What's the Low-FODMAP diet?

Get ready for some science! FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols.  They are certain short chain carbohydrates that can sometimes be poorly absorbed in our small intestine, causing gas and bloating.  If you are experiencing a lot of gas and bloating, or other IBS-like symptoms, this is one particular elimination diet to try: a Low FODMAP diet.  

 via drjockers.com

via drjockers.com

It is possible to have a sensitivity to FODMAPS, or to a few particular FODMAP foods.  If this applies to you, following a Low-FODMAP diet could remedy the uncomfortable gas and bloating you may be experiencing.  Essentially, a Low-FODMAP diet involves eliminating all foods that contain high amounts of FODMAPS.  There are five main sugar-alcohols that qualify as High FODMAPS: fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols.  If you are experiencing regular gas and bloating and want to experiment with a low-FODMAP diet this is what you will do.

  1. For a period of 2-4 weeks, eliminate all HIGH FODMAP foods, and focus on mainly eating LOW FODMAP foods.
  2. During the 2-4 weeks, keep track of your symptoms. Actually, write them down. It will help.
  3. If at the end of this 2-4 week period (I recommend 4 weeks if you can manage) your symptoms have improved, then some particular FODMAP foods are probably to blame. To discover which foods these are, you will need to slowly reintroduce High FODMAP foods one at a time.  

*You really will be best off working with a nutrition professional during this process.  To work with me, you can contact me.*

Reintroducing foods can be a precise process because each food will be reintroduced over several days and there should be break days before moving onto the next food.  This ensures that you properly determine which foods are trigger foods.  There may be a bunch or only a few.  This is why I strongly recommend working with a professional if you are having digestive upset and are interested in trying out any type of elimination diet.  

Also, remember that I am not an M.D. This blog is not diagnosing you with any disease or claiming a treatment plan.

If you have not experienced any symptom relief (or only very minor symptom relief) from removing High FODMAP foods from your diet for multiple weeks, then there is probably a different food sensitivity or something else going on.  Be sure to work with a Healthcare provider.  Ideally, a Nutritionist or someone with extensive nutrition training.

2 Comments

Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.