What is a FODMAP Diet Plan?

FODMAP Diet Planisdiet plan was originally developed to help manage the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols.

 

Basically they are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars and fibres) that are ‘osmotic,’ meaning they pull water into the small intestine. This can cause diarrhoea in an individual with a fast-moving intestine, and the person more prone to constipation may feel like they have a water balloon in their gut.

The main dietary sources of the four groups of FODMAPs include:

  • Oligosaccharides: Wheat, rye, legumes and various fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and onions.

  • Disaccharides: Milk, yogurt and soft cheese. Lactose is the main carb.

  • Monosaccharides: Various fruit including figs and mangoes, and sweeteners such as honey and agave nectar. Fructose is the main carb.

  • Polyols: Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries and lychee, as well as some low-calorie sweeteners like those in sugar-free gum.

FODMAPs are abundant. They are found in everyday foods—like milk, yogurt, wheat, barley, rye, apples, pears, onion, garlic, and kidney beans. And they are innately healthy for most of us who do not have IBS symptoms. There are high FODMAP foods and there are low FODMAP foods

FODMAP Diet

Keep in mind that the purpose of a FODMAP diet is not to completely eliminate FODMAPs — which is extremely difficult.

Simply minimising these types of carbs is considered sufficient to reduce digestive symptoms.

There is a wide variety of healthy and nutritious foods that you can eat on a low-FODMAP diet, including:

  • Meats, fish and eggs: These are well tolerated unless they have added high-FODMAP ingredients like wheat or high-fructose corn syrup

  • All fats and oils

  • Most herbs and spices

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds (but not pistachios, which are high in FODMAPs)

  • Fruits: Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, lime, mandarins, melons (except watermelon), oranges, passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries

  • Sweeteners: Maple syrup, molasses, stevia and most sugar alcohols

  • Dairy products: Lactose-free dairy products, hard cheeses and aged softer varieties like brie and camembert

  • Vegetables: Alfalfa, bell peppers, bokchoy, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, chives, olives, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, spinach, spring onion (only green), squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, yams, water chestnuts, zucchini

  • Grains: Corn, oats, rice, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca

  • Beverages: Water, coffee, tea, etc.

  • The Low FODMAP Diet restricts high FODMAP foods to reduce uncomfortable, distressful digestive symptoms, and consists of the following 3 phases:

  • Phase 1 (2–6 weeks) – Elimination
    Remove all high FODMAP foods from the diet to assess whether FODMAP-rich foods are triggering GI symptoms. This is a highly restrictive phase and not sustainable long-term.

  • Phase 2 (8–12 weeks) – Reintroduction
    Work with a practitioner to reintroduce FODMAPs in a methodical manner, one food at a time. This phase is very individualized—every person reacts to different high FODMAP foods in different ways.

  • Phase 3 – Maintenance
    Listen to your gut. Pay close attention to shifts in the FODMAPs that work and don’t work for you. Incorporate methods to manage/reduce emotional stress to ultimately ease digestive stress.

FODMAP Diet Planner: If you are planning to start of with FODMAP diet for yourself or any of your family member, below chart can give you quick grasp on what you can and cannot eat.