What are FODMAPs?
There is a common adage, ‘You are what you eat.’ Undeniably, there is some truth to the saying, as what you eat can significantly impact your body. Most people complain of abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, without being aware of their diet’s contribution.
What do FODMAPs have to do with all these? FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-di, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. These are the short-chain carbohydrates that resist digestion.
Instead of being broken down, these carbs move along the alimentary canal undigested to the colon, where they meet with your gut bacteria. The bacteria then break down these carbs, producing gas and causing abdominal discomfort.
Additionally, FODMAPs are notorious for drawing excessive fluid into the intestines, resulting in diarrhea. Not everyone is sensitive to FODMAPs; only persons with particular gut conditions such as IBS.
Foods high in FODMAPs
If your health practitioner has advised you to stay away from foods with high FODMAP content, you should familiarize yourself.
*Fruits – Dates, pears, watermelon, peaches, apples, cherries, and apricots
*Vegetables – Beetroot, broccoli, garlic, peas, onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and cauliflower
*Grains – Beans, rye, barley, soya beans, and lentils
*Sweeteners – Honey, mannitol, sorbitol, and high fructose corn syrup
*Beverages – Milk, fruit juices, beer, and fortified wines
*Dairy products – Milk, ice cream, cheese and most yogurts
Though it is almost impossible to eliminate FODMAPs from your diet, you can minimize these carbs to levels that no longer induce digestive symptoms. Luckily, there is an extensive range of nutritious foods you can eat on a low-FODMAP diet, including;-
*Meat, eggs, and fish – unless prepared with high FODMAP ingredients
*Most herbs and spices
*Nuts and seeds such as cashews, macadamia, sesame seeds, pine nuts, and almonds- avoid pistachios as they are high in FODMAPs.
*All fats and oils
*Fruits such as bananas, lime, melons, oranges, raspberries, grapes, kiwi and passion fruit
*Sweeteners such as molasses, maple syrup, and stevia
*Dairy products, including hard cheeses and lactose-free products
*Vegetables such as carrots, olives, green beans, kale, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, yams, and chestnuts
*Grains such as corn, sorghum, and rice
*Beverages such as coffee, water, and tea
Remember that these lists are not exhaustive. Plus, people are different – what may work for you may not work for another person. Therefore, be sure to listen to your body.
What are the Benefits of a Low-FODMAP Diet?
A low-FODMAP diet is mostly recommended for persons with gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. However, if you continuously experience stomach upsets, FODMAPs should be on top of your suspect list.
Intolerant people report the following once they embark on a low-FODMAP diet;-
*Reduced frequency of diarrhea and constipation
*Minimized abdominal discomfort
Furthermore, it may benefit your psychological health in more ways than you can imagine. That is because digestive disturbances are associated with stress, anxiety, and depression.
FODMAPs are carbohydrates that go undigested in intolerant people. Though most of the foods that contain these carbs are healthy, intolerant people have to avoid them. Chances are a low-FODMAP diet will not eliminate all digestive concerns, but it leads to significant improvement when all is said and done.