What the FODMAP!?!

What the FODMAP!?!

"What's FODMAP?"

This is a pretty common response when you tell people you have FODMAP intolerance. 

The scientific answer: they're a group of carbohydrates that can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea/constipation (fun!).

FODMAP is an acronym for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides (Fructans & Galacto-oligosaccharides)
  • Disaccharides (Lactose)
  • Monosaccharides (Excess Fructose)
  • ‘and’
  • Polyols (Sorbitol & Mannitol)

We usually respond: "FODMAPs are components of some foods that give you tummy troubles when you're intolerant to them".

What foods have FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are annoyingly complicated and, particularly when you're starting out,  they seem to be in everything...

There are more commonly known culprits like onion, garlic, wheat, apples, honey, dates and milk. But there are also random curve balls like watermelon, asparagus, cauliflower, beans, avocado, mushrooms? And then it gets even more complicated when you consider things like broccoli, which depends on which part of it you're eating (FYI heads = OK, stalks = bad).

Do you have to eliminate all the FODMAPs?

Everyone's sensitivities are different and this is what the FODMAP elimination diet is designed to unpack. Basically, it involves eliminating all FODMAPs from your diet (elimination phase), then re-introducing specific foods that only contain 1 of the FODMAPs to see if you react (reintroduction phase).

Examples:

  • Drink ½-1 glass of milk for up to 5 days in a row: if your symptoms worsen = probably intolerant to Lactose
  • Eat 2-4 slices of regular bread on alternating days for up to 7 days: if your symptoms worsen = probably intolerant to Fructans

Embarking on this strange new "diet" can be a bit daunting so we recommend signing up for the FODMAP Challenge

How do you stick to the low FODMAP diet?

Once you've figured out what FODMAPs you're intolerant to, things start to get a bit easier. First thing you must do is download the Monash FODMAP app. It's pricey but it's 100% worth it. Literally, you will check this app every single day! 

One of the best features is the ability to filter foods according to your sensitivity. 

monash fodmap app

And then... it will tell you which foods to avoid using the traffic light system! (ie. green is good to go, red will make your tummy explode).

monash low fodmap app food guide

Are Fodbods safe to eat on the low FODMAP diet?

When you see the FODMAP Friendly and the Monash FODMAP logos, you know that the food has been laboratory tested ad certified to be low in all the FODMAP’s. 

No label inspection required - regardless of which FODMAP you're intolerant to, eating one serving of a certified food shouldn't cause any issues. 

Fodbods have been certified as low FODMAP for in one bar serves. 

fodbods fodmap friendly certification

How do you know if you're intolerant to FODMAPs?

Approximately 1/5 people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Of those people, 75% improve when they follow the low FODMAP diet. Symptoms vary between people but here are some common ones to look out for.

1. You're often bloated or have tummy aches

When you're intolerant to FODMAPs, they're not absorbed properly in the intestine, which causes bloating and stomach muscle spasms. 

2. Eating healthy food makes you feel worse

Anyone who thinks following a low FODMAP diet is to lose weight clearly has no idea. FODMAPs are found in more healthy foods (vegetables, fruits, grains) than unhealthy ones (chocolate, cheese, meat, oil). 

3. You're struggling to identify the culprit

You often feel sick after meals but you have no idea why! FODMAPs are in so many different foods and they aren't so commonly known like gluten and lactose are. 

4. Your toilet trips are not so regular

You frequently need to rush to the toilet with diarrhoea or you struggle with constipation. FODMAP intolerance affects everyone differently so either of these may be an indicator. 

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