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FODMAPs are short-chained carbohydrates (mostly sugars) that are both fermentable and poorly absorbed in the gut.
The Acronym stands for:
Fermentable – Oligosaccharides – Disaccharides – Monosaccharides – And – Polyols
Some individuals have difficulty breaking down some FODMAP FOODS and absorbing them in their small intestine (which is where the majority nutrient absorption takes place). When they are not absorbed properly, this semi-digested food travels to the lower intestine and gets eaten up by the bacteria that resides there which can cause all sorts of digestive havoc such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation.
Common FODMAP’s include:
- Fructose: A simple sugar found in many fruits and vegetables that also makes up the structure of table sugar and most added sugars.
- Lactose: A carbohydrate found in dairy products like milk.
- Fructans: Found in many foods, including grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.
- Galactans: Found in large amounts in legumes.
- Polyols: Sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol. They are found in some fruits and vegetables and often used as sweeteners.
Some people experience tremendous relief from digestive issues when eliminating certain FODMAP’s from their diet. However, many discover that they may be sensitive to some FODMAPS, but not necessarily to all.
For some people, it is a matter of how much of that particular food they can tolerate before digestive distress occurs. The only way to know for sure, is to eliminate FODMAP’s for approximately 2 weeks. After you have gone without the digestive distress for at least 7 days, it is time to test each food individually.
It’s best to start with a small serving the first day. The second day, try a medium sized serving and the next day, a larger serving. Using this method, you can find out if your body is able to tolerate small amounts of that particular food. After testing that particular food, wait until any digestive symptoms have abated and then test the next food. Note: If any food causes digestive distress, discontinue testing and consider one of your FODMAP sensitive foods.
Here is a list of some common foods that are high in FODMAPs
- Brussel Sprouts
- Broccolini (not Broccoli)
- Green peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Juices that contain these fruits above
- Dried fruit
- Canned Fruit
DAIRY & MILK
- Cow’s milk
- Ice cream
- Soy milk
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Soft Cheeses such as cream cheese, ricotta etc, cottage cheese etc.(not including ripened/mature cheese like Brie)
- Sour cream
- Most Beans & Lentils
- High fructose corn syrup
NUTS & SEEDS
This list is not exhaustive. There are foods not listed here that are also HIGH in FODMAPs. Again as mentioned above everyone is different. You may tolerate some foods on the list above and not for others.
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