The FODMAPs Diet: What exactly is it?
dairy foods

Most people by now have at least heard of the FODMAPs diet. If you, like many others, suffer from stomach and bowel issues like bloating, cramps and diarrhea then the FODMAPs diet should be of particular interest. The FODMAP diet is rapidly growing in popularity due to its success in treating IBS related symptoms. In fact early research indicates that 9 out of 10 people suffering with bloating or similar symptoms will benefit from this diet in some way.

What does FODMAPs mean?

FODMAPs is an acronym describing a range of foods that are not always digested properly. For those scientifically minded here is the technical definition…

F- Fermentable
O- Oligosaccarides
D- Disaccarides
M- Monosaccarides
A- And
P- Polyols

If undigested these foods pass through the digestive tract until they reach the large bowel. It’s here where bacteria break down the sugar in these foods, causing the symptoms described above.

Food to Avoid

There are heaps of different foods that contain FODMAPs. This includes fruits, vegetables, wheat based foods, legumes and dairy. Some of the more potent foods tend to be onion, garlic, beans, honey and dried fruit, however everyone reacts differently.

At the beginning of the diet its usually best to cut out all FODMAP foods, even those which you think are ok. The reason for this is that symptoms tend to occur when foods are combined, creating an accumulation in the body. It’s a bit like filling up a cup until eventually it overflows. Usually it will take between 2-4 weeks before significant improvements are observed. After this time you begin introducing foods one by one back into your diet, and testing for any reaction.

When doing it alone the FODMAPs diet can be confusing. That why you should employ the help of a Dietitian who is experienced in FODMAPs and they can guide you through the whole process.