What is a low-FODMAP diet?

Share article What is a low-FODMAP diet? on:
FacebookTwitterPinterestPrint

What is a low-FODMAP diet? Veggies in basket
Broccoli, artichokes and asparagus contain the short-chain carbohydrate oligosaccharide—a potential cause of digestive disorders for some people.

What does FODMAP mean?

It’s okay if FODMAP sounds like an unusual made-up word to you—it is. An acronym, FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. What do all those fermentable substances have in common? They’re all short-chain carbohydrates.

Found in many common foods, FODMAPS can be a problem for some people because they are not well-absorbed by their small intestine. When a person, who has this intolerance, eats a food high in FODMAPs, the food that was poorly absorbed in the small intestine travels into the large intestine where it becomes an extra food source for the gut bacteria there. For some people, these short-chain FODMAP carbs can cause digestive disorders.

A Low-FODMAP Diet

A low-FODMAP diet is often recommended by a health professional who recognizes their patient may be experiencing symptoms caused by eating these FODMAPs. On a low-FODMAP diet, you avoid those foods that contain the fermentable carbohydrates. To make it easy, we’ll break it down by letters!

The O in FODMAP refers to oligosaccharides which can be found in high amounts in the following foods:

Artichokes
Asparagus
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Dried fruit
Garlic
Onion
Inulin
Lentils
Beans
Soy beans
Split peas
Cashews
Pistachios
Barley
Rye
Wheat

The D in FODMAP refers to disaccharides, or lactose, which can be found in high amounts in the following foods:

Milk (cow, goat and sheep)
Buttermilk
Custard
Ice cream
Yogurt
Evaporated milk
Milk powder

The M in FODMAP refers to monosaccharides which can be found in high amounts in the following foods:

Apples
Figs
Peaches
Pears
Watermelon

The P in FODMAP refers to polyols which can be found in in high amounts in the following foods:

Apples
Apricots
Cherries
Nectarines
Pears
Peaches
Prunes
Watermelon
Avocado
Cauliflower
Mushrooms
Snow peas
Sorbitol
Mannitol
Xylitol
Isomalt
High-fructose corn syrup

Low-FODMAP vs. Gluten-Free

At first glance, it may seem like a low-FODMAP diet is similar to a gluten-free diet because they both avoid wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is the protein present in those three grains which is why they’re avoided on a gluten-free diet. Wheat, barley and rye also contain fructans, a source of the oligosaccharides carbs that are to be avoided in a low-FODMAP diet.