What is a Low FODMAP diet?

A Low FODMAP diet is a kind of elimination diet where Low FODMAP foods are consumed and High FODMAP foods are restricted. FODMAP are a type of carbohydrate, it is short for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Main food sources of FODMAP include, but are not limited to: wheat, apples and onions.

In what cases is a low FODMAP diet used?

Low FODMAP diets are mainly used in conditions of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is mainly due to the fact that these types of carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the bowel and often cause gas, bloating pain and other gastrointestinal problems.

How does one go on a low FODMAP diet?

Following a low FODMAP diet involves two phases. The first phase lasts around six to eight weeks, and it involves removing high FODMAP foods from the diet. After this period, one can gradually start adding one food at a time and monitor symptoms and tolerance. A specific food is added on 2 different days of the week. A new food is added each week and a standard serving size is consumed. The aim is to include as many foods as possible while staying symptom -free.

What foods are considered high FODMAP?

There is an extensive list of high FODMAP foods. The main fruits and vegetables include asparagus, onion, cauliflower, apples, apricots, cherries, blackberries, dates, figs, mangoes, peach, pear, plums, prunes, and watermelon. Breads and cereals foods include wheat bran, multigrain, pumpernickel, raisin bread, rye bread, barley couscous and buckwheat. It also includes beans, falafel, hummus, cashews, pistachios, milk, jam, and honey.  It is worth mentioning that sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol found mainly in sugar free gum and candy also need to be avoided.

What foods are considered low FODMAP?

Low FODMAP foods are cabbage, carrots, cucumber, eggplant, kale, lettuce, okra, olives, potatoes, zucchini, banana, clementine, dragon fruit, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, raspberry, rice, quinoa, rice cakes, lactose free milk, mozzarella, cheddar, camembert, brie and feta cheese. Meat, chicken, fish, and seafood. But also, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, peanut butter along with different types of fats and oils (butter, margarine, mayonnaise, olive oil, canola oil, etc…)

What are the side effects of following a Low FODMAP diet?

Following a low FODMAP diet for a long period of time can cause a low level of certain nutrients, as it can be very restrictive. Another side effects includes a decrease in the healthy gut bacteria. It can also be challenging to include enough fibre in the diet. For this reason, it is important to include low FODMAP fruits and vegetables daily.


When on a Low FODMAP diet, do I also need to go on a Gluten Free Diet?

No, Gluten is not a FODMAP, and you do not need to go on a gluten free diet. Only people who have celiac disease need to follow a gluten free diet. Keep in mind that many gluten- free foods are also considered to be Low FODMAP. Check with your dietitian for specific foods.

Is a Low FODMAP diet guaranteed to relieve my symptoms?

Not necessarily, a Low FODMAP diet does include healthy options, however, is it not guaranteed to improve gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies show that 1 in 4 people do not see any improvement.

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