The Low Fodmap Diet

The Low Fodmap Diet, developed by Monash University researchers, limits food that has been shown to irritate the gut and cause symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

What are Fodmaps?

Fodmaps are a group of short-chain carbohydrates or sugar molecules found naturally in a variety of daily food, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and milk products. When we eat, food passes along our digestive tract, which in turn gets broken down into smaller molecules and absorbed. It has been identified that these short-chain carbohydrates or sugar molecules aren’t broken down or absorbed properly, as such they continue down into the large intestine where they get fermented by the bacteria in our gut and cause bloating, cramps and excess wind. Certain Fodmaps can also pull water into the small and large intestine which change how fast our bowel moves.

What does FODMAP stand for?

Fermentable

Short chain carbohydrates that are not absorbed properly in the small intestine and get fermented in the large intestine.

Oligosaccharides

Fructans and Galactans.
E.g. wheat, rye, garlic and legumes/pulses.

Disaccharides

Lactose.
E.g. milk, soft cheese and yogurts.

Monosaccharides

Excess fructose.
E.g. honey, apples, juice and high fructose corn syrups.

And

Polyols

Sorbitol & Mannitol.
E.g. fruit, vegetables and some artificially sweetened products.

The Low Fodmap Diet

The Low Fodmap Diet is not recommended to follow forever. It is intended to use as a diagnostic tool to help identify an individual’s dietary triggers for their IBS symptoms. The diet begins with a 2-6 week period of strict Low Fodmap Diet – the Elimination phase, and then transitions to the Re-challenge phase where different Fodmap containing food is gradually re-introduced to assess your tolerance level. Once personal triggers are identified, individuals can modify their long term diet to allow enjoyment of food while still managing their IBS symptoms.

The Low Fodmap Diet is complex and can be confusing. It is recommended by Monash University that the Low Fodmap Diet is best followed under the supervision of a qualified dietitian who is experienced in this specialised area.

How a dietitian could help you

  • Tailor the Low Fodmap diet to meet your needs, while ensuring your diet remains nutritionally adequate
  • Assist you to identify other possible triggers that could aggravate the symptoms
  • Guide you through the different phases of the Low Fodmap Diet
  • Help you to develop a long term food plan that could minimise IBS symptoms, while optimising your gut health

 


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