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What are FODMAPs?

Here's What You Need to Know About FODMAPs: The Acronym of Digestive Woes


If you've got an irritable digestive tract, FODMAPs are definitely something you want to avoid. Put simply, they're the type of carbohydrate that can cause bloating and gas — or even worse symptoms. Let's take a look.

What Are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym to spell out Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. The term in itself is almost like a mnemonic device to help you remember what NOT to eat.

Specifically, FODMAPs are fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, and polyols. Those broad categories cover a lot of different foods.

FODMAPs can trigger symptoms of IBS. Fermentation can cause gas, and their osmotic properties (water attracting) can alter how quickly the bowels move. What does that mean? Gassiness and bloating, distention, abdominal pain, and/or constipation and diarrhea. In other words, zero fun for your tummy.

Which Foods Have FODMAPs?

Unfortunately, FODMAPs are found in many fruits, vegetables, wheat and rye products, dairy, processed meats, and sweeteners. Some examples of high-FODMAP foods are:

  • Apples
  • Mangoes
  • Pears
  • Watermelons
  • Avocados
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Prunes
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Ricotta Cheese

Since it can be a challenge (if not impossible) to remember everything you can't eat on a low-FODMAP diet, there are charts online. You can read this comprehensive list of what to avoid on a low-FODMAP diet to better navigate the dos and don'ts.

Is a Low-FODMAP Diet Right For You?

If you've been suffering from digestive issues or have been diagnosed with IBS, it might be time to look into a low-FODMAP diet. Does everything you eat seem to make your stomach inflate? Try eliminating these foods for a few weeks, and see how you feel (but as always, check in with your doctor!).

That being said, if you haven't dealt with any digestion issues, this is not the diet for you. The low-FODMAP diet is helpful for those who need it, but it eliminates truly nutritious foods that are part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Glen Giffen
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