FODMAPS 101, What? How? Why?
Low FODMAP Diet, Charlene Grosse FODMAP Dietitian Perth
Since 2005 a diet low in poorly absorbed short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, termed the low FODMAP diet, has been the focus of many research trials for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut disorders (Reference). So what are FODMAPs?
What are FODMAPs?
The acronym (abbreviation) FODMAP stands for
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galacto oligosaccharides (GOS))
Monosaccharides (excess fructose)
Polyols (Mannitol , Sorbitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)
Where are FODMAPs found?
FODMAPs are found in the foods we each. A few examples of food sources for each of the FODMAPs are listed below however the list is not complete. New data is becoming available all the time as foods are retested and new foods tested.
- Excess Fructose: Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Fructans: Garlic, Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Spring Onion (white part), Shallots, Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Barley (in large amounts), Inulin
- Lactose: Milk, icecream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, yoghurt
- Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas
- Polyols: Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and isomalt (953).
A Low FODMAP diet and IBS
A low FODMAP diet is now used worldwide as a key management for people suffering with IBS. For many years it was believed that FODMAPs caused IBS symptoms only in the large bowel however recent research has shown that FODMAPs can also have an effect in the small bowel. FODMAPs can cause gut symptoms by the fermentation of these sugars by gut bacteria causing wind, bloating, distension and/or constipation to occur. They can also have an osmotic effect pulling water through the bowel resulting in diarrhoea and the urgency to use your bowels.