What is a low FODMAP diet?

What is a low FODMAP diet?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols and is a diet protocol used to treat IBS-like symptoms. If you have symptoms related to IBS, including digestion issues resulting in bloating, gas, stomach pain, or diarrhea and constipation, trying a low FODMAP diet may be helpful. While low FODMAP diets are not necessarily gluten free, they do remove wheat, barley, and rye, and some dairy products, because the type of carbohydrates in these foods are difficult to digest for the IBS sufferer. Other foods high in FODMAPs include onions, garlic, artichokes, asparagus, apples, cherries, pears, and peaches.

fodmap

Garlic bulbs from Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

It’s common for people to be misdiagnosed with IBS rather than Celiac disease, due to the similarity of symptoms. However, it should be noted that IBS and Celiac disease often do go hand in hand, so you might be dealing with both. If you’ve tried either a low FODMAP diet or a gluten free diet and still have gastrointestinal issues, you may want to try a low FODMAP diet that is also gluten free to see if this improves your symptoms.

Note that there are risks associated with a low FODMAP diet. By limiting high FODMAP foods, you’ll be greatly reducing your consuption of prebiotics. If prebiotics (the substances that help promote growth of good gut bacteria in your gut) are removed from your diet, this could cause an imbalance of bacteria in your digestion. For this reason, a low FODMAP diet should only be used in cases to treat adult IBS symptoms, with supervision by a health professional recommended.

fodmap

Red cabbage from Leonie Vreden on Unsplash

There are some specific foods that contain prebiotics that are also low in FODMAPs, which can help supplement prebiotics. Some examples of these foods include buckwheat, unripe bananas, red cabbage, and kiwi. There are tons of creative low FODMAP and gluten free recipes, and a low FODMAP diet can be surprisingly easy to accommodate if you’re already familiar with gluten free cooking.

Gluten free and low FODMAP recipes:

fodmap

Rhubarb frangipane tart from She Can't Eat What

fodmap

Buttermilk fried chicken from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea

fodmap

Pineapple coconut bars from Rachel Paul's Food

fodmap

Vanilla buckwheat pancakes from Our Nourishing Table

fodmap

Zucchini hummus from Strands of My Life

fodmap

Iced Buns from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea

fodmap

Lemon poppyseed madeleines from Gluten Free Stories

* Title image courtesy of Martin Adams via Unsplash.

- Further Reading -