What are FODMAPs: All about a low-FODMAP diet for IBS
by Katelyn Daugherty, M.S.
If you’re struggling with digestive issues and have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or other functional gut disorders, FODMAPs may be to blame. Not sure what this fancy acronym means or how to change your diet? Let me help! Here’s what you need to know about eating a low-FODMAP diet, what to avoid, how to shop, and some great low-FODMAP recipes to get you (and your digestion) back on track.
WHAT are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs is an acronym for:
It’s used to describe types of carbohydrates found in certain foods that can trigger gas, bloating, and belly pain. These carbohydrates may not be broken down and absorbed, allowing bacteria in your digestive tract to start to feed on them. These bacteria then produce byproducts and waste materials that can lead to unpleasant symptoms. This can also lead to an overgrowth of these bacteria in the small intestine which can contribute to several other health problems.
WHERE are FODMAPs found?
FODMAPs are found in many groups of foods, so eliminating them entirely can be challenging. However, some foods are especially HIGH in FODMAPs and can be avoided:
HOW to Implement a Low-FODMAP diet?
The low-FODMAP diet is a therapeutic diet that involves limiting the number of FODMAP foods you eat, then systematically reintroducing them to better identify what foods you can tolerate. The diet works in phases that helps organize adding foods in over time.
Phase 1: Elimination
While not the easiest, the first step is restricting all high FODMAP foods for 4 to 6 weeks. Use Kate’s guide for what to avoid and what to include to maintain a nutritionally-dense diet during this time. See below for a sample seven-day low-FODMAP meal plan.
Phase 2: Challenge
The challenge phase involves gradually reintroducing the restricted foods to determine the type (and amount) that can be tolerated without digestive discomfort. The long-term goal is to create a diet that is NOT entirely restricted, but lowers the problematic burden.
Phase 3: Maintenance
Over time, you’ll discover your individual tolerance of FODMAPs (in both quantity and quality). As your gut lining heals and microbiota come back into balance, you may be able to handle more of the foods you previously restricted! Work with a functional nutritionist to understand where YOUR threshold lies.
7-Day Sample Low-FODMAP Diet
The elimination phase of a low-FODMAP diet is especially helpful for addressing gut dysbiosis, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). By eliminating foods that ferment and cause digestive discomfort (FODMAPs), you may be able identify exactly which foods are responsible for your symptoms.
One key idea of the low-FODMAP diet is being mindful of serving sizes. You may tolerate small amounts of foods high in FODMAP, but when you cross the threshold it spills over into gastrointestinal symptoms.
HOW TO SHOP FOR THE low-FODMAP DIET
STOCK your low FODMAP Pantry
One challenge with the low-FODMAP diet is the restriction of garlic and onions. Eliminating garlic and onions does not mean flavorless food. Instead, check out these low-FODMAP options to spice things up:
-FODY Galic-Infused Oil (FODMAPs are not soluble in oils, so garlic and onions can be infused in oil to get the same flavor without the discomfort.)
Low FODMAP snacks
There are lots of options on the market for low-FODMAP packaged snacks to make eating on-the-go adherent to a new diet. Remember to always read labels for hidden ingredients! Here are a selected few approved snacks:
Selected Low-FODMAP Recipes:
Want to work with a functional nutritionist to personalize your diet? Struggling with hormone imbalance, IBS, weight gain, mood changes? Let's look at FOOD FIRST. Read more about Functional Nutrition at The Facility here.
CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 15-Minute Nutrition Consult with Kate to determine your best course of action!