A friend recently suggested the low FODMAP diet to help with my digestive issues. I am wondering what FODMAPs are and how to avoid them?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols.
For some people, eating foods that contain FODMAPs can cause a lot of digestive issues because they lack the enzymes and gut bacteria to properly digest them. Not fully digesting FODMAPs results in their fermentation - causing gas, discomfort, diarrhea, constipation and other symptoms of digestive distress.
Sources of FODMAPs include a variety of common digestive culprits like lactose and wheat, as well as unsuspecting foods like garlic, onions, apples, cauliflower, and cashews.
Following a low FODMAP diet can seem a little bit intimidating at first, it is helpful to work with a nutritionist. And it is only meant to be followed for a few weeks to help control symptoms while the root cause of not being able to digest them is addressed.
SIBO, dysbiosis or other gut imbalances need to be addressed so that higher FODMAP foods may eventually be reintroduced. Following a low FODMAP diet longterm can lead to nutrient deficiencies since it restricts many healthy, whole foods.
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist specializing in vegan diets.