Foods to eat (and avoid) on a Low Fodmap Diet


What is FODMAP?

FODMAP is an abbreviated form of Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.

They are a group of fermentable carbohydrates that have sugar that is not absorbed in our body properly which would lead to irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, and bloating.

So, it is always good to have a balanced diet but if you have a diet that is very high in FODMAP it would lead to gastrointestinal disorders. On this page, I will enlighten you on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid on a FODMAP diet.

What happens when you eat foods rich in FODMAPs?

The small intestine’s water level tends to rise with the consumption of FODMAPS, which can also result in an overabundance of short-chain fatty acids and increased gas generation.

Some people who consume high FODMAP foods, particularly those with IBS, may experience abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and changes in bowel habits.

The fact that not everyone has to avoid FODMAPs must be understood. FODMAPs are advantageous to many people.

 You must determine whether reducing FODMAPs is the appropriate course for you. A registered dietitian (RD) or gastroenterologist (GI) or a healthcare practitioner should be consulted before taking this step.

Some foods naturally contain or have FODMAPs added to them. If you consume a lot of foods containing FODMAPs, you may have the following symptoms and signs:

• Gas • Pain • Bloating • Abdominal distention • Abdominal pain • Diarrhea

Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

A medical disorder that affects the big intestine is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is a gastrointestinal (GI) or functional bowel condition. This implies that, while it generates unpleasant sensations, it does not harm the intestine structurally. Functional GI diseases are brought on by issues with the brain-gut axis (brain-gut interaction).

Food may pass too slowly or too fast through the intestines because of IBS. Changes in bowel motions result from this. IBS is a combination of symptoms that occur simultaneously, such as abdominal discomfort, cramps, bloating, and changes in bowel motions, which can be diarrhea, constipation, or both. 

IBS symptoms may arise in the absence of any outward indications of gastrointestinal injury or illness. IBS may be quite uncomfortable.

IBS is classified into three categories.

Constipation-Related IBS (IBS-C):

It’s also known as constipation-predominant IBS. On days when the individual has at least one aberrant bowel movement, it manifests as the following symptoms, more than 25% of the stools are hard or lumpy, and fewer than 25% are loose or watery.

IBS Accompanied with Diarrhea (IBS-D):

IBS with predominant diarrhea is another name for it. On days when the person has at least one irregular bowel movement, more than 25% of the stools are loose or watery, and fewer than 25% of stools are hard and lumpy.

IBS With Mixed Bowel Movements (IBS-M):

It is also known as IBS-A or alternating type IBS. On days when there is at least one abnormal bowel movement, this kind of IBS causes more than 25% of the stools to be hard or lumpy and more than 25% of the stools to be loose or watery.

Low FODMAP Diet:

An extremely limiting temporary diet is the low FODMAP diet. In this diet, a lot of food is restricted so it is advised not to follow this diet for a longer period.  This diet is intended to assist persons with irritable bowel syndrome and/or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth in determining which foods are troublesome and which meals alleviate symptoms.

How Does a Low FODMAP Work?

The Low FODMAP diet consists of three steps:

Certain foods, such as those rich in FODMAPs, must be avoided. After that, you gradually reintroduce them to discover which are healthy for you and which are problematic, and you stay away from the foods that are leading to your symptoms. Once you’ve identified the items that trigger your symptoms, you may avoid or restrict them while continuing to eat everything else without concern.

The use of low-FODMAP diets should only be temporary—no more than 4-6 weeks—because they are restrictive.

Step 1:

Low FODMAP: For 2-6 weeks, the individual exchanges all high FODMAP meals for low FODMAP choices. Some refer to this as the elimination phase, it is more of a case of replacement than elimination.

Step 2:

Resumption: The person gradually adds FODMAP-containing foods back into their diet under the direction of a certified dietician. This can aid in determining which foods cause symptoms. This stage lasts around 6-8 weeks.

Step 3:

Customization: Also referred to as the maintenance phase, this entails resuming as much of a regular diet as is practical while restricting just the FODMAP foods that induce IBS. In time, some individuals might be able to resume eating all or the majority of FODMAPs without experiencing any symptoms.

Since the goal of the diet is to only exclude problematic items, it is crucial to reinstate foods to evaluate if they trigger symptoms.

Many foods naturally contain modest levels of FODMAPs. On the other hand, processed foods, which could have more FODMAPs in them, should be avoided when on a low FODMAP diet.

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders and the National Institutes of Health are helpful sources for information regarding low FODMAP diets and particular items to include and exclude in a low FODMAP diet.

When is Low FODMAP Diet Recommended?

Diets low in FODMAPs are frequently employed to treat digestive issues caused by a variety of illnesses, including IBS. These foods induce irritable bowel syndrome, but they can also worsen it. For IBS management, a low FODMAP diet is frequently suggested.

Low FODMAP meal plans, according to experts, may also help relieve symptoms of a variety of ailments such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

A low FODMAP diet is advised when your doctor has diagnosed you with a digestive disorder or syndrome such as IBS, IBD, or microscopic colitis.

Take The Following Actions Before Beginning a Low FODMAP Diet.

Digestive issues can cause many problems either major or minor. Other chronic illnesses include colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and defecatory disorders also frequently present with IBS symptoms.

By applying the IBS diagnostic criteria, your doctor can determine if you have IBS. To receive an IBS diagnosis, you must meet all three of the following criteria.

Severe stomach-ache. You’ve had discomfort for the past three months, on average, at least once a week.

Symptoms of bowel movement These should be connected to defecation, associated with a change in stool frequency, or associated with a change in the appearance of the stools.

Persistent symptoms from the past six months.

Attempt lifestyle and nutritional changes. It takes a lot of effort and resources to follow a low FODMAP diet.

Low FODMAP DIET is only used for IBS patients who don’t react to first-line treatments, which is why it is still regarded as second-line dietary therapy.

Foods to eat in Low FODMAP Diet

Today I have a list of low FODMAP foods to consume, so consult with your nutritionist before beginning this diet and attempt to follow all of the crucial suggestions provided. It is critical to remember that this diet should not last more than 4-6 weeks.

Common low FODMAP items to eat on a low FODMAP diet include:

Dairy 

You don’t have to stay away from dairy products that contain lactose if you can’t tolerate it. 

If you are Lactose intolerant, then go for 

  • Lactose-free dairy
  • Hard cheeses
  • Ripened cheese
  • Matured cheese 
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Feta cheese

Non-Dairy Milk

People who are lactose tolerant can even choose non-dairy milk. 

  • Almond milk
  • Rice milk
  • Coconut milk

Fruits

  • Grapefruit 
  • Kiwi 
  • Lemon 
  • Lime
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Orange
  • Grapes 
  • Honeydew 
  • Melon 
  • Cantaloupe
  • Banana
  • Blueberries

Vegetables

  • Sprouts of alfalfa
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini
  • Shoots of bamboo
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger 
  • Bean sprouts
  • Carrots 
  • Green beans
  • Cucumber
  • Chives
  • Olives
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips

Grains

  • Rice
  • rice bran 
  • Oats
  • oat bran
  • quinoa 
  • Corn flour 
  • Sourdough bread 
  • Gluten-free bread 
  • Gluten-free pasta

Proteins

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Cold Cuts
  • Lamb
  • Tofu
  • Eggs.  
  • Pork
  • Fish

Nuts And Seeds

  • Peanuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts 
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia

Starches and Cereals

  • Potatoes
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Popcorn

Sea Food 

  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp

Drinks

  • Tea made with non-dairy milk or creamers
  • Coffee made with non-dairy milk or creamers
  • Fresh Fruit juice 
  • Water

Foods to Avoid in Low FODMAP Diet

Dairy products that contain lactose

  • Milk
  • Soft cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Custard
  • Pudding
  • Cottage cheese

Vegetables

  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Snow peas
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Beetroot
  • Celery
  • Sweet corn 
  • Brussels sprouts

Fruits

  • Blackberries
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Dates
  • Avocados
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Mangoes
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries

Meats

  • Breaded meats
  • Battered meat
  • Meats served with garlic or onion-based sauces and fillings.

Fish

  • Breaded fish
  • Battered fish
  • Fish served with garlic or onion-based sauces.

Fats

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Avocados

Cereals, And Grains

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Wheat 
  • Gluten-Based Bread
  • Rye
  • Muffins
  • Pastries
  • Pasta

Sweeteners and Artificial Sweeteners

  • Xylitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Isomaltose 
  • Gums
  • Mint
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Sorbitol

Drinks

  • Alcohol
  • Sports drinks
  • Coconut water
  • Concentrated fruit juices

Wheat And Rye

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Pizza

When on a diet, keep a list of foods to avoid getting the desired outcomes.

Foods that are high in or moderately high in FODMAPs contain a variety of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics, which are dietary substances that support healthy gut flora which is important for a healthy livelihood.

Low FODMAP diet given its restrictions, certain people may be at an increased risk for developing an eating problem. Being a limited diet, it could be challenging to maintain over time. Incorrect usage may cause nutritional deficits and alterations in the gut microbiome.

Inadequate caloric intake frequently results in some of the weight loss experienced by persons on low FODMAP diets. This might have a detrimental impact on health, especially if the person starts at a low weight. Therefore, it is best to avoid using a low-FODMAP diet to lose weight because this diet excludes key nutrients, and it is also not advisable to adopt this diet for a prolonged period, doctor may advise anyone eager to reduce weight on the best course of action.

If high FODMAP meals are avoided and not adequately replaced, IBS sufferers may become more susceptible to constipation. Talking with a nutritionist and taking their advice as you proceed through the diet is advised by experts to make sure you’re getting the right amount and kind of fiber to avoid constipation.

Preparation Tips for A Low FODMAP Diet

It might be difficult to adhere to the restrictions of the low FODMAP diet. Here are some preparation tips:

  • Check for trustworthy low FODMAP diet lists.
  • Make a list of foods that you can consume.
  • Remove high FODMAP items from your diet.
  • To avoid any mishaps, remove these goods from your inventory.
  • Create a grocery list.
  • Before you go shopping, make a low FODMAP shopping list so you know which foods to buy and which to avoid.
  • Learn about low FODMAP menu selections so you may be prepared while dining out.

Follow the above measures before beginning the low FODMAP diet to improve your chances of effectively controlling your digestive issues.

Conclusion 

Depending on the serving size, one may determine whether a food has enough high FODMAPs to induce symptoms. It may be simpler for someone to include high and low FODMAP items in their diet if they are aware of the differences between the two. Both categories include a diverse range of food groupings.

Given the hazards, it is imperative to follow the diet under the supervision of a medical practitioner. A low FODMAP diet may help with IBS symptoms, other gastrointestinal ailments, and potentially certain non-digestive conditions.

Low FODMAP diets, when used with correct restriction, have been proven in studies to help decrease symptoms and improve bowel habits in individuals with IBS, particularly those with IBS-D, where diarrhea is a dominating symptom.

The symptoms of IBS and other digestive disorders may be lessened with a low-FODMAP diet. However, its effectiveness may be affected by a variety of circumstances, including the person’s symptoms and how well they adhere to the regimen.

Anyone interested in beginning a low FODMAP diet should consult with their doctor or a dietitian about the advantages and risks, and work with them to develop a plan that will help the individual manage symptoms while keeping a balanced diet.



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