If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), your physician may recommend a low FODMAP diet to identify foods that contribute to your digestive problems.
What Are FODMAPS?
FODMAPS have been defined as "poorly absorbed, fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols." Simply put, these are a group of fermentable sugars and fibers found in foods including some vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, and milk that are difficult to digest by some people.
Identifying Trigger Foods
A low FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet. Foods containing FODMAPs will be eliminated from the diet for two to six weeks, then re-introduced gradually, allowing a small portion of one food from each subgroup at a time, gradually increasing the portion. Patients can determine which foods and in what amount they find tolerable.
Foods Typically Eliminated on Low FODMAP Diet
- Dairy products including milk, yogurt, and ice cream
- Cereals, bread, and crackers made from wheat
- Beans and lentils
- Vegetables including asparagus, onions, artichokes, and garlic
- Fruits including apples, cherries, pears, and peaches
A Nutritionist/Dietician Can Help
A nutritionist or dietician can help you make the right decisions regarding which foods to eliminate and at what portions to reintroduce those foods. They can also help you identify which foods you enjoy most that are best to keep IBS under control.
The Mind-Gut Connection
IBS is sometimes triggered by strong emotions, anxiety, or mental health issues. It is often best managed by a mixed approach of dietary changes, medications, and stress management techniques. The low FODMAP diet is just one part of that equation your health care provider may recommend.