fbpx

You might have heard of a FODMAP diet to help gut health, but what does it mean, who should use it and how does it work?? Let me explain a bit more about it.

 

What does FODMAP stand for?

 

The term stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. No clearer? Basically these are all fermentable carbohydrates that commonly trigger bloating and gas that are so prevalent in IBS. Not everyone has a problem with these foods, and they aren’t ‘unhealthy’ foods. In fact it might surprise you how common they are.

 

What are FODMAP foods?

 

FODMAPs are found in many common foods, and you might react to one type, or all of them. The main kinds of foods are:

  • Oligosaccharides: Wheat, rye, legumes and various fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and onions.
  • Disaccharides: Milk, yogurt and soft cheese. Lactose, maltose and sucrose.
  • Monosaccharides: Foods high in fructose are the main source, for example mangoes as well as sweeteners like agave syrup.
  • Polyols: Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries, cauliflower, watermelon that are high in Mannitol, Isomalt, Maltitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol (found in toothpaste and chewing gum)

In some people these carbohydrates produce gas due to fermentation in the gut, and draw water into the intestines causing bloating and loose stools. Fermentation in the gut is normal, but the symptoms arise for people with IBS who have a hypersensitive gut.

 

What CAN you eat on the FODMAP diet?

 

Lots of vegetables and fruits are still available to you like red peppers, courgette, green beans, pumpkin, parsnips, kiwi, blueberries, sweet potato etc. You can also eat meat, oats rice, some nuts and some low lactose dairy.

 

How to do the low-FODMAP diet

 

It’s a very tough diet to manage because it’s so restrictive, and you need to ensure you’re eating a balanced range of nutrients. I don’t recommend anyone trying to manage a dietary changes this big on their own, always work with a nutrition professional.

Think of the low FODMAP diet as a diagnostic tool that is intended to identify food triggers for symptoms of IBS rather than a way of life. In some cases if can allow some healing in the gut so we can reintroduce as much food back into your diet as possible. The low FODMAP diet should not be followed long term because it is too restrictive. The microbes in our gut need fibre and diversity. It’s more healthy for us to eat as varied a diet as possible.

To do this the diet is conducted in 3 phases:

  1. Low FODMAP Phase – 2-6 week
  2. Re-challenge Phase – reintroducing each of the FODMAP groups in a strict way, with washout period in between each group
  3. Adapted low FODMAP Phase – personalise your long term diet and gut health

 

Should you do a low FODMAP diet?

 

It’s important that your digestive symptoms have been checked out by a doctor. If you’re constantly getting constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and pains there could be other diagnoses that your doctor might make so get yourself checked out. These could include coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease or colonic cancer.

If you have IBS and want to try making changes to your diet, there are simple changes you can try before a FODMAP diet such as

  • cutting out processed foods especially high fat foods as these can contribute to a leaky gut
  • remove alcohol from your diet
  • restrict caffeine – 1-2 cups of tea or coffee because caffeine can irritiate the digestive system
  • drink water – aim for 8 glasses a day
  • if you’re sensitive to dairy or gluten try cutting either of these out for 4-6 weeks to look for any difference in your symptoms
  • look at your stress levels
  • ensure you’re getting enough sleep – aiming for 8 hours a day

To get support with making any changes to your diet please get in touch – I can help you find the right diet for you!

Do you want better digestion & more energy? Are you looking for solutions for weight loss, IBS or lack of energy?

Download 7 Secrets To Beat Bloating. 

Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritionist (mBANT, CNHC). I help small business owners improve their diet so they have more energy to be creative at work and home, to socialise and be there for family. 

Improve Your Gut Health - Beat Bloating

5 tips for gut health

Gut health is trendy right now, and for good reason. The microbes inside our tummy are so important for our health, they help us break down our food, create vitamins (e.g. B vits and Vit K) and interact with our immune system, hormones and metabolism.There is more...

Itchy Gut? New research – intestinal pain receptor – IBS symptoms

If you experience IBS you're probably very familiar with chronic pain in your gut. Maybe your have an 'itchy gut'. IBS can be debilitating, causing anxiety around eating food so you're left unsure what you can do to avoid the symptoms. It hasn't been clear to...

How To Look After Your Gut Health At Christmas

We can all eat too much at festival times, which leaves us feeling bloated and tired in January so here are my mini tips for helping support your gut health at Christmas. Give Your Gut Microbes The Gift of Fibre To help keep your gut microbes in a good mood don’t...

Gluten Free Diet Plan – How to be healthy

Are you following a gluten free diet? There is a growing trend to give up gluten, and with the shelves full of gluten free products there is a marketing campaign to push more people to give it up. If you feel like you react to bread and pasta, it may be worth trying a...

Superfoods – The Benefits Of Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi fruit are packed with more vitamin C than an orange as well as other lesser known benefits. Kiwi Fruit are a source of fibre  Kiwis contain a prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria in our lower intestine.  This kind of fibre also helps to form a soft stool...

Struggling to lose weight on a vegan diet?

Many people find they lose weight if they change to a vegan diet. A study from Oxford University found people who ate fish, vegetarians and especially vegans had lower BMI scores than those who eat meat. Sometimes cutting out processed foods is enough for people to...