The low-FODMAP diet is the only scientifically proven diet recommended by the NHS and worldwide to relieve the symptoms of stomach issues ranging from IBS to Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:
Fermentable – meaning they are quickly broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel
Oligosaccharides – fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) (wheat, onion, garlic, beans)
Disaccharides – lactose (milk, ice cream)
Monosaccharides – fructose (apples, pears, honey)
Polyols – sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and mannitol (mushrooms, apricots, gum, nori)
What does this diet do?
The idea is that eliminating certain foods will eliminate certain digestive discomforts. More complex carbohydrates and sugars require extra steps to breakdown before nutrients are absorbed. Carbohydrates enter the first stage of digestion in the mouth with mastication. The mouth actually secretes and enzyme called amylase that is specifically designed to breakdown carbohydrates. What isn’t fully broken-down (most carbohydrates) in the mouth is then assimilated in the small intestine. This is where much of the symptoms from IBS and IBD manifest themselves. The scientific theory on this is that eliminating some of the more challenging-to-break-down carbohydrates, or foods that instigate discomfort, can minimize/ eliminate symptoms. The foods that are believed to instigate problems are some fruits, nightshades, and complex carbs and sugars — poly and oligosaccharides. However, every body is different. If you were to try this diet, it’s important to start by eliminating all potential problem foods and then slowly add in certain foods, one at a time. E.g.: legumes, or fruits, or maple syrup. Some people are fine with legumes, some fruits, some people are unable consume raw fruit and veg.
Foods you can eat on the low FODMAP diet – just some of my staples:
Legend: O= oligosaccharide; P=polysaccharide; C= cellulose; saccarides= sugar.
Potential Trouble Foods
Highly Recommended Cookbooks for Digestive Health:
- Against All Grain by Danielle Walker. Website: http://againstallgrain.com/category/recipes/scd-recipes/
Walker has a SCD section (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) this diet is similar to FODMAPs, but FODMAPs is scientifically proven.
- Eat Well, Feel Well, by Kendall Conrad.
- Practical Paleo, By Diane Sanfilippo, BSc, NC. Website: www.balancedbites.com
- The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen, by Emma Hatcher (UK). Website: www.shecanteatwhat.com