The Low FODMAP Diet
The low FODMAP diet is a 7 to 10 day treatment that is often effective for:
- Certain auto-immune conditions/diseases like (potentially) rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or eczema
- Fibromyalgia or other health issues that are triggered by certain foods
- Frequent migraines that appear to be triggered after certain meals
The low-FODMAP diet is thought to work by reducing fermentation in the gut. Fermentation happens when naturally-occurring gut bacteria break down certain foods, and produce gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane as by-products. In people who are susceptible, this fermentation process can trigger uncomfortable gut symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation.
It is less restrictive than the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).
FODMAP is an acronym for:
- Fermentable – fermentable foods (e.g., prebiotics)
- Oligosaccharides – Beans and various vegetables.
- Disaccharides – e.g., sucrose, lactose, etc.
- Monosaccharides – primarily fructose
- Polyols – these are sugar alcohols often used as sweeteners. Some examples are xylitol, maltitol, and erythritol
Foods to Eat on The Low FODMAP Diet
- Meats, Poultry, Eggs, Fish: Chicken, fish, eggs, pork, shellfish, turkey, beef, lamb, all other meats
- Vegetables: Cucumbers, carrots, celery, eggplant, lettuce, leafy greens, pumpkin, potatoes, squash, yams, tomatoes, zucchini, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, bok choy, bean sprouts, collards, spaghetti squash, olives, green beans, rutabaga, spinach, ginger root, radish, turnips, corn, mushrooms
- Fruit (limit to one serving daily): Bananas, berries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, rhubarb, passion fruit, kiwifruit, dragon fruit, papaya
- Dairy products (low lactose): Lactose free dairy, half and half, lactose free cream cheese, lactose free cottage, cheddar, parmesan, fermented yoghurt, dark chocolate
- Non-dairy alternatives: Almond milk, rice milk, nuts, nut butters, seeds, hemp milk
- Grains (wheat free): Wheat free grains and flours without a ton of fibre: breads, noodles, pasta, waffles, tortillas, pancakes, quinoa, rice, cream of rice, oats, sourdough bread, soba noodles
- Beverages: Coffee, tea, gin, vodka, wine, whiskey
- Seasonings/Condiments: Basil, cilantro, coriander, lemongrass, parsley, mint, sage, thyme, homemade bone broth, chives, flaxseed, margarine, mayonnaise, olive oil, pepper, salt, sugar, mustard, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, pure maple syrup, vanilla
The Low FODMAP Diet Excludes the following foods:
- Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, leaks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, shallots.
- Fruit: Apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, canned fruit, dates, dried fruits, figs, guava, mango, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, watermelon.
- Dairy products: Milk (from cows, goats and sheep), ice cream, most yogurts, sour cream, whipped cream, custard, soft and fresh cheeses (cottage, ricotta, etc).
- Non-dairy alternatives: Coconut cream, beans, hummus, pistachios, soy products, coconut milk, black eyed peas, fava beans, kidney beans
- Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans.
- Grains: wheat, barley, rye, bread, pasta, most breakfast cereals, tortillas, waffles, pancakes, crackers, biscuits.
- Beverages: Beer, rum, fortified wines, soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup, milk, soy milk, fruit juices.
- Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol.
Following the low FODMAP diet is a short-term treatment to reduce symptoms of IBS and SIBO. A lot of the excluded foods are very beneficial for feeding the good bacteria in your gut such as the vegetables, fruits and legumes. Also dairy products can boost levels of the good bacteria lactobacillus in the gut. Therefore I would not recommend continuing the diet in the long-term.
For more information on the low FODMAP diet, contact Kate for a free 15 minute discovery call.