Low FODMAP Diet for Naturally Better Digestion

If you are someone who suffers from IBS or issues with gas and bloating, a low FODMAP diet may be your key to better digestion.  
 
What are FODMAPS? 
FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest1. When they are eaten often or in large amounts, they can cause issues like gas, bloating and constipation. This is because the undigested sugars become food for bacteria in your gut. These bacteria can then change your bowel function. You can reduce these symptoms naturally by temporarily removing these foods from your diet. 
 
What are High FODMAP Foods? 
The F in FODMAP stands for Fermentable2. That means these carbohydrates cause gas when broken down by gut bacteria. The other letters describe the following categories: 
Oligosaccharides – found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic and beans 
Disaccharides – found in milk and milk products 
Monosaccharides – fructose, found in honey and many fruits 
Polyols – found in fruits, vegetables and sweeteners like sorbitol and mannitol  
FODMAPs are present in all food groups; fruits, vegetables, grains and starches. Some common high FODMAP foods are onions, garlic, apples, legumes, wheat products, cow’s milk, and processed sugary foods3.  
 
How Do I Follow a Low FODMAP Diet? 
First, assess your diet for any high FODMAP foods and cut them out for at least one week, some people may need up to six weeks1. You can use a list of low FODMAP foods to find some temporary replacements3.   
 
Once your digestive system is feeling better, you can add these foods back into your diet. Try adding food back in from each category of FODMAP separately with 3 days in between each food. This will allow you to determine whether or not they are triggers for digestive upset. It is best to do this under the guidance of a knowledgeable dietitian.  
 
It is important to remember that following a low FODMAP diet does not mean cutting these foods out forever. It is about learning what foods affect you the most and then eating what works in moderation. 
 
 
Following a low FODMAP diet can help your gut digestion get back to a healthy state. If you think a low FODMAP diet may be right for you, set up a nutrition appointment at Bastyr Center for Natural Health or Bastyr University Clinic for more guidance. Our team of experienced dietitians and students can help you to come up with a personalized plan and get you feeling like your healthiest self!   
 
Written by Bastyr University dietetic intern Taylor Leahy. She believes that food plays an important role in our health and is a valuable part of integrative and functional medicine.  
 
Sources: 
Veloso, H. G., M.D. (n.d.). FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fodmap-diet-what-you-need-to-know  
King, K., MPH, RDN, CNSC, LD. (2020, August 10). What Is the Low FODMAP Diet. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.eatright.org/health/allergies-and-intolerances/food-intolerances-and-sensitivities/what-is-the-low-fodmap-diet  
High and low FODMAP foods. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/high-and-low-fodmap-foods/   
 

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