fodmap

The FODMAP DIET

So the new IBS-friendly diet plan at the minute is the Low FODMAP Diet. This is a scientific and clinical research diet based on the amounts of different sugar and fibre types found in foods. FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat and FODMAPs is an acronym for:

Fermentable
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS))
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose)
Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
and
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)

Its extremely interesting to me as it didn’t exist when I was learning about what not and what to eat. Basically you eat the low FODMAP foods and either avoid the high FODMAP foods or bring them into your diet with caution. My main criticism with this diet is that it concentrates on the sugar content of the food but does NOT educate about the soluble/insoluble fibre content as well. For me there are many foods on the list which are said to be low FODMAPs and therefore safe to eat – for example most Leafy Greens are low FODMAP – but I know if I was to eat these on an empty stomach especially if my gut was unstable that these foods would likely give me the runs. Similarly they ban all wheat, barley and rye which I don’t think all IBS sufferers are intolerant too.

Nevertheless low FODMAPs is an eating plan worth considering and if you learn my soluble/insoluble fibre FIASS concept first, then you can easily navigate which low FODMAPs to eat and how to treat the others with caution.

WHAT is FODMAP all about?

fodmaps list

Patsy Catsos – Quick Glance FODMAP List

The term ‘FODMAP’ was coined by Australian researchers Susan J. Shepherd and Peter R. Gibson. In studies at Monash University, they and their colleagues Jane Muir and Jacqueline Barrett found that a low-FODMAP diet helped 75-85% of their IBS patients experience significant, sustainable relief of their IBS symptoms. A low-FODMAP diet avoids foods containing certain sugars and certain fibers capable of causing diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and abdominal pain in people with IBS. Examples of FODMAPs include:

Lactose (also known as milk sugar; found in milk, yogurt and ice cream)
Fructose (also known as fruit sugar; found in fruit, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and agave syrup)
Sorbitol, mannitol, and other “-ol” sweeteners (also known as sugar alcohols; found in certain fruits and vegetables as well as some types of sugar-free gums and candies)
Fructans (a type of fiber found in wheat, onions, garlic and chicory root)
GOS (a type of fiber found in beans, hummus and soy milk)

These five types of FODMAPs have several things in common: They can be poorly absorbed during the digestive process. They are rapidly fermented by the bacteria that live in your gut. They are capable of pulling fluid into the gut in a process called osmosis. The increased fluid load, along with the type and amount of gas produced, cause distension and motility changes, leading to bouts of IBS symptoms. Symptoms are often delayed until hours after eating a high FODMAP meal or snack, because it takes time for FODMAPs to make their way through the stomach and into the intestines, where the effects occur. By reducing the overall dietary load of these carbohydrates, troublesome GI symptoms can be minimized or eliminated.

I’ve taken the above information from two sources Sue Sheppard and Patsy Catsos and you can out more about them and see what you think at their websites below:

Sue Shepherd Foods

Shepherd Foods

IBS Free At Last – Patsy Catsos

You can also download a handy app which lists all the FODMAP food types. Its really easy to use and I have been referring to it quite a lot as it rates foods with a ‘traffic light system’ so you know the friendly foods as they are ‘green for go’. It also breaks the foods down into portions sizes which can alter its traffic light status. Monash FODMAP App.