So what is the FODMAP diet? If you are one of the many people that struggle with gut health or mood swings based on your eating habits, this diet is a life saver. This diet was coined by Australian researchers that realized their patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) experienced a significant amount of relief when applying these restrictions to their current diet. This diet has shown great success in reducing constipation, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, and will most likely help your digestive issues whether you have IBS or not. Check with your AZ family physician to see if these FODMAPs are the source of your digestive health issues.
What Are FODMAPs?According to the FODMAP Friendly Program, FODMAPs can be described as “short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives”. It’s scientifically proven that these carbohydrates and sugar alcohols trigger gut health problems because they are difficult for the small intestine to absorb. FODMAPs are fermented by bacteria in the large bowel, and also attract water which causes the bowels to move at a different pace than usual. The acronym FODMAPs can be specifically broken down to describe the carbohydrates and sugar alcohols as such:
- Carbohydrates that are broken down by bacteria in the large bowel, as previously explained.
- Molecules made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain that is naturally digestion-resistant and moves through the intestines quickly.
- Found in fructans and galactooligosaccharides
- Commonly found in wheat, rye, onions, shallots, garlic, legumes, lentils, and artichokes.
- A double sugar molecule takes longer for the body to break down into monosaccharides.
- Found in lactose.
- Examples include milk, evaporated milk, custard, yogurt, and ice cream products.
- A single sugar molecule that is easily digestible but can cause stomach problems if consumed in excess.
- Found in fructose (in combination with the excess of glucose).
- Sugars found in honey, high fructose corn syrup, watermelon, mango, pears, and apples.
- Sugar alcohols used to replace sugar in certain foods, naturally or manually, and when consumed in a large amount can act as a laxative for the digestive system.
- Polyols are found in Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol.
- Examples of polyols can be found in apples, pears, plums, nectarines, apricots, cauliflower, and any other products sweetened with polyols like gum or confectionery sugars.