What is the FODMAP Diet?

The term FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.

FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates characterised by being relatively indigestible and with slow absorption in the gut.

FODMAPs are osmotically active, which means that they have the ability to cause retention of water in the gut, hence causing the symptoms of abdominal distension and bloatedness. FODMAPs also undergo fermentation by gut bacteria, leading to gas formation and the symptoms of bloatedness and frequent belching and passing of gas from the bottom.

Avoidance of FODMAPs have been advocated as a treatment for the following conditions:

    1. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other Functional bowel problems
    2. IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
    3. Celiac disease

The various food groups that are high in FODMAP are listed in the table below:

 

Fermentable
Oligo-saccharide

Garlic
Onion
Spring onion (the white part)
Wheat (found in flour)
Barley
Rye (found in flour)
Pistachio nuts
Cashew nuts
Legumes:
   • Peas
   • Chickpeas (found in Dal)
   • Soya beans
   • Peanuts
   • Lentils (found in Dal)
Beetroot
Artichokes
Fennel


Di-saccharides

Lactose: (milk sugar)
   • Milk (including creamers added to tea/coffee)
   • Yoghurt
   • Custard
Ice cream


Mono-saccharides

Fructose: (fruit sugar)
   • Apple
   • Pear
   • Watermelon
   • Mango
   • Cherry
   • Honey
Corn syrup (high fructose content)


And
Polyols

Artificial sweeteners: (found in sweets, chewing sum and confectionery)
   • Sorbitol
   • Mannitol
   • Xylitol
   • Isomalt
Cauliflower
Mushrooms
Apple
Pear
Peach
Plum
Apricot and Nectarine
Watermelon     


It is important to note that high FODMAP foods form an important and essential part of our diet. With that in mind, the advice is to observe for any flares in the disease with a particular food rather than to do a blanket avoidance of all the high FODMAP foods. If in doubt, please contact your specialist or a dietician.

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