you a better understanding of what they entail.

The Restriction Stage

This stage includes strictly avoiding all high FODMAP foods. IBS patients who choose to follow the low FODMAP diet usually think that they have to avoid all types of FODMAPs for a long time. But in reality, this phase really only needs to last about three to eight weeks.

This is because adding FODMAPs to the diet is important for gut health. Some people notice an improvement in their symptoms in the first week, while others need a full eight weeks. Once your digestive system symptoms are fully relieved, you can enter the second stage.

The Re-Introduction Stage

The second stage involves the systematic re-introduction of foods that are high in FODMAPs. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is to determine what types of FODMAP your body can tolerate. Most people don’t have a sensitivity to all high-FODMAP foods.

The second reason is to determine the number of FODMAPs that your body is able to tolerate (AKA threshold level).

In order to determine this, you will test some specific foods. The most effective way to do this is to test each food one at a time. And you will need to do so with each food three days at a time.

You are recommended to perform this step only with a qualified dietitian who can provide you with guidance and direction in choosing the right food. There are also apps available that you can download. They will show you the foods that you can safely re-introduce into your diet.

Please be aware that you shouldn’t quit your low FODMAP diet; it’s vital that you maintain it throughout this phase. So even if you’re able to tolerate certain foods that are high in FODMAPs, they must remain restricted until the next and last stage.

Furthermore, you must also remember that unlike most people with food allergies, IBS patients can tolerate foods that have minute amounts of FODMAP. While the symptoms of the digestive system may be debilitating, it’s good to keep in mind that they won’t cause your body long-term harm.

The Personalization Stage

This stage sometimes is called the “modified” diet stage. Essentially, you are still restricting certain FODMAPs. But the quantity and type that you consume are specifically tailored to meet your unique tolerance measures, which are determined in phase 2.

It’s a good idea to enter this last stage in an effort to increase the diversity and flexibility of the diet. Your personal food qualities are related to improving your quality of life, gut health, and long-term compliance.

Before You Start the Low FODMAP Diet

Before starting the low FODMAP diet, you should do three things. Examine each step below to help you determine whether you truly need to start the low FODMAP diet and whether there is a better course of action based on your health needs.

1. Be Certain That You Do Have IBS

Digestive symptoms may occur in a variety of cases. Some are completely harmless, while others are quite serious. Unfortunately, a diagnostic test that can confirm positive IBS doesn’t exist.

Therefore, you are advised to see your doctor first. They can rule out the symptoms that are known to be more serious, like inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and celiac disease.

Once such concerns have been ruled out with certainty, your doctor may then use the official diagnostic criteria for IBS to confirm that you have the medical condition. And please keep in mind that you must meet all three of the following conditions to receive an IBS diagnosis:

Persistent Symptoms: Symptoms occurred at least six months before diagnosis and met the criteria in the past three months.

Stool Symptoms: Such symptoms should include at least two of the following: relation to bowel movements, relation to changes in stool frequency, or relation to changes in stool appearance.

Recurring Stomach Pain: You must experience stomach pain for an average of one day a week at minimum for the past three months.

2. Try Some First-Line Dieting Strategies

The low FODMAP diet is a time and resource-intensive process. This is why it is considered a second-line dietary recommendation in clinical practice and is only used for a part of IBS patients who do not respond to first-line strategies.

3. Plan Ahead

If you aren’t well-prepared, the low FODMAP diet may be hard for you to follow. To assist you, try implementing some of these tips:

Learn What You Should Buy: Make sure you are able to access a reliable list of low FODMAP foods.

Eliminate Foods High in FODMAPs: Remove these foods from the refrigerator and pantry.

Create a Low FODMAP Shopping List: It helps to this shopping list before you decide to head out to your local grocer. By having a list handy, you’ll know which food you should buy and which food you should avoid.

Read the Menu Ahead of Time: Get familiar with menu items that are low in FODMAPs, so you know what to order.

Please note that both garlic and onion have high FODMAP content. This has led to a common misunderstanding that low FODMAP diets lack flavor. Although many recipes do use onions and garlic for flavoring, there are many low FODMAP herbs, spices, and savory seasonings that can be substituted.

It’s also worth emphasizing that you can still use filtered garlic-infused oil to get the flavor from garlic, which has a very low FODMAP content.

This is because the FODMAPs in garlic are not fat-soluble, which means that the taste of garlic will be transferred to the oil, but FODMAPs are not. Other low FODMAP recommendations: chives, pepper, ginger, peppers, fenugreek, mustard seed, turmeric, lemongrass, and saffron.

Help with Low FODMAP Shopping List

There are in fact many foods that are naturally low in FODMAP. This is a simple shopping list to help you get started.

Protein: beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, fish, tofu, and shrimp

Whole Grains: corn, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, and millet

Fruits: orange, banana, strawberry, blueberry, lime, kiwi, pineapple, citrus, tomatoes, papaya, and rhubarb

Vegetables: carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, sweet peppers, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, eggplant, and kale

Seeds: pumpkin, linseed, sunflower, and sesame

Nuts: macadamia nuts, almonds (not to exceed ten at a time), pecans, peanuts, walnuts, and pine nuts

Dairy Products: Parmesan, cheddar, and lactose-free milk

Oils: avocado, olive and coconut oils

Drinks: water, coffee, black tea, green tea, white tea, and mint tea

Condiments: mustard, basil, wasabi powder, ginger, chili, salt, pepper, and white rice vinegar

In addition, it is also important to check whether FODMAP is added to the ingredient list of packaged foods. Food companies may add FODMAP to their foods for a variety of reasons, including prebiotics, fat substitutes, or low-calorie substitutes for sugar.

Is Low FODMAP for Vegetarians?

A vegetarian diet is often well-balanced. As such, it may contain lower FODMAP levels. Nevertheless, vegetarians may have a harder time following a low FODMAP diet may be more challenging. The most common reason for this is due to protein-rich legumes containing high FODMAPs.

And many vegetarian diets rely on legumes as their primary source of protein. So, in other words, you can add a small portion of canned legumes to the low FODMAP diet. The serving size is usually about 64 grams or ¼ cup.

In addition, you can find many vegetarian options that are low in FODMAPs and rich in protein. Some of these foods include tofu, tempeh, Quorn, eggs, and most seeds and nuts.

What Should You Do if Your IBS Doesn’t Improve?

The low FODMAP diet is not suitable for all patients with IBS. Approximately 30% of people do not respond to diet. Fortunately, there are other non-diet-based therapies that may help. Therefore, you should discuss other options with your doctor.

But before you give up a low FODMAP diet, you should try doing the following:

Double-Check the Ingredient List

Prepackaged foods often contain hidden sources of FODMAP. Some of the most common culprits include:

  • Sorbitol
  • Onions
  • Xylitol
  • Garlic

Please keep in mind that even small amounts of these ingredients can cause symptoms. As such, you’ll want to take great care in analyzing the content of everything you eat.

Check Your FODMAP Info Accuracy

There are many low FODMAP food lists online. However, only two universities provide comprehensive and verified FODMAP food lists and applications: Monash University and London’s King’s College.

Consider Other Stressors in Your Life

Diet is not the only factor that can aggravate the symptoms of IBS. Pressure is another one of the major contributors. Even with an effective diet, significant stress can cause symptoms to persist.

FODMAPs and Symptoms

FODMAPs can cause intestinal symptoms in a couple of different ways, the first of which draws fluids into your intestines. The second method is via bacterial fermentation.

Fluid in Your Intestines

Since FODMAPs are short-chain sugars, they produce something called “osmotic activity.” This means the sugars draw water from out of your body tissues and into your intestines. This may cause symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating in people with higher sensitivity.

So, how does this work exactly? When you consume foods that contain FODMAP fructose, twice as much water compared to glucose gets drawn into your intestines. It’s worth pointing out that glucose is not FODMAP.

Bacterial Fermentation

In the case of bacterial fermentation, any time you eat carbohydrates, enzymes must break them down into simple sugars before they’re able to be absorbed into your intestinal wall. This needs to take place before your body can use the simple sugars.

But there’s an issue with this process. The human body is incapable of producing a select few of the enzymes required for breaking down FODMAPs. And because of this, it can cause undigested FODMAPs to pass through your small intestine into your large intestine or your colon.

In the large intestine, trillions of tiny bacteria live. These bacteria will ferment FODMAP quickly and release gases and chemicals that result in digestive symptoms in sensitive people. Such symptoms can include:

  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating

For example, research shows that when you consume FODMAP inulin fiber, it makes 70% more gas in your large intestine compared to that of glucose. Both processes occur when most people eat FODMAP foods. But not everyone has the same sensitivities and therefore doesn’t experience the same symptoms.

Moreover, one of the reasons why certain people have symptoms but others do not is believed to be related to intestinal sensitivity, called colonic hypersensitivity. This condition is especially common in IBS patients.

Important Facts about the Low FODMAP Diet

There are some essential details everyone should know about the low FODMAP diet before starting it. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what this diet is and what it isn’t.

Low FODMAP Doesn’t Mean No FODMAP

Unlike the various food allergies that plague many people, completely eliminating FODMAP from your diet is not necessary. FODMAPs are, in fact, good for your body’s gut health. It is therefore strongly suggested that FODMAPs be included in your diet, depending on your personal tolerances.

Low FODMAP Isn’t Gluten-Free

By default, the gluten content of this diet is usually fairly low. This is due to wheat being the primary source of the gluten. As such, it is excluded due to its rich fructans content.

Still, a diet of low FODMAPs doesn’t translate to being gluten-free. And it’s true, too, that foods such as gluten-containing breads are permitted.

Low FODMAP Isn’t Dairy-Free

FODMAP lactose can usually be found in many dairy products. Nevertheless, the many dairy foods that contain minimal lactose levels make them a low FODMAP product. Examples of dairy products that are low in FODMAPs include cheeses (both aged and hard), sour cream, and whipped cream.

This Isn’t Intended for Long-Term Dieting

Neither desirable nor recommended, you should not follow a low FODMAP diet for more than eight weeks. Furthermore, the three steps that are included in the low FODMAP diet serve to re-introduce FODMAP into your diet until you reach your own personal tolerance.

It Can Be Difficult to Find Data on Low FODMAP Foods

Whereas most foods have numerous resources detailing their nutritional value and other essential facts, foods that are low on FODMAPs can be difficult to track down. At present, information is rather limited in this regard, making the low FODMAP diet all the riskier if not followed correctly.

Be that as it may, there are some quality lists online that detail certain low FODMAP foods. But it’s important to note that these aren’t official sources and are thus missing data and are therefore incomplete.

Having said that, you can purchase a comprehensive food list that’s been validated in the appropriate research protocol from King’s College London. Please note, however, that you must be a registered dietitian to obtain this information.

If you are not, Monash University also provides information on low FODMAP foods that you can access without needing to be a dietician.

Nutritional Properties of the Low FODMAP Diet

It’s certainly possible to get your nutritional needs with the low FODMAP diet. As with other restrictive diets, however, you run the risk of experiencing nutritional deficiencies. Namely, you should ensure that you pay close attention to your calcium and fiber intake during low FODMAP dieting.

Calcium

Dairy products are a good source of calcium. However, there are many dairy products that are restricted to diets with low FODMAPs. Due to this, your calcium intake might decrease as you follow this diet plan.

  • Low FODMAP calcium sources include cheese (hard and aged)
  • Calcium-fortified rice milk
  • Canned fish (with bones)
  • Calcium-fortified nuts
  • Calcium-fortified oats
  • Lactose-free yogurt
  • Lactose-free milk

Fiber

Many fiber-rich foods are also rich in FODMAP. As such, reduced fiber intake is often experienced on the low FODMAP diet. Thankfully, you can avoid this by actively replacing foods high in FODMAP and fiber (such as vegetables and fruits) with foods low in FODMAP that still contain good dietary fiber content.

Low FODMAP fiber sources include:

  • Gluten-free brown bread
  • Green beans
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Brown rice
  • Flax seeds
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Quinoa
  • Oats

So as you can see, you can indeed enjoy and benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet by following the low FODMAP diet. With that said, it is important to carefully research everything you eat. Buying and consuming food with the improper ingredients can throw your diet out of whack and cause you to experience IBS symptoms.

You might want to consider adding supplements to your daily regimen to make up for the lack of calcium and fiber that you’re likely to experience on a low FODMAP diet plan. In doing so, you can confidently proceed with your diet while enjoying the many health benefits it offers.

The Low FODMAP Diet and Lactose

If you recall, the “D” in FODMAP refers to Disaccharides. This substance is most commonly known as milk sugar. Why? Because it can be found in many dairy products, including soft cheese, milk, and yogurt.

People who suffer from lactose intolerance have trouble making sufficient lactase in their bodies. Lactase is an essential enzyme that’s needed to digest lactose comfortably. If you are lactose intolerant, you experience digestion problems when you consume foods that contain lactose.

Since lactose has osmotic activity, it needs to draw water into your intestine, where it becomes fermented via your body’s gut bacteria.

Because there is such a wide range (albeit varying degrees) of people with IBS who also suffer from lactose intolerance, the low FODMAP diet is designed to restrict lactose.

With that in mind, it’s important to note that if you are not lactose intolerant, there is no need for you to actively reduce your lactose intake while following the low FODMAP diet.

What to Do When Low FODMAP Doesn’t Work

As with many medical conditions, digestive symptoms can occur. Some are completely harmless, like bloating. But others are far more serious, such as colon cancer, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Therefore, it is crucial that you strive to rule out any such disease before following the low FODMAP diet. Some clear indications that you have a serious medical condition include:

  • If over 60, you experience changes in bowel habits lasting for more than six weeks
  • Family history of ovarian cancer, celiac disease, or bowel cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Rectal bleeding

Digestive problems can often mask certain underlying diseases. Before starting a low FODMAP diet, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any existing medical conditions.

What Happens in Your When You Consume FODMAPs?

Most FODMAP passes through most of your intestines and stays the same. They are wholly resistant to digestion and are classified as dietary fiber. But there are some carbohydrates that only work like FODMAPs in some people.

These include fructose and lactose. The general sensitivity to these carbohydrates also varies from person to person. In fact, scientists believe that they can cause digestive problems such as IBS. When FODMAP reaches your colon, they are fermented and used as fuel by gut bacteria.

The same happens when dietary fiber feeds your friendly gut bacteria, which can bring various health benefits. However, friendly bacteria tend to produce methane, while bacteria that feed on FODMAP produce hydrogen, another gas that can cause the following symptoms:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Pain

Many of these symptoms are caused by intestinal swelling, which can also make your stomach look larger. FODMAPs also have osmotic activity, which means they can draw water into the intestines and cause diarrhea.

Low FODMAP Diet Benefits

The low FODMAP diet is mainly studied in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is a common digestive system disease, including symptoms such as:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating

In the United States, approximately 14% of people have IBS-most of them are undiagnosed. There is no clear cause for IBS, but it is well known that diet can have a significant effect. Stress may also be the main factor.

According to some studies, approximately 75% of IBS patients can benefit from a low FODMAP diet. In many cases, their symptoms were significantly reduced, and their quality of life improved significantly.

A low FODMAP diet may also be beneficial for other functional gastrointestinal diseases (FGID)-the term covers various digestive problems. In addition, some evidence suggests that it is useful for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

If you are intolerant, the benefits of a low FODMAP diet may include:

  • Reduced stomach pain
  • Reduced constipation
  • Reduced diarrhea
  • Reduced bloating
  • Less gas

It may also bring positive psychological benefits, as these digestive disorders are known to cause stress and are closely related to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

How to Eat Low FODMAP Diet

Remember, the purpose of this diet is not to eliminate FODMAP completely. That in itself is very difficult to do. Rather, simply reducing these types of carbohydrates is believed to be sufficient to reduce digestive symptoms.

Moreover, you can eat a variety of nutritious and healthy foods in a low FODMAP diet. Such food types include:

Fish, Meat, and Eggs: Such foods are all well tolerated by the body unless they are added with high FODMAP ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup or wheat.

Most Spices and Herbs

All Oils and Fats

Fruits: Cantaloupe, grapefruit, unripe banana, kiwi, blueberry, grape, citrus, lemon, lime, melon (excludes watermelon), passion fruit, orange, tomato, raspberry, and strawberry.

Vegetables: Celery, cucumber, alfalfa, cabbage, sweet pepper, eggplant, carrots, green beans, ginger, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, olives, lettuce, chives, radishes, spinach, parsnips, potatoes, green onions, radish, water chestnut, yam, and zucchini.

Grains: Rice, corn, oats, sorghum, cassava, and quinoa.

Dairy: Hard cheeses, aged soft cheeses, and lactose-free dairy products.

Seeds and Nuts: These include foods like peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds (excludes cashews or pistachios).

Sweeteners: Molasses, maple syrup, and stevia.

Drinks: Water, tea, coffee, and the like.

Try to remember, however, that these lists are not exhaustive or complete. Of course, foods not listed here are may be either low or high in FODMAPs. What’s more, everyone’s body is different. Foods that one person can tolerate may not be the same foods that you can tolerate.

Moreover, you may tolerate certain foods on the food list, but for other reasons, foods low in FODMAP might cause you digestive symptoms.

How to Start a Low FODMAP Diet

Many commonly used foods contain high levels of FODMAP. As such, the general consensus recommends that you completely remove all foods high in FODMAPs for a couple or so weeks. If you eliminate only certain foods that are high in FODMAP and not others, this diet is unlikely to work.

If FODMAPs are causing your digestive problems, you may be relieved in just a few days. If so, you can start to re-introduce high FODMAP foods one at a time in a few weeks.

Doing so lets you more easily determine which foods are causing your symptoms. You find that there is a certain food that is seriously affecting your digestion. If so, you may wish to avoid it permanently. Understandably, starting on your own and following the low FODMAP diet can be difficult.

Therefore, it is strongly advised that you seek the care of a physician or nutritionist who is knowledgeable in FODMAPs. This can also help you prevent any further unnecessary restrictions to your diet. There are special tests that can help you and your doctor determine if you should avoid FODMAP lactose or FODMAP fructose.

What to Eat on the Low FODMAP Diet

As discussed, there are specific types of foods that you can safely consume when following the low FODMAP diet. But there are also many that you should avoid. Explore the few examples below to get an idea of what your daily food intake will look like after you start the diet.

Wheat

As one of the largest FODMAP contributors to the Western diet, wheat is consumed in very large quantities across the United States. But not because it’s considered a concentrated FODMAP source.

Compared with many other sources, the content of FODMAP in wheat is actually some of the lowest by weight.

As such, foods containing wheat as a secondary ingredient, like flavoring agents and thickeners, are considered low in FODMAP.

Some of the more common wheat sources include bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, pastries, and biscuits. Need some low FODMAP alternatives? Consider the following:

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Polenta
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Oats

Fruit

All fruits contain FODMAP fructose. Interestingly, though, not every type of fruit is considered to be rich in FODMAP. That’s because some have less fructose compared to others. In addition, there are certain fruits that contain a lot of glucose.

This is crucial due to glucose being able to help you absorb fructose, which is why the types of fruits that have high levels of glucose and fructose usually don’t cause intestinal symptoms. And it’s why the fruits that have more fructose than they do glucose are often considered to be high in FODMAP.

Still, if you consume them in large quantities, even fruits low in FODMAP can cause intestinal symptoms. This is related to the total amount of gut fructose. Therefore, people who are sensitive are urged to eat only one serving of fruit each time they sit down, or about 80 grams (3 ounces).

Fruits high in FODMAP include:

  • Watermelons
  • Nectarines
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Mangos
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Figs

Fruits low in FODMAP include:

  • Unripe bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Oranges
  • Citruses
  • Papaya
  • Limes
  • Kiwis

Vegetables

Some vegetables have high FODMAP content. In fact, vegetables contain the most diverse FODMAP. This includes:

  • Galacto-oligosaccharides
  • Mannitol
  • Fructose
  • Fructans
  • Sorbitol

In addition, several vegetables contain more than one FODMAP. For instance, asparagus contains fructose, fructan, and mannitol. Therefore, it is important to remember that vegetables are part of a healthy diet, and there is no need to stop eating them.

You can simply replace high FODMAP vegetables that are low in FODMAPs with vegetables that are high in FODMAPs. Such types include:

  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Globe artichoke
  • Chicory leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower
  • Snow peas
  • Asparagus
  • Karela
  • Leeks

On the other hand, vegetables that are low in FODMAPs include:

  • Chinese cabbage
  • Bean sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Kale

The low FODMAP diet has benefited many people thanks to the radical adjustments it makes to daily food intake. As such, it may very well hold the key to your IBS relief. But as always, it’s best to speak with your doctor if you’re at all uncertain as to whether this is the right diet for you.

Your doctor can also perform tests that make it clear whether you need to reduce your lactose intake if you decide to start the low FODMAP diet. In doing so, you may finally enjoy the relief and benefits that this diet provides.


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