Many people with digestive symptoms find that certain foods seem to trigger those symptoms. It’s sometimes a long process of trial and error to pinpoint precisely which foods are the triggers.
Researchers discovered that our digestive enzymes can’t break down certain types of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs which include starches, sugars, and fibers in food.
Instead, the good bacteria in our gut ferment them. Avoiding foods that contain these carbohydrates and only eating low FODMAP foods may be the key to relieving uncomfortable symptoms triggered by certain foods.
For people with gastrointestinal problems like bloating, gas, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a low FODMAP diet may help. Some studies have shown that 3 out of 4 people with IBS saw fewer symptoms right away with the most relief after a week of eating a low FODMAP diet.
A Low FODMAP diet may also help those suffering from food intolerance, which is a common cause of digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
Some studies have shown that 3 out of 4 people with IBS saw fewer symptoms right away. They had the most relief after a week of eating a low FODMAP diet.
What is a Low FODMAP Diet?
A low FODMAP diet restricts certain carbohydrates, but this isn’t the typical low-carb diet. It only eliminates high FODMAP foods and can be individualized, so you only restrict those that trigger your symptoms.
FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.”
Most people don’t have problems when eating FODMAPs, but for some people they can cause cramping, bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
FODMAPs are a problem for some people because they draw more fluid into the intestine and create more gas. They create more gas because they are more easily fermented in the gut. The combination of additional fluid and increased gas can slow digestion, resulting in gas, bloating, pain, or diarrhea.
A low FODMAP diet is not intended to be a long-term diet, but rather a temporary approach to help manage symptoms while identifying specific FODMAP triggers. By following a low FODMAP diet, individuals can determine which FODMAPs they are intolerant to, and then tailor their diet to avoid or limit these types of carbohydrates while still maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet.
How to Find FODMAP Food Triggers
Sometimes, diets that restrict the foods you eat can seem rigid or controlling. A low FODMAP diet is more about finding your food triggers than limiting you. You may only be sensitive to a few FODMAP carbs and, once you identify them, may continue to enjoy others without symptoms. Even after identifying your trigger foods, there are still many delicious and nutritious low FODMAP vegetables, fruits, proteins, nuts, grains, and even dairy foods.
Finding the foods that trigger your symptoms typically follows a three-step process. The first step involves eliminating all high FODMAP foods for several weeks. It’s essential to work with a nutritionist, as it can be challenging to eliminate all high FODMAP carbs and identify triggers while still meeting your nutritional needs.
The three steps are:
Elimination – In the elimination phase of the FODMAP diet, you eliminate all FODMAP carbs for several weeks. Your symptoms may improve immediately or over several weeks.
Reintroduction – In the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP diet, you’ll introduce FODMAPs one at a time to identify which foods you can tolerate and in what amount.
Personalization – Finally, you’ll modify your diet to increase variety while adjusting the type and amount of FODMAP carbs you eat, based on what you learned in step 2.
Your nutritionist can help you move forward with your gut-friendly diet, answering questions, sharing low FODMAP recipes, and helping you plan healthy low FODMAP snacks.
If you are following a low FODMAP diet, it’s important to know which foods are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Low FODMAP foods are those that contain minimal amounts of fermentable carbohydrates that can trigger digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders. By including a variety of low FODMAP foods in your diet, you can ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need while also managing your symptoms. In this section, we will explore some of the best low FODMAP foods to include in your diet and the high FODMAP foods you should avoid.
FODMAP is short for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-Saccharides And Polyols, the scientific names for certain groups of carbs known to trigger gastrointestinal symptoms.
Is corn low FODMAP?
Corn is a low FODMAP vegetable. High-fructose corn syrup is not FODMAP because of the large amount of fructose it contains.
Is peanut butter low FODMAP?
Peanuts are low in FODMAPs, and natural peanut butter is also. Some peanut butter brands add sweeteners with FODMAPs, but typically add small amounts that most people tolerate.
What are the differences between a Low FODMAP diet and a Gluten-free diet or Dairy-free diet?
The low FODMAP diet restricts certain types of carbohydrates to manage digestive symptoms, while a gluten-free diet eliminates gluten for those with celiac disease. While some dairy products like Dairy (milk from cows, goats, or sheep) are high in FODMAPS and should be avoided with a low FODMAP diet, a dairy-free diet eliminates all dairy products and is used to manage lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. These diets have different goals and are used for different digestive issues.
What are some examples of low FODMAP vegetables?
Examples of low FODMAP vegetables include carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and more. To see a larger list of low FODMAP vegetables, download the Low FODMAP Diet and Food List PDF.
What are the best Low FODMAP Snacks?
Finding low FODMAP snacks can be challenging, especially if you’re looking for something that is both healthy and satisfying. Here are some of the best low FODMAP snacks that you can enjoy on a low FODMAP diet:
Rice cakes with peanut or almond butter
Low FODMAP fruits, such as bananas, grapes, or oranges (in small portions)
Rice crackers with lactose-free cheese
Popcorn (plain, without added flavors or seasoning)
Gluten-free pretzels or crackers with tuna salad or egg salad (made with lactose-free ingredients)
Roasted nuts or seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips.
Are Eggs Low Fodmap?
Yes, eggs are considered a low FODMAP food and are generally well-tolerated by individuals on a low FODMAP diet. Eggs are a good source of protein and can be prepared in many ways, such as boiled, poached, fried, or baked. However, it’s important to note that certain ingredients that are often paired with eggs, such as onion or garlic, can be high in FODMAPs and should be avoided.