Irritable bowel disease affects about 10-20% of the population. Many clients have seen their symptoms improve with a low fopmap diet. Fomap stands for fermentable oligio di mono-saccharides and polyols and includes 5 groups of carbohydrates. A low fodmap meal plan eliminates these 5 groups for several weeks.

These 5 groups include:

Lactose

milk, chocolate milk, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese

Although hard cheese is made from dairy products, it is not a high source of fodmaps.

Although hard cheese is made from dairy products, it is not a high source of fodmaps.

Fructose

apples, avocados,artichokes, celery, mango, watermelon, asparagus, artichokes, tomato paste

Beverages, syrups or condiments sweetened with high fructose corn syrup which include regular soda or bottled ice tea, honey agave, ketchup, chocolate milk

apples

Apples are both a source of fructose and polyols which may cause someone who is intolerant to both of these quite a bit of discomfort.

Galactan

beans canned, baked or refried (most varieties), edamame, hummus, soy milk, pistachio, cashews, coffee

 

Beans and peas contain galactans which may cause discomfort.

Beans and peas contain galactans which may cause discomfort.

The starch portion of wheat causes GI distress for people with IBS.

The starch portion of wheat causes GI distress for people with IBS.

Fructans

Many people who have thought that they may have a gluten intolerance (which is the protein portion of wheat) but do not have celiac disease probably more than likely have a fructan intolerance which is the starch portion of wheat.

wheat, barley, rye bread, cereals, pasta and baked goods made with these grains, broccoli, beets, inulin, garlic and onions

Polyols

Sugar free candy or gum that is sweetened with sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, apples, dates, cherries, peaches, figs, prunes, apricots, avocado, plum, sugar snap peas, blackberries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet corn, fennel leaves/tea and chamomile.

Stone fruits contain polyols which may aggravate IBS symptoms for some people.

Stone fruits contain polyols which may aggravate IBS symptoms for some people.

People are often intolerant to one or more groups of fodmaps but very few people are intolerant to all 5 groups.

Dr. Sue Shepherd, a registered dietitian developed the fomap diet while she worked with Dr. Peter Gibson, a medical doctor from Australia from Monash University. Dr. Shepherd has both celiac disease and IBS. After still having GI discomfort, she began researching foods that continued to cause her discomfort and analyzed the chemical composition of those foods. Food intolerances have a different autoimmune response from allergies and they also take a day or so to show discomfort.

1. The first step is to follow a low fodmap diet for 3-4 weeks. Many people will begin feeling better within one week.

2. After one month, someone can begin the challenge phase, which will last between 1 1/2-2 months and should be under the supervision of a registered dietitian who has had advanced training in the Low Fodmap diet. You can find a list of dietitians who have this training Dietitians Specializing in the Low Fodmap Diet

3. The goal of the low fodmap diet is to provide the largest variety of food choices possible. By determining which foods that a person is sensitive to eating,  what quantity can be eaten and which combinations of foods to limit, this may greatly improve a person’s symptoms. After taking a break from these foods for some time, many of these foods may even be eaten later in larger quantities.

I hope this post helps answer some questions that you may have about the low fodmap diet and how it may provide relief. I will be sharing some recipe ideas and discussing a seasonal approach to the low fodmap diet.

Some of my favorite low fodmap resources include:

Sue Shepherd

patsy castos

Kate Scarlata

Monash University Fodmap Blog

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