Why follow a low FODMAP diet?
A low FODMAP diet may be beneficial in relieving symptoms of diarrhoea, constipation and bloating which may or may not be associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are types of sugars found in food, and the acronym stands for:
Oligosaccharides (such as fructans and galactans)
Disaccharides (such as lactose)
Monosaccharides (such as fructose)
and Polyols (such as sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol and isomalt)
Some people may be able to tolerate more FODMAPs in their diet than other people, or tolerate certain types of FODMAPs but not others.
What foods contain FODMAPs?
FODMAPS are found in a range of foods, not just those that you might think contain sugar. Your dietitian will be able to give you a comprehensive guide as to which foods contain FODMAPS but here are some examples:
- Mushrooms, asparagus and avocado
- Onion and garlic
- Baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas
- Wheat, rye and some other grains
- Apples, pears, watermelon, mango
- Milk and some milk products
- Sugar-free chewing gum and lollies
What is the process for following a low FODMAP diet?
With any food intolerance, it is important to understand what foods you can and cannot tolerate, and how much you can tolerate so that you do not restrict your diet unnecessarily. A process of elimination then reintroduction is the most effective way to find out what foods you are intolerant to.
You will begin by following a low FODMAP diet eliminating foods containing FODMAPs, to see if you get relief from your symptoms. It is recommended you follow this diet for 4-6 weeks. If you don’t get any symptom relief following a low FODMAP diet, it is unlikely that FODMAPs are causing your symptoms and you may need further investigation. If you do get relief from your symptoms, your dietitian will advise you on how to slowly introducing certain FODMAPs back into your diet to identify which ones are related to your symptoms. If you experience symptoms after introducing a certain type of FODMAP back into your diet, you now know to limit or avoid this type.
Accredited Practising Dietitians are qualified to assist people in managing medically-diagnosed nutrition conditions. For information about booking a nutrition consultation with an Allied Nutrition dietitian, please click HERE or phone us to discuss your requirements.