You may have heard the term ‘FODMAP’ being thrown around among your friends and family. Perhaps you’ve seen it labelled on food packaging, maybe you’ve even been recommended to try a low FODMAP diet.
If you’re curious about FODMAPs then you’ve come to the right place.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are all carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in our foods, either naturally occurring or as additives. This table below helps explain what the FODMAPs are and in what foods they might be found.
|F ermentable||Broken down by bacteria in large intestine/bowel.||–|
|O ligosaccharides||Individual sugars joined in a chain
(e.g. fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides).
|Wheat, onions, garlic, legumes.|
|D isaccharides||Double sugar molecule
|Milk, yoghurt, custard.|
|M onosaccharides||Single sugar molecule
(e.g. excess fructose).
|Honey, watermelon, apples.|
|P olyols||Sugar alcohols
(e.g. sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol).
|Apricots, nectarines, confectionary sweetened with polyols.|
- “High FODMAP”
High FODMAP foods and drinks are generally avoided in the pursuit of a low FODMAP diet. It is important to note that regardless of whether foods or drinks are considered “high” FODMAP, they may not necessarily elicit symptoms.
High FODMAP foods include some of the following consumables:
- Onion, garlic, avocado, celery, pear, mango, legumes, wheat-based foods, chorizo, sausages, honey, cow’s milk, yoghurt, custard, cream, soft cheese, etc.
- “Low FODMAP”
These are foods and drinks that are generally safer to enjoy and replace high FODMAP foods during the dieting process.
Low FODMAP foods include some of the following consumables:
- Carrot, corn, olives, potato, pumpkin, zucchini, bananas, grapes, oranges, beef, chicken, lamb, pork, crispbread, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, etc.
Who Experiences Symptoms?
Those affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or suffering with IBS-type symptoms will often be recommended by their dietician to engage in a low FODMAP diet.
International studies have shown the FODMAP diet to be effective in managing symptoms of IBS.
It is important to ensure you have been assessed by a doctor or dietician before commencing the diet. Additionally, coeliac disease should also be investigated as a cause for symptoms before considering a low FODMAP diet.
Why Does it Occur?
The consumption of FODMAPs in our foods can affect sufferers when they pass through to the large intestine following poor absorption in the small intestine. While in the large intestine, high FODMAPs can either contribute to the production of gas due to their readily fermentable nature, or they attract water to the large bowel where it can increase bowel movements.
With these reactions occurring inside the digestive system, it can often leave us feeling bloated, with possible stomach pains, increased wind, and altered bowel movements including constipation, diarrhoea or a combination of both. For some people, factors such as stress, diet or infection can bring on or aggravate similar symptoms.
HOW does the low FODMAP diet process work?
The low FODMAP diet involves a 2-phase process that can range from 8 to 16 weeks. It requires the guidance of an experienced dietician and begins with the elimination of high FODMAP foods and replacing them with low FODMAP foods.
After this initial phase of elimination is completed, the second phase is to reintroduce FODMAPs. Your dietician will often work with you to distinguish which FODMAPs elicit symptoms and then determine the amount at which you can consume the triggering FODMAP based on your tolerance.
Where are ‘Tummy Friendly’ Low FODMAP Foods Available?
It may seem like a large portion of your favourite foods are off-limits, however, low FODMAP foods are not as tricky to find as you might think. You can enjoy a whole range of foods such as: meats, fish, some fruit and vegetables, lactose-free dairy products, gluten free breads and pastas, rice and a variety of super-grains.
ORGRAN also caters for those on a low FODMAP diet by manufacturing a ‘Tummy Friendly’ range that is free from gluten, fructose, onion, garlic and pea flour. These are common ingredients that have been identified to limit or avoid as part of a low FODMAP diet. ORGRAN’s ‘Tummy Friendly’ products include many of our pastas, baking mixes, crispbreads, crackers and provide plenty of variety that will ensure your digestive system is happy, without feeling like you’re missing out on a thing!
Keep an eye out for our ‘Tummy Friendly’ logo to find products just right for you!