Low FODMAP Diet Plan: What to Eat and What to Avoid

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Sometimes a low FODMAP diet is recommended to those who experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Approximately 25-45 million people in the United States experience IBS, including children. The majority of people who experience IBS are under 50 years old. (source)  

It is thought that high FODMAP foods cause more inflammation and irritation in the bowel.

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What does FODMAP stand for?

Fermentable 

Oligosaccharides

Disaccharides

Monosaccharides

And 

Polyols

low fodmap egg dish

What does FODMAP mean?

Fermentable: These foods are not absorbed well into the body and are quickly fermented, thus causing gas, nausea, diarrhea, etc (source)

Oligosaccharides: The two groups of oligosaccharides are fructans and galactans. Some examples of fructans are wheat products, onions, garlic, artichokes and inulin. Galactans are found in lentils, chickpeas, broccoli, beans, brussel sprouts, and soy-based products.

Disaccharides: One of the most universal disaccharides is lactose. This is found in dairy products.

dairy foods: swiss cheese, milk, butter, yogurt

Monosaccharides: Fructose is a sugar that is found in fruit. Some items that are high in fructose include agave, honey, mangos, watermelon, sugar snap peas and high fructose corn syrup. 

Polyols: Polyols are specific to some fruits. These include cherries and nectarines, apples/pears, in vegetables such as mushrooms and cauliflower and in some sugar substitutes containing xylitol or sorbitol (source).

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome occurs in the large intestine. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can include cramping, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation. The cause of IBS is not fully understood however there may be some risk factors involved. These include genetics and issues such as infection, trauma, etc (source).

In a recent study, people with IBS reported poor quality of life, but it was improved with a low FODMAP diet. (source)

When should I follow a Low FODMAP Diet?

When following a low FODMAP diet, it is recommended to do so under supervision from a medical professional. They can offer specific guidance for foods to avoid and foods that are appropriate with this diet. 

Usually the diet will limit high FODMAP foods for 6-8 weeks, depending on the individual circumstances. After this time period, you will be directed to gradually reintroduce certain FODMAP foods into your regular diet. This will help determine which specific foods could be causing irritation. 

This diet is recommended to those with IBS. FODMAP foods are healthy for normal gut bacteria (source)

High FODMAP Foods to Avoid

High FODMAP Vegetables

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Artichoke
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Peas 
  • Beans

High FODMAP Grains/Nuts

Wheat containing items:

  • Biscuits
  • Bran Cereal
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Croissants
  • Muffins
  • Pasta
  • Pastries
  • Cashews

High FODMAP Fruits

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Banana (ripe)
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Watermelon

High FODMAP Meats

  • Chorizo
  • Sausages

High FODMAP Drinks

  • Beer
  • Fruit Juices (large quantities)
  • Rum
  • Sodas with high fructose corn syrup
  • Soy Milk
  • Sports Drinks
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Whey Protein

High FODMAP Dairy

  • Buttermilk
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Cream
  • Custard
  • Gelato
  • Ice Cream
  • Kefir
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
high FODMAP food to avoid graphic

Low FODMAP Food List

Low FODMAP Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Lettuce
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Green Beans
  • Tomato
  • Yam
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Radish
  • Olives
  • Corn
  • Bell Peppers
  • Okra
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Swiss Chard

Low FODMAP Grains/Nuts

  • Rice
  • Almonds
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Pretzels
  • Seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Popcorn
  • Walnuts

Low FODMAP Fruits

  • Bananas (unripe)
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Pineapple

Low FODMAP Meats/Protein

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Prosciutto
  • Cold Cuts
  • Seafood
  • Eggs

Low FODMAP Drinks

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol (limited)
  • Lemonade (limited)
  • Tea
  • Water

Low FODMAP Dairy

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sorbet (dairy free)
low FODMAP food list graphic

Note -There may be some overlap on these lists such as bananas – eating unripe banana classifies as low FODMAP while ripe banana is high FODMAP (source).

Sample Menu

Breakfast

Scrambled Eggs

Strawberries

Almond Milk

Lunch

Baked Fish

Brown Rice

Carrot Sticks

Dinner

Baked Chicken

Gluten Free Pasta 

Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce (no garlic, onion) 

½ cup broccoli (higher servings are high FODMAP)

Low FODMAP and Gluten Free

*Note: Low FODMAP diet does not mean that gluten must be entirely excluded, but most gluten free options are low FODMAP.

When consuming a gluten free diet, the products will naturally be lower in FODMAPs. A gluten free diet would most likely be recommended when diagnosed with Celiac Disease because this is a circumstance when gluten is eliminated to keep the gut healthy. With a low FODMAP diet, gluten is recommended in moderation to ease the bloating in the gut.

Once again, a low FODMAP diet is only recommended with those experiencing significant digestive issues. If an individual is healthy, a low FODMAP diet and a gluten free diet would not be recommended because this could cause some type of malnutrition and long term negative effects. (source)


Author

  • Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. As a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa enjoys helping clients in her private practice.

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