Also known as Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols, FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and ferment in the gut. As a result, FODMAP foods can disrupt digestive processes, triggering symptoms of IBS. Identifying and reducing these FODMAP triggers through a low FODMAP diet approach has been shown to help alleviate IBS symptoms by 70%.
The low FODMAP diet is only meant to be followed short term. You follow 3 principal stages, through which FODMAP triggers can be identified and reduced. The low FODMAP diet is complex and often best done with dietitian support. If you are looking for dietitian support please book in with one of our registered dietitians to guide and support you.
Low FODMAP Diet for IBS:
Stage 1: Elimination stage involves the elimination of all high FODMAP foods for a short-term period of 4-6 weeks. This stage is not a long term solution, but rather helps settle the gut before the reintroduction stage to help identify triggers.
If you’re struggling with the elimination phase you can check out our low FODMAP cookbook.
Stage 2: Reintroduction stage involves a reintroduction of high FODMAP foods one FODMAP group at a time, paired with tracking symptoms after each reintroduction. By taking a sequential approach with attention to symptoms, the reintroduction phase can help identify FODMAP foods. Reintroduction helps to identify FODMAP foods that trigger IBS symptoms in an individual, allowing for these foods to be reduced in a long-term diet. This stage is very important as it will help determine how much of a food your body can tolerate. Working with a dietitian can help to identify not old your trigger foods but also your threshold for these triggers.
Stage 3: The final avoidance stage involves integrating information gained from the previous stage to design a long-term and sustainable nutritional plan that aims to reduce IBS symptoms by reducing or eliminating FODMAP triggers when possible.
While the traditional low FODMAP diet involves the elimination of all high FODMAP foods, the FODMAP gentle approach is also an emerging Low FODMAP diet variation that focuses on eliminating only the highest FODMAP foods shown to trigger symptoms in most individuals (i.e. pulses, fruit juices, apples, mango, dried fruits, honey/agave, wheat, barley, rye, dairy milk, soft cheese, garlic, onion, leek, mushrooms, etc.).
Because the typical elimination phase can increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies, Gentle FODMAP may be a more suitable approach for children who are still growing, those at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies, recovering from or impacted by disordered eating, or for whom a limited diet would prove more disadvantageous. If you have a child or have a history of an eating disorder it is strongly encouraged you work with a registered dietitian. Our team of dietitians can support you on this journey!
FODMAP testing is conducted primarily by Monash University, who adds and updates FODMAP information regularly. Foods recently deemed high in FODMAPs include soy milk made with whole soybeans due to their high galactan content, sugar snap peas (high in polyols), dried fruit (high in fructans), processed meats which may contain high FODMAP ingredients like garlic sausages (high in fructans), sweet corn (high in polyols), and dessert wines (high in fructose).
Meanwhile, foods recently ruled as low FODMAP include dark chocolates (50%+), brie and camembert cheese, soy milk made from soy protein, sourdough spelt bread, and most nuts and seeds excluding pistachios and cashews.
Apps, Cookbooks & Websites to help while following the Low FODMAP Diet
- Monash University FODMAP Diet App
- Fodmap Friendly
- Low FODMAP Cookbook