IBS 101: An Introduction to the Low-FODMAP diet for IBS

If you've heard of the Low-FODMAP diet but you aren't quite sure about what it is, here is a quick introduction:

Right now, 1 in 7 people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome with either diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. For people suffering from IBS, finding symptom relief can be a daily struggle.

One of the most promising and effective treatments for symptom relief from IBS has been the Low-FODMAP diet.

The goal of the Low-FODMAP diet is to eliminate FODMAPs from the diet for 2-6 weeks and then reintroduce the foods back into your diet to determine which foods may trigger symptoms.

It is a diagnostic tool to help identify dietary triggers and is not meant to be a long-term diet where you eat exclusively Low-FODMAP foods.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.  The idea is to limit foods that have been proven to be poorly absorbed by some people.  Examples of just a few of the foods that contain FODMAPS are:

Oligosaccharides:

Galactans: beans, lentils, chickpeas

Fructans:  garlic, onion, brussels sprouts, watermelon

Disaccharides:

Lactose:  cow’s milk, ice cream, cottage cheese

Monosaccharides:

Fructose:  apples, pears, honey, high fructose corn syrup

Polyols:  

Avocados, cabbage, and sugar alcohols such as xylitol, maltitol

The 3 Stages of the Low-FODMAP Diet:

There are 3 very important stages to the Low-FODMAP diet.

The first stage is a critical part of the Low-FODMAP diet where you consume Low-FODMAP foods for 2-6 weeks. It is commonly called the elimination phase. It is very important to make sure you are still receiving all of your nutrients during this time, so advance planning is the key to your success in this stage. 

The second stage is to slowly introduce FODMAP containing foods back into your diet over the course of the following 2-3 months. You will introduce one food at a time for 1-3 days at a time. This will allow you to recognize if there is an adverse symptom that occurs from the reintroduction of the high FODMAP containing food. This stage is often called the challenge or reintroduction phase.

The last stage is to maintain your knowledge of your symptoms and triggers and to follow your customized FODMAP eating pattern

There are many resources on this diet, including Apps and Grocery Shopping Lists that make this dietary change a little easier, but here at Foodguides, we look forward to providing you more in-depth information and assistance along the way.

The Low-FODMAP Diet During Pregnancy

Low-FODMAP Elimination Phase Snack Ideas

Low-FODMAP Plant Based Alternatives

Here are a couple expert suggested FODMAP friendly products from your team at Foodguides:

 

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