The FODMAP diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and are prone to absorb water and ferment in the colon.
FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods, including:
- Fruits: apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, watermelon, grapes, nectarines, cherries, plums, apricots, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries
- Vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, snow peas
- Grains: wheat, rye, barley
- Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese
- Legumes: beans, lentils
- Sweeteners: honey, fructose, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol
The FODMAP diet is often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive disorder that can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Studies have shown that following a FODMAP diet can help to reduce IBS symptoms in up to 75% of people.
The FODMAP diet is a three-phase diet:
- Elimination phase: In this phase, you eliminate all high-FODMAP foods from your diet for 4-6 weeks.
- Reintroduction phase: In this phase, you slowly reintroduce high-FODMAP foods back into your diet one at a time to see which ones trigger your symptoms.
- Maintenance phase: In this phase, you avoid or limit the high-FODMAP foods that trigger your symptoms and enjoy all other foods freely.
It is important to note that the FODMAP diet is a temporary diet and should not be followed long-term. This is because it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need if you are restricting too many foods.
If you are considering trying the FODMAP diet, it is important to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian first. They can help you to create a personalized plan that is right for you.