Hello Fellow Food Intolerant Friends!
Today is my first day blogging on the low FODMAPs diet. For those who don’t know about FODMAPS, this entry will be kind of a primer to what FODMAPS is all about, who its helpful for, and the purpose of this blog.
First of all, although I’ll be blogging about my FODMAPs experience, I want to let everyone know that I intend to be writing keeping in mind other diets, restrictions, and news regarding food and health for all.
I am no gourmand. I love to cook but aesthetic beauty is a secondary goal for me. Also, I will strive to be as practical as possible. Eating healthy is not necessarily cheap so this blog (coming from the experience of an economically limited college grad) will strive to be as financially sensitive too! On all of these areas I welcome comments and suggestions! This is foremost about sharing and helping each other.
What is the low FODMAPs diet?
Researchers from Australia have come up with a novel approach for IBS treatment, that of having patients follow a low FODMAP diet as a way to reduce IBS symptoms. They have coined the term FODMAPs to describe a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in many common foods. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides (fructans, galactans), disaccharides (lactose), monosaccharides (fructose), and polyols (sugar alcohols).
The FODMAP theory holds that consuming foods high in FODMAPs results in increased volume of liquid and gas in the small and large intestine, resulting in abdominal bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.
The theory proposes that following a low FODMAP diet should result in a decrease in digestive symptoms. The theory further holds that there is a cumulative effect of these foods on symptoms. In other words, eating foods with varying FODMAP values at the same time will add up, resulting in symptoms that you might not experience if you ate the food in isolation. AKA this explains why sometimes eating a certain food (bread for, instance) one day will cause no trouble but the next it will!
How does one go about the FODMAPs diet?
Ideally, after being diagnosed with IBS or some other bowel disorder you should begin the diet with the help of a nutritionist/dietician who is well versed in FODMAPS. Also, your doctor may recommend that you take a Hydrogen Breath tests to detect how well/poorly you digest certain carbs (however these are not always conclusive).
Typically, the diet begins with an elimination phase meaning you eliminate all FODMAPs from your diet for a few weeks, building up to the next phase in which you reintroduce certain FODMAPs foods.
* Important note: A low FODMAPs diet does not mean you cannot eat foods with FODMAPs. It stresses that you keep these foods low and in moderation so they do not seriously upset your digestive system.
Who can it benefit?
Although research has been done primarily on those who suffer from IBS (a functional bowel disorder) those who suffer from inflammatory disorders like Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or Celiac disease may also be helped by an low FODMAPS diet.
What are the FODMAPs?
So I know the acronym seems pretty intimidating and you might be asking yourself, how do I remember all of these different carbs? Some may be easier than others. For me personally, my body instinctively shudders at the thought of certain FODMAPs foods as my body has learned over time it doesn’t like these things. However, some are truly surprising. That’s why we have…a List! that I am borrowing from Cassandra Forsythe (thank you!)
FRUITS TO AVOID:
Excess Fructose fruit:
Excess Fructan fruit:
Excess Polyol fruit:
Blueberries – buy organic
Boysenberry – buy organic
Cranberry – buy organic
Grapes – buy organic
Raspberry – buy organic
Strawberry – buy organic
Suitable dried fruits (some people are ok with dried fruits, others are not):
Cranberries (often are coated in sugar – only eat if not sweetened)
Pineapple (often are coated in sugar – only eat if not sweetened)
Raisins (may not be suitable for everyone…)
Special notes on fruit:
Limit intake of suitable fruits to one serve per meal.
e.g. One whole banana or orange.
Third to half a glass of suitable juice.
Small handful of berries or grapes.
Small amount of suitable dried fruit (e.g. 10 sultanas).
VEGETABLES TO AVOID:
Excess Fructose vegetables:
Sugar snap peas
Excess Fructan vegetables:
Artichokes (Globe & Jerusalem)
Onion (brown, white, & Spanish)
Spring onion (white section).
Excess Polyol vegetables:
NUTS TO AVOID:
Pistachios and cashews
Broccoli (may not be suitable for everyone…)
Corn (raw corn may bother some people)
Eggplant (this may be troublesome for some; asses individual tolerance)
Lettuce (may be ok or not)
Spring onion (green section)
Squash (this may be troublesome for some; asses individual tolerance)
Sweet potato (this may be troublesome for some; asses individual tolerance)
Tomato (cherry tomatoes often are moldy – try to avoid)
Zucchini (this may be troublesome for some; asses individual tolerance)
Special notes on vegetables:
Onion is one of the greatest contributors to IBS.
• Onion (brown, white & Spanish), Onion powder, White section of spring onion.
• Leeks, Shallots, Garlic.
There is undeclared onion hidden in many processed foods including, chicken salt, vegetable salt, vegetable powder, dehydrated vegetables, stocks, gravies, soups, marinades, & sauces.
• Green part of spring onion
• Asafoetida powder (* contains gluten).
• Fresh & dried ginger, coriander, basil, lemongrass, chili, mint, parsley, marjoram, oregano, thyme, rosemary & others.
PROBLEM WHEAT & Rye products:
Bread (white, wholegrain, multigrain, sourdough, pita, & many rye)
Pasta & noodles (regular, two minute, spelt, egg noodles, hokkien & udon)
Breakfast cereals (containing wheat, excess dried fruit &/or fruit juice).
Savoury biscuits (wheat based)
Cakes & baked goods (wheat based)
Sweet biscuits (wheat based)
Pastry & breadcrumbs (wheat flour made)
Others (semolina, couscous, bulger)
*includes spelt products
ALTERNATIVES to WHEAT Grains:
Corn (may bother some people)
ALTERNATIVES to WHEAT Products:
Gluten free bread.
Gluten free pasta, rice noodles, wheat free buckwheat noodles.
Porridge, wheat free muesli, rice bubbles, corn flakes, & gluten free cereals.
Corn thins, rice cakes & crackers, gluten free crackers
Gluten free cakes, flourless cakes.
Gluten free biscuits.
Gluten free pastry mixes, & bread crumbs, polenta, cornflake crumbs.
Buckwheat, polenta, millet, sorghum, sago, tapioca, rice, & corn flours.
Special notes on Wheat:
• Small amounts of wheat, such as breadcrumbs, may be tolerable (assess individually).
• Those with diagnosed Coeliac disease should eliminate gluten from their diet.
• Gluten free foods do not contain wheat, rye oats & barley.
o A low FODMAP diet allows oats
• Trace amounts of wheat ingredients such as soy sauce should not be a problem.
• Many wheat derived products such as wheat starch, wheat thickeners, wheat maltodextrin, wheat dextrin, wheat dextrose, wheat glucose, & wheat color caramel are fructan free glucose chains & should be safe to eat.
OTHER FODMAPs FOODS (containing, FRUCTOSE &/or Fructans) to AVOID:
• Corn syrups
• Corn syrup solids
• Dandelion tea
• Artificial sweeteners (see GOS)
• Sugar free or low carb sweets, mints, gums, & dairy desserts.
• Baked beans, lentils, & chick peas
NO Agave nectar or Molasses
• Maple syrup
• White, brown, raw & castor sugar (sucrose) eaten in moderation.
• Tea, coffee, & herbal teas
• Nuts & seeds (moderation)
• Oat bran
• Rice bran.
• Limit alcohol intake.
• Avoid alcohol which is high in indigestible carbohydrate, such as beer.
• Clear spirits such as Vodka & Gin with water/soda flavored with fresh suitable fruit in moderation is preferable.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Eat in moderation.
• Chew your food well.
• Limit processed foods (hidden FODMAPs & irritants).
• Limit or avoid processed meats ((hidden FODMAPs & irritants).
• Fresh fruit, vegetables, & whole meats/fish are best.
*Note: This is a great list but everybody’s body is different. Some people may find it hard to tolerate certain foods more than others. For instance, bananas can cause constipation for some people and excess sweet potato could also cause problems.
Thats all for now!