IBS 101: An Introduction to the Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS 101: An Introduction to the Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Published on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 by Allison Koch

The Low FODMAP Diet: A Solution for IBS Symptoms

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

It is estimated that 1 in 7 people are living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with either diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. Finding symptom relief can be a daily struggle for people living with IBS.

The Low FODMAP diet is one of the most promising and effective treatments for symptom relief from IBS.

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.

Understanding FODMAPs: What Are They?

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 include:


Galactans: beans, lentils, chickpeas

Fructans:  garlic, onion, brussels sprouts, watermelon


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


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


Sorbitol and Mannitol: avocados, cabbage, mushrooms; and in sugar alcohols such as xylitol, maltitol

The 3 Crucial Stages of the Low FODMAP Diet

There are three essential 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 essential to ensure you are still receiving all your nutrients during this time, so advance planning is the key to your success in this stage. 

The second stage is slowly introducing FODMAP-containing foods back into your diet over 2-3 months. You will introduce one food at a time for 1-3 days. This will allow you to recognize if an adverse symptom 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

Many resources on this diet, including Apps and Grocery Shopping Listsmake this dietary change a little easier. Still, here at Foodguides, we look forward to providing you with more in-depth information and assistance along the way.

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Low FODMAP Plant-Based Alternatives


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