What is low FODMAP?
Clinical studies show that about 75% of people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome experience a significant improvement in their symptoms through a low FODMAP diet.
To find out what FODMAPs are and how to follow a low FODMAP diet, read on...
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates found in many common foods, such as wheat, onions, garlic and milk. In people with irritable bowel syndrome, these are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and enter the large intestine undigested. Note that galactooligossaccharides, fructans, sorbitol, mannitol and also large amounts of lactose and fructose are generally not or only incompletely absorbed by the small intestine; regardless of whether irritable bowel syndrome is present or not. In the large intestine they are broken down by bacteria or ferment. In patients with IBS these type of foods can lead to symptoms such as recurring abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, flatulence, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
Researchers at Monash University in Australia have shown through clinical trials that a low FODMAP diet can significantly reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Since then, several clinical studies worldwide have confirmed this result.
Where do I start?
Monash University has tested many foods for their FODMAP content and publishes these results in a database that is also available as a mobile app. For a single meal to be low FODMAP, the FODMAP content of all its ingredients together must remain low enough to not trigger IBS symptoms.
If you suffer from IBS or IBS-like symptoms, we recommend you consult a dietician or nutritionist well versed with this diet. You may not need to eat only low FODMAP foods for the rest of your life. This diet is usually implemented in three stages described below.
In the first stage, that can last from two to four weeks, you eliminate all high FODMAP foods and observe if doing so relieves your symptoms. If you benefit from the elimination of high FODMAP foods, you move on to the next stage of reintroduction. If you see no improvement, you need to try another remedial course with your health practitioner.
At this point you know that reducing the FODMAP content of your diet improves your symptoms. However, different individuals have different levels of tolerance for each FODMAP type. Hence, over the course of six weeks, you reintroduce each FODMAP type in your diet and observe its effects. At the end of six weeks you should be able to find out FODMAP foods that you can digest well and those that you cannot.
Finally, you create your individual dietary plan based on your experience of the first two stages of a low FODMAP diet. You eliminate or reduce the foods that trigger your symptoms and continue with everything else, including the FODMAP foods that you were successful in re-incorporating in the second stage.
Froyda can help
We know that a low FODMAP diet can be challenging and time-consuming to implement. At Froyda, our mission is to make this diet much easier with our offer of low FODMAP certified ready meals - delicious, nutritionally balanced and plant-based. Give them a try!
Monash University certified trademarks are used under license in the European Union by Froyda. One serving of a meal made in accordance with a Monash University approved recipe is low in FODMAPs and can assist with following the Monash University Low FODMAP diet™.