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What is The Low FODMAP Diet: A quick summary on what you need to know about The Low FODMAP Diet – Blog By Evelyn Vo

Do you often experience digestive stress after eating certain foods? Does it feel so uncomfortable that you are unable to continue what you were doing? You’re not alone. Research have reported that around 20 % of the Australian population have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and of these, 4 in 5 respond to a low FODMAP diet. What is The Low FODMAP Diet? And how does it work?

What are FODMAPS?

FODMAPS stands for:

  • Fermentable – rapidly broken down by bacteria in the bowel
  • Oligosaccharides – fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Disaccharides –e.g. lactose
  • Monosaccharides –e.g. excess fructose
  • And
  • Polyols – sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol

These are different types of fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate the gut in sensitive people due to poor absorption. When these carbohydrates are not absorbed properly, they are fermented or not digested which can result in symptoms of IBS, including bloating, constipation, flatulence, pain and nausea.

High FODMAP foods and other things that can trigger IBS symptoms

Some of the high FODMAP foods include: wheat based breads, legumes, garlics, onions, cow’s milk, figs, mangoes, watermelons, honey, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), apples, pears, and sugar-free gum.

Unfortunately the list of IBS triggers can go beyond food. Things like level of stress, anxiety, certain medications, can also trigger your IBS symptoms.

What is The Low FODMAP Diet?

The Low FODMAP Diet was first developed by a team of researchers at Monash University in Australia. Their research reported that reducing the intake of high FODMAP foods could help mange the symptoms of IBS.

How is the diet implemented?

Like with many diets, it is recommended to consult with your Nutritionist so they can guide you through each stage of the plan, while ensuring that you are eating a balanced diet and not over-restricting your diet unnecessarily.

The Low FODMAP Diet consists of 3 stages:

  • The elimination stage: A strict restriction of all high FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks.
  • The reintroduction stage: Reintroducing high FODMAP foods to identify the foods you can tolerate and your threshold level.
  • The adaptation stage: We establish your ‘modified low FODMAP diet.’ This increases diet variety and flexibility.

Why can’t I just stay on the low FODMAP diet?

Research has reported that staying on the low FODMAP diet long-term can have detrimental affects on your gut health. Foods such as onions and garlic are beneficial for improved digestion, so finding the right balance is recommended rather than removing it entirely. The good news is most people do not need to avoid all types of FODMAPs, even if you’re sensitive to certain FODMAPS, small amounts can be tolerated without sending you to the toilet.

For expert nutritional advice, please book an appointment at The Nutrition Space by sending through an enquiry or contacting us on +61468 463 837.

Evelyn Vo is a university qualified Nutritionist at The Nutrition Space with a passion for helping her patients implement practical dietary changes to improve their health and well-being.

Original article publish on The Nutrition Space.