Do you suffer from IBS? If so, you know how painful the gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal symptoms can be. Not to mention IBS can take over your life. Luckily, there’s a diet that helps many people with IBS feel better – the low FODMAP diet. In this post, I’ll explain what the low FODMAP diet is, what foods to eat and what not to eat, and how you can start feeling better today!
What is the FODMAP Diet?
A FODMAP diet temporarily eliminates certain carbohydrates that are high in FODMAPs. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. That’s quite a mouthful, right?
In a nutshell, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly digested or absorbed in the digestive tract. As a result, water gets pulled into the small intestine, leading to diarrhea and fermentation in the large intestine, which causes gas and bloating. Other common IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, and constipation.
The low-FODMAP diet, developed and studied by researchers at Monash University in Australia, has provided symptom relief in up to 75% of IBS patients who try it. (1)
Should I Try a low FODMAP diet?
If you have been diagnosed with IBS and your physician has suggested you try a low FODMAP diet, then, yes, you should! Most of my clients with irritable bowel syndrome feel significantly better after following a low FODMAP diet.
Important! Please consult with your physician or qualified healthcare provider before starting a low FODMAP or another elimination diet, especially if you have/have had an eating disorder, have undesired weight loss, or are pregnant or nursing.
Review this shortlist of high-fodmap foods you will temporarily take out of your diet.
- Certain dairy products, including milk and ice cream.
- Some vegetables and fruit such as apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cherries, garlic, onions, peaches, and more.
- Most beans and legumes.
- Some nuts, including cashews and pistachio nuts.
- Certain sweeteners like honey, agave, and high-fructose corn syrup.
What can I eat on a Low FODMAP diet?
Although a Low FODMAP diet may seem restrictive at first, there’s still a wide variety of low fodmap foods you CAN eat from all food groups.
Here’s a shortlist of low-FODMAP foods
- Fruit: Most berries, citrus fruit & melon, grapes, kiwi, & more.
- Vegetables: Bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, leafy greens, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, & more.
- Grains: Corn, oats, quinoa, rice, & more.
- Nuts/Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, & more.
- Legumes: Peanuts, firm tofu, and canned/rinsed/drained garbanzo beans and lentils.
- Dairy: Hard cheeses, lactose-free milk, lactose-free yogurt, & more.
- Herbs & Spices: Almost all. Read More: Spice It Up! 70+ Ways to Flavor Your Low FODMAP Diet
- Eggs/Fish/Meat/Oils: All since FODMAPs are only found in carbohydrate containing foods.
If you’ve visited other websites and have noticed a discrepancy between high/low FODMAP food lists, this is likely because foods are continuously being tested and updated for FODMAP content. For the most complete & up-to-date list, I highly recommend The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App.
FAQs About the Low FODMAP Diet
Phases of the low FODMAP diet
- Elimination. The first step is to follow a low FODMAP elimination diet for 2-6 weeks. Most of my clients take ~ 4 weeks on the elimination phase.
- Reintroduction. After you’ve been on a low FODMAP diet for four weeks and are (hopefully!) starting to feel better, it’s important to try and start reintroducing higher FODMAP foods into your diet. In my experience, it’s imperative to move slowly through the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP diet. If you rush through this phase, you may find it very difficult to determine your personal FODMAP tolerance.
- Personalization. I LOVE working with my clients on this phase of the FODMAP diet, as this is where we focus on long-term gut and overall health that keeps you energized, well-nourished, and feeling great!
Let’s Chat! Do you have any questions about the low FODMAP diet for IBS? Leave a comment or contact me. I’m here to help! And, if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it. Thank you so much for your support!