What is a Low FODMAP Diet?
Put simply, FODMAPs refers to certain sugars known to trigger digestive problems.
The acronym stands for:
- Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel
- Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain
- Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule
- Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single sugar molecule
- And Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however, they don’t lead to intoxication!)
A low FODMAP diet, or FODMAP elimination diet, refers to a temporary eating pattern that has a very low amount of these sugar compounds. The aim of this diet is to eliminate digestive symptoms by eliminating all FODMAPs, then reintroducing them gradually to see what’s triggering the symptoms.
This diet can be beneficial for managing symptoms for people who have gastrointestinal disorders such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (FGID)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Certain auto-immune conditions
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Other health issues triggered by certain foods.
Low FODMAP diet is a first-line treatment
Research in this area still has a way to go, but scientific consensus is that a low FODMAP diet should be the first dietary approach for treatment of recurrent gastrointestinal issues.
Most of the research has been on patients with IBS, which is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Around two thirds of IBS patients report their symptoms are related to food.
In one landmark study, almost 9 out of every 10 people on the FODMAP diet had huge improvements in bloating, stomach pain, flatulence and their overall symptoms. Another high quality study found IBS symptoms were reduced by 50% overall on the low FODMAP diet, with the greatest improvements observed one week after implementing the diet (1, 2).
More on FODMAPs
All articles about FODMAP Diet
Many are interested in how to nourish the gut microbiome, particularly if you’re on a low FODMAP diet.
Several foods which are important for maintaining a healthy microbiome are restricted on this diet.
In this article, we will look at how you can optimize your gut microbiome and still adhere to the low FODMAP diet.
If you’ve been advised to follow a FODMAP elimination diet, a low FODMAP food list can make your life much easier.
Below, we’ve organized a comprehensive list of both foods to enjoy and foods to avoid when following a low FODMAP diet.
Many people use protein powders for a variety of reasons, such as weight management or to help meet their protein requirements.
It is not necessary to use a protein powder on the low FODMAP diet, however if you choose to use one, then this article will help you to find one that is safe.
[Last updated 14th August, 2018]
Are you stuck for low FODMAP lunch ideas?
We’ve rounded up 25 tasty low FODMAP lunch recipes that will help keep you on track.
Click the recipe title for the full recipe ingredients and cooking method.[Discover More…]
[Last updated 10th April, 2020]
Following an elimination diet is hard.
But doing so as a vegetarian or vegan is even harder.
The good news is that you can definitely follow the low FODMAP diet if you don’t eat animal products.
Here’s a round-up of 30 low FODMAP vegetarian and vegan recipes to help you plan your low FODMAP meals.
[Last updated 14th August, 2018]
Looking for some delicious low FODMAP dinner ideas?
We’ve rounded up 30 tasty low FODMAP dinner recipes to keep your tummy settled and your taste buds happy.
Recipes are categorized under chicken, beef, lamb, pork, fish and seafood, and vegetarian recipes.
Click the recipe picture or name for the full recipe ingredients and method.