What The Heck Is The Low FODMAP Diet?

People typically fall into one of two categories. Either you’re someone who has no idea what in the world FODMAP stands for, or you’re someone who just found the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of diets. Okay, we may be exaggerating just a little bit, but for people with a variety of different health conditions—like IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, fibromyalgia, migraines and more—eating a low FODMAP diet can make all the difference.

To know which category you fall into, let’s take a closer look at what FODMAP actually stands for:

·         Fermentable:These foods are easily broken down (or fermented) by bacteria in the large intestine.


·         Sugar:The following 4 compounds are all different types of sugar molecules, also known as saccharides.
o   Oligosaccharides: AKA: few sugar molecules
o   Disaccharides: AKA: two sugar molecules
o   Monosaccharides:AKA: single sugar molecule
o   Polysaccharides:AKA: multiple sugar molecules

While the terms that make up the acronym FODMAP are way too technical, they aren’t the important part of this diet to remember (thankfully!). Instead, it’s the impact that these foods can have on your digestive tract.

The truth is many of these foods can be difficult to digest and absorb for everyone. However, some people are just more sensitive to this than others, which makes symptoms like excess gas, stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation, more likely after eating them.

Now that you know what FODMAP stands for, it’s time to get to the good part: what can you eat on the diet? Or, rather, what should you avoid? Key foods to limit include:

·         Lactose anything: Full-on milk products like whole milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, ice cream and sour cream can cause some serious pain. Look for alternatives like nut or soy milk, hard cheeses (parmesan and asiago), brie and olive oil.

·         Certain fruits: This by no means includes all fruits, just those especially high in fructose, namely apples, pears, watermelon and processed fruit (dried fruit and juice). Instead, opt for fruits like, bananas, blueberries, grapes, citrus, kiwis and strawberries.

·         Certain veggies: The same rule applies here. When it comes to veggies, cruciferous veggies—broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sauerkraut—as well as brussels sprouts and onions, all top the list in terms of gas. Instead, look for veggies that include eggplants, green beans, celery, spinach, sweet potatoes and squash varieties.

·         Legumes: You may have seen this one coming based on the reputation that beans have. Turns out, there is some truth to beans—namely baked beans, chickpeas, lentils and soybeans—causing gas. And even though there isn’t really an alternative to beans, foods like rice, oats, polenta, quinoa and tapioca, can all offer the same filling effect.

·         Sugar substitutes: Besides sugar substitutes being low in calorie, these foods don’t offer any health benefits, especially for those with digestive issues. If you’re craving something sweet, it’s perfectly fine to go for something with regular, ole sugar (in moderation of course).

Even though we’ve all experienced symptoms like gas and constipation, it can become far too common for some. In that case, the low FODMAP diet may be just what the doctor ordered (because it really is best to talk with your health provider).

To ensure that you’re getting all the vital vitamins and nutrients your body needs, a great option is a nutrition consultation. By working with the specialty-trained experts at GMC’s Nutrition & Weight Management program, you’ll be able to eat and feel your very best.

You may also like...