Foods high in FODMAPs: complete guide what to eat and avoid

Foods high in FODMAPs: complete guide what to eat and avoid

Foods high in FODMAPs: complete guide what to eat and avoid

  • 7th October 2021

What is FODMAP?

  • Fermentable – Foods fermented in large intestines
  • Oligosaccharide – Small chain of sugar molecules
  • Disaccharide – Double sugar molecule
  • Monosaccharides – a single sugar molecule
  • And
  • Polyols – Sugar alcohols.

Your food has a great impact on your digestive system. According to several studies, there is a strong link between the FODMAP diet and digestive issues including, gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. People with digestive symptoms can get remarkable benefits when they switch towards a low fodmap diet. However, everyone is not sensitive to high FODMAP foods, but people with irritable bowel syndrome get affected very commonly.

 

List of some common FODMAPs

  • Fructose: It is a simple sugar found in many fruits and vegetables that also makes up the structure of table sugar and most added sugars.
  • Lactose: Carbohydrates present in dairy products.
  • Fructans: It is extremely common and found in foods including grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
  • Galactans: Found in large amounts in legumes.
  • Polyols: Sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol. Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries and lychee. They are also used as sweeteners.

 

The action of FODMAP foods on your body

A major portion of these carbs passes through your intestine unchanged. They are categorized as dietary fibers and are resistant to digestion. But some carbs including lactose and fructose act as FODMAP foods in certain people. This happens because sensitivity to carbs differs from person to person. These FODMAP foods can contribute to digestive issues like IBS in sensitive people.

After reaching the colon, these FODMAPs get fermented and used as fuel by gut bacteria. The same process happens when you take dietary fibers, they feed gut-friendly bacteria, leading to several health benefits. The main difference between these two processes is that gut-friendly bacteria tend to produce methane whereas the bacteria which feed on FODMAP foods produce hydrogen, leading to bloating, stomach cramps, pain, and constipation (). Most of these symptoms are caused by distention of the gut, which can make your stomach look bigger. In addition to this high FODMAP foods are also osmotically active, so can draw water into your intestine and contribute to diarrhea. 

 

What is Low FODMAP Diet

  • A temporary diet containing a very low amount of food compounds called FODMAPs is referred to as a low FODMAP diet.
  • This restriction is for 3-8 weeks. Then these food items are re-introduced gradually into a low FODMAP diet one by one.
  • This procedure helps to check which food has caused the GI symptom. 

 

Stages of a low FODMAP Diet

  • Restriction Stage: In this stage, all the high FODMAP foods are completely restricted. This is done for 3-8 weeks. The period needed for the improvement of symptoms differs from person to person. Once all the symptoms subside, we proceed to stage 2. 
  • Reintroduction Stage: In this stage, high FODMAP foods are re-introduced one by one. The reason behind this is to identify the types of FODMAP you can tolerate. In this stage, your threshold level for various FODMAP is determined. The high FODMAP foods are introduced one by one for 3 days. This stage must be done under the supervision of a professional. This method helps in the elimination of the main culprit. When you come to know what suits you and whatnot, you can proceed towards the next stage. 
  • Personalization Stage: At this stage, you can personalize the diet with the help of a professional. The intolerant food is restricted completely, other foods which can be tolerated are given in small amounts and are adjusted accordingly. 

 

 



List of high and low FODMAP food items



Benefits of a low FODMAP diet

  • Reduced Digestive issues: According to various studies, the introduction of a low FODMAP diet provides relief up to 80% in symptoms like stomach pain and bloating. It also helps in reducing constipation, flatulence, and diarrhea. 
  • Increased quality of life: Opting for a low FODMAP diet enhances the overall quality of life. It results in increased energy levels in individuals with various digestive issues, including IBS. 

 

Low FODMAP food list

However, it is extremely different to eliminate FODMAPs from the diet, minimizing the intake of these foods is sufficient to reduce digestive symptoms. There is a wide range of nutritious, low FODMAP foods which you can eat, including:

  • Meats, fish, and eggs: These are well tolerated until the recipe doesn’t contain high FODMAP ingredients like wheat or high-fructose corn syrup. 

  • Fats and oils: All fats and oils are well-tolerated.

  • Herbs and spices: Most of the herbs and spices do not cause any digestive issues.

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds are well-tolerated, but pistachios and cashews are high in FODMAP so, avoid these. 

  • Fruits: Unripe bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, lime, mandarins, melons (except watermelon), oranges, passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries are allowed in a low FODMAP diet.

  • Sweeteners: Among sweeteners, maple syrup, molasses, and stevia are allowed. 

  • Dairy Products: All lactose-free dairy products, including hard cheese and aged softer varieties like brie and camembert, are allowed in a low FODMAP diet. 

  • Vegetables: Alfalfa, bell peppers, bok choy, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, chives, olives, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, spinach, spring onion (only green), squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, yams, water chestnuts, zucchini, etc. are well-tolerated. 

  • Grains: In grains, corn, oats, rice, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca can be included. 

  • Beverages: Water, coffee, tea, etc.

One thing that should be kept in mind is that tolerance of different food items differs from person to person. 

 

High FODMAP food list

        Underlisted food items are high in FODMAP

  • Fruits: Apples, apple sauce, apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, canned fruit, dates, figs, pears, peaches, watermelon are high in FODMAP.

  • Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, leeks, mushrooms, ladyfinger, onions, peas, shallots are high FODMAP vegetables.

  • Dairy Products: Milk, ice cream, yogurts, sour cream, soft and fresh cheeses, and whey protein supplements are high in FODMAP.

  • Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol are high FODMAP sweeteners. 

  • Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans are high FODMAP legumes.

  • Wheat: Bread, pasta, most breakfast cereals, tortillas, waffles, pancakes, crackers, biscuits are not tolerated in a low FODMAP diet. 

  • Other cereals: Barley and rye are not included in low FODMAP foods.

  • Beverages: Beer, fortified wines, soft drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, milk, soy milk, fruit juices are high FODMAP beverages.

 


Low FODMAP diet plan for the first stage (restriction stage)


 

When to follow a low FODMAP diet plan

A low FODMAP diet is not the first line of action for the treatment of gastrointestinal issues. Opt for a low FODMAP diet when

  • Have ongoing gut issues even after prolonged treatment.
  • Poor response to stress management strategies.
  • Restricting alcohol, caffeine, spicy food and other common trigger foods are of no help.

 


List of high and low FODMAP food items


 

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