To understand the the FODMAP diet you first need to understand what FODMAPs are. These are found in the foods we eat that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine. This can cause bloating, gas pain, diarrhea and constipation which effects those most often that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
Simply put, FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that are indigestible or poorly absorbed by certain people.
Developed by Monash University researchers, the Low FODMAP DietTM limits foods that have been shown to aggravate the gut and cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms like intestinal bloating, gas and pain. These foods are high in a group of sugars called FODMAPs.
I highly recommend working with a dietitian when beginning the FODMAP diet as you will want guidance on the elimination and challenge phase of the plan. At first, it felt more like the “I’m starving diet” because during the Elimination Phase it was hard to figure out what was safe to eat. My go-to’s were no longer okay to eat so finding replacements was hard and frustrating. I leaned on my dietitian during this time to not only keep me motivated but also give suggestions and alternatives of what I could eat. Once I was ready for the Challenge Phase I had to slowly reintroduce each category of FODMAPs one at a time to see what I reacted to. Lucky for me, I reacted to almost everything but over time have been able to add more moderate and high FODMAP foods back in. The goal is not to permanently remove FODMAPs as these foods are typically healthy and good for you but instead abstain from the ones that are a trigger for each. Each person reacts differently depending on the FODMAP type. The silver lining: once I realized what I was able to eat safely, I started noticing my gastrointestinal symptoms reduce majorly.
The low FODMAP diet can seem overwhelming at first but I highly recommend staying positive and educating yourself.
Here are a few links that I found helpful:
A great 3 minute video by Monash that talks about the low FODMAP diet
Please let me know if you have any questions. You got this!