Low FODMAP Diet: Best solution for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that is characterized by gut symptoms including abdominal pain, intestinal gas/wind, bloating, and changed bowel habit (ranging from diarrhea to constipation). Symptoms can often be debilitating and lead to a reduced quality of life.

(FODMAP=Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols)

FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars) that are found in foods. Not all carbohydrates
are considered FODMAPs.
 

Common High FODMAP Foods

Fruits:
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums and prunes
  • Watermelon
  • High concentration of fructose from canned fruit, dried fruit or fruit juice
 

Grains
Level of FODMAPs is increased when these foods are eaten in large amounts:
  • Rye
  • Wheat
Lactose-Containing Foods
  • Custard
  • Ice cream
  • Margarine
  • Milk (cow, goat, sheep)
  • Soft cheese, including cottage cheese and ricotta
  • Yogurt
Legumes
  • Baked beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
Sweeteners
  • Fructose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
Vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Garlic (with large consumption)
  • Fennel
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radicchio lettuce
  • Scallions (white parts)
  • Shallots
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Snow peas

Common Low FODMAP Foods

 
Fruits
  • Banana
  • Blueberry
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarine oranges
  • Orange
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
Sweeteners
  • Artificial sweeteners that do not end in -ol
  • Glucose
  • Maple syrup
  • Sugar (sucrose)
Lactose Alternatives
  • Butter
  • Hard cheese, brie and camembert
  • Lactose-free products, such as lactose-free ice cream and yogurt
  • Gelato
  • Rice milk
  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnip
  • Scallions (green parts only)
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomato
Grains
  • Oats
  • Gluten-free products
  • Spelt products
 
The FODMAPs in the diet are:
  •  Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc)
  •  Lactose (dairy)
  •  Fructans (wheat, onion, garlic, etc)(fructans are also known as inulin)
  •  Galactans (beans, lentils, legumes such as soy, etc)
  •  Polyols (sweeteners containing sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc)

FODMAPs are osmotic (means they pull water into the intestinal tract), may not be 
digested or absorbed well and could be fermented upon by bacteria in the intestinal 
tract when eaten in excess. 

Symptoms of gas, bloating, cramping and/or diarrhea may occur in those who could be 
sensitive to the effects of FODMAPs. A low FODMAP diet may help reduce symptoms, 
which will limit foods high in fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols. 

Tips for a low FODMAP diet:
Follow the diet for 6 weeks. After this, add high FODMAP foods one at a time back into the diet in small amounts to identify foods that could be “triggers” to your symptoms. Limit foods that trigger your symptoms.
Read food labels. Avoid foods made with high FODMAPs such as high FODMAP fruits, HFCS, honey, inulin, wheat, soy, etc. However, a food could be an overall low FODMAP food if a high FODMAP food listed as the last ingredient.
Buy gluten free grains as they are wheat free. However, you do not need to follow a 100% gluten free diet as the focus is on FODMAPs, not gluten. Look for gluten free grains made with low FODMAPs, such as potato, quinoa, rice or corn.
Avoid gluten free grains made with high FODMAPs.
Limit serving sizes for low FODMAP fruits/vegetables and high fiber/low
FODMAP foods such as quinoa to a ½ cup per meal (½ cup=size of a tennis ball) if you have symptoms after eating these foods. The symptoms could be related to eating large amounts of low FODMAPs or fiber all at once.
 
Low FODMAP Meals and Snack Ideas
1. gluten free waffle with walnuts, blueberries, maple syrup without HFCS
2. eggs scrambled with spinach, bell peppers and cheddar cheese
3. oatmeal topped with sliced banana, almonds and brown sugar
4. fruit smoothie blended with lactose free vanilla yogurt and strawberries
5. rice pasta with chicken, tomatoes, spinach topped with pesto sauce
6. chicken salad mixed with chicken, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar salad dressing
7. turkey wrap with gluten free tortilla, sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, slice of cheddar cheese slice, mayonnaise, mustard
8. ham and swiss cheese sandwich on gluten free bread, with mayonnaise, mustard
9. quesadilla with corn or gluten free tortilla and cheddar cheese
10. beef and vegetable stew (made with homemade broth, beef, allowed vegetables)
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