FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (or sugars) found in certain foods. FODMAPs pull water into the intestine, are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, and are rapidly fermentable by bacteria to form gas. These events eventually cause intestinal distention and in patients with certain functional gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome, functional bloating), can produce symptoms such as visible abdominal distention, bloating, gas, altered bowel habits, and sometimes pain.
People with FGID have symptoms triggered by their intestines’ response to distention (due to a hypersensitivity, excessive gas production, or motility problems). It’s important to understand that FODMAPs are not the cause of the underlying functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID).
Rather than to “cure,” a low FODMAP diet is intended to reduce symptoms caused by intestinal distention.
Eliminate all high FODMAP foods for 6-8 weeks. You should notice an improvement in your symptoms after about 1 week of a low FODMAP diet. After 6-8 weeks, try adding a small amount of one high FODMAP food back into your diet every 4 days. Notice if a particular food causes your symptoms to return. If it does, then label this as one of your “triggers” to your symptoms and limit intake of that food.
Remember when reintroducing a high FODMAP food back into the diet, limit the serving sizes to about ½ cup per meal (or 1-2 tablespoons for things like honey, nuts, seeds). This rule applies even to a low FODMAP food as symptoms can be related to eating large portion sizes.
- Fruit - including banana, berries, cantaloupe, durian, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, rhubarb, rockmelon, strawberry, tangerine, tangelo
- Vegetables -alfalfa sprouts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bell peppers, bok choy, chives, choko, choy sum, cucumbers, carrots, celery, corn, eggplant, green beans, herbs, lettuce, leafy greens, parsnip, pumpkin, potatoes, silverbeet, spinach, squash, yams, tomatoes, water chestnuts, zucchini
- Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes - beef, chicken, canned tuna, eggs, fish, lamb, pork, shellfish, turkey, cold cuts, tofu, peanuts
- Dairy - lactose-free dairy, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, half and half, cream cheese, hard cheeses (e.g., blue, brie, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss), sorbet, gelato, greek yogurt
- Grains - brown rice, corn, oats, quinoa. Wheat-free/gluten-free: bagels, breads, cereals, crackers, noodles, pasta, quinoa, pancakes, pretzels, rice, tapioca, tortilla, waffles
- Beverages – low FODMAP fruit/vegetables juices (limit to ½ cup at a time), coffee, tea
- Seasonings, condiments - most spices/herbs, homemade broth, butter, canola oil, chives, flaxseed, garlic-infused oil, garlic powder, olives, margarine, mayonnaise, onion powder, olive oil, pepper, salt, sugar, maple syrup without high fructose corn syrup, mustard, low FODMAP salad dressings, soy sauce, small amounts of marinara sauce, vinegar, balsamic vinegar
- Nuts, seeds - 10-15 max or 1-2 tablespoons: almonds, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
- Alcohol - limit to one serving: wine, beer, vodka, gin
- Fruit - apples, applesauce, apricots, cherries, dates, figs, guava, longon, lychee, mango, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, persimmon, rambutan, sugar snap peas, watermelon, canned fruit, dried fruit, large amount of any fruit
- Vegetables - artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beetroot, leeks, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, green beans, mushrooms, okra, onion, snow peas, shallots, summer squash
- Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes - foods made with high FODMAP fruit sauces of high fructose corn syrup. Chickpeas, edamame, hummus, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soy
- Dairy - buttermilk, chocolate, cottage cheese, ice creams, creamy/cheesy sauces, milk (cow, sheep, goat), sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, sour cream, soft cheeses (e.g., ricotta, cottage, marscapone), sherbet, whipping cream
- Grains - barley, chicory root, inulin, tortillas, rye, spelt, wheat
- Beverages - any with high fructose corn syrup, high FODMAP fruit/vegetables, fortified wines (sherry, port)
- Seasonings, condiments - high fructose corn syrup, agave, chutneys, coconut, garlic, honey, jams, jellies, molasses, onions, pickle, relish, artificial sweeteners (sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, maltitol, and others ending in ‘-ol’)
- Nuts, seeds - Cashews, pistachios
- Alcohol - rum