If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably seen the term “low FODMAP”. “What the heck is that?,” you mentally ask. It is essentially a diet for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders.
FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-,Mono-saccharides And Polyols. According to Wikipedia, FODMAP occurs naturally in food. They are a short chain of carbohydrates that aren’t easily absorbed in the small intestine.
Oligosaccharides includes food such as wheat, rye, and onions. Disaccharides include milk, cheese, and yogurt. Monosaccharides are foods with fructose like mangoes, cherries and honey. Polyols includes low calorie sweeteners, apple juice, and fruits such as apples, blackberries, and plums.
The low FODMAP Diet was developed by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
In Nikki’s case, when she was diagnosed with IBS, she was put on medication. She wasn’t able to eat dairy, mayonnaise based dishes such as pasta or potato salad or raw vegetables. Several years after her diagnosis, she was told to cut out gluten, dairy, and soy completely. This is when she was put on a low FODMAP diet. She was given a list of high FODMAP foods (foods that trigger symptoms) and low FODMAP food (foods that she can have). As she began implementing the low FODMAP diet, she discovered other foods that triggered her not on the list. She still is unable to eat dairy but, can eat certain types of salad based foods & certain raw vegetables (she is also still gluten- and soy-free).
Eating high FODMAP foods can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, gas pains, bloating, nausea, heartburn, and indigestion. You can understand why you’d want to skip these foods and beverages. Nikki had to give up a lot of things she loved, but the pain isn’t worth it.
This is Monash Univeristy’s list of high and low FODMAP foods and beverages.
According to Monash University, the diet begins with high restrictions and then moves to relaxed diet where foods can be reintroduced gradually.
For Nikki, she has not been able to reintroduce these foods and beverages back into her diet as they still cause symptoms.
All of the recipes that are posted on GFS are low FODMAP. It can be a lot to know what you can and can’t consume. Here are a few recipes that you might enjoy: pancakes, lasagna, pizza, pumpkin cupcakes, and nice cream.
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Disclaimer: if you think you can benefit from a low FODMAP diet, do not start it without consulting your physician.