Everything You Need To Know About A Low FODMAP Diet

Low FODMAP with WholeLife

 FODMAP – it’s a bit of an odd word!  That would be because it isn’t actually a word, but an acronym which stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Yep, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but these are the names of sugars that are poorly absorbed in the gut, which can often cause digestive discomforts and symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in many people.

The low FODMAP diet was developed by researchers at Monash University in an attempt to help those who suffer with IBS control their symptoms and have some relief from the discomfort that gut troubles cause.

IBS is a very common gut problem characterised by chronic, relapsing symptoms like lower abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, wind, diarrhea, and constipation. In Australia it affects around 3 out of every 10 people, with women more likely to be affected than men.

There is unfortunately no cure for IBS, but a low FODMAP diet is one of the best ways to ease symptoms and manage it. Those who suffer from IBS often find that lifestyle and diet changes are most successful at keeping the nasty discomforts the disease brings at bay.

What exactly are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are sugars, and like we said earlier, are often poorly digested or absorbed in the gut. They move slowly through the small intestine attracting water, and then are fermented by gut bacteria in the large intestine, producing gas. The combination of the water and gas causes the intestinal wall to stretch and expand, which (as you may be able to guess) is not the most comfortable feeling!

This process happens inside of everyone’s gut – the difference being that people with IBS or other gastrointestinal disorders have highly sensitive gut walls with slower digestion, exacerbating the effects of FODMAPs on the gut.

How does a low FODMAP diet work?

A low FODMAP diet aims for you to learn about the certain foods that may be triggers for IBS symptoms and flair ups. The diet is not a long-term diet – it is a 3-step diet that is meant to be followed for a period of time, usually around 4 to 5 months. This diet is only recommended for people who have been diagnosed with IBS, and it is strongly encourage that this diet is followed under the supervision of a medical professional.

In the first step of the diet, you swap out all high FODMAP foods for low FODMAP alternatives. In the second step, you reintroduce one FODMAP at a time, one food at a time, over a 3-day period. All FODMAPs are slowly reintroduced over an 8-12 week period, with the aim of understanding which foods are triggering your symptoms.

The third step is understanding what you can tolerate and what you cannot tolerate. To learn more about the specifics of the diet, head to Monash University’s FODMAP diet page here.

How can you tell which foods are low or high FODMAP?

There is no way to guess or tell which foods are low or high FODMAP. Each food needs to be scientifically assessed in a lab for its FODMAP content. Luckily for us, the researchers at Monash University are experts on the subject and have developed a handy app to make checking the foods you eat easy.

What foods are low FODMAP?

Some of the foods that get the green light in a low FODMAP diet include green beans, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, potato, zucchini, kiwi fruit, oranges, pineapple, almond milk, brie or camembert cheese, feta cheese and other hard cheeses, eggs, firm tofu, plain cooked meats, seafoods and poultry, oats, quinoa flakes, sourdough spelt bread, dark chocolate, pepitas, walnuts… just to name a few!

What foods are high FODMAP?

Some of the foods that are best avoided include garlic, onions, mushrooms, dried fruit, peaches, watermelon, cow’s milk, ice cream, yoghurt, most legumes and pulses, some processed meats, breakfast cereals, wheat, rye or barely based breads, honey, cashews, and pistachios.

FODMAP friendly at WholeLife

We have a range of low FODMAP certified foods at WholeLife that have been designed to make your low FODMAP diet journey just that little bit easier!

 FODY  have created a range of delicious and convenient gut friendly condiments and foods perfect for those with IBS or digestive troubles. Their range includes pasta sauces, salsas, ketchup and marinades.

 BLEND 11  is a Naturopath designed gluten free, vegan bircher muesli that is also law carb, keto friendly, and (you guessed it) low FODMAP. Add this delicious superfood to your favourite smoothie, snack, or healthy breakfast.

 ORGRAN  is another brand paving the way in the FODMAP friendly space, with many of their products FODMAP Certified. They have a variety of pantry staples like flours, brownie mixes, cereals, and snacks that are FODMAP Certified.

 FREEFOD  have created a low FODMAP onion & garlic replacer for those of us who struggle to see a life without it! One teaspoon of their powder is equivalent to 1 bulb of onion or 1 bulb of garlic.

 NUTRA ORGANICS  have a delicious low FODMAP Vegetable Broth that is loaded with essential nutrients to help support immunity. It’s perfect as a base for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies.

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