Fodmap. Say what?! What the Heck is a FODMAP?

what the heck is a fodmap?

Whether we want to or not, we hear a lot of nutrition and diet-related buzz words every single day — Flexitarian. Low carb. Raw vegan. Paleo. Gluten-free. And maybe more recently, low FODMAP.

If you haven’t heard much about FODMAPs yet, I guarantee you soon will. Many people are finding that FODMAPs, not gluten (unless diagnosed with celiac disease), are often the culprit to many digestive woes.

Although the low FODMAP diet approach is a relatively new diet concept pioneered by Australian dietitian, Sue Shepherd, and other members of the Monash University research team, medical professionals and people with irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms are raving about how the low FODMAP diet is helping “fix” often unpleasant symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

Who doesn’t love that?

So,

What the Heck is a Fodmap?

Well, FODMAP is short for:

Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols

I know. What a mouthful?!

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, or FODMAPs, are certain kinds of carbohydrates that can contribute to not-so-fun things like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain for some people, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These digestive issues usually occur when too many FODMAPs are consumed.

Now, not everyone appears to be affected by FODMAPs; but, if you have IBS, mysterious bloating, or err, um, irregular bathroom habits (and have met with a doctor to rule out any other serious medical conditions) limiting the amount of high FODMAP-containing foods in your diet could help!

SO, WHERE ARE THESE FODMAP THINGS?

Foods with high amounts of FODMAPs can be classified into four main groups and are based on the amount of the respective FODMAP carbohydrate they contain.

The FODMAP groups are lactose, fructose, oligos and polyols. You may have heard of lactose and fructose, they’re generally found in milk products and fruit, respectively.

The other two FODMAP groups, oligos and polyols, may be a little more foreign-sounding and, unfortunately, the foods where these FODMAPs are found don’t fall neatly into specific food groups, like fructose (fruit) and lactose (milk products).

Without going into too much detail, because this is just an overview, oligos and polyols can be found in foods such as certain grains (often, and coincidentally, containing gluten), fruits with pits (like avocados, nectarines, peaches, and cherries), onions, garlic, nuts, legumes, and a bunch of other random foods.

Because no two people are exactly alike and not everyone reacts to the same type or amount of FODMAPs, a low FODMAP experiment is the best way to find out if, and which, FODMAPs affect you!

FUN WITHOUT FODMAPS?

A successful low FODMAP experiment can be tricky to navigate. I’ve created F w/o F to help make the process just a little bit easier. Here on F w/o F you will find easy and delicious low FODMAP recipes, meal ideas, and resources for having fun without FODMAPs.

About Fun Without Fodmaps

Disclaimer: The information included on FUN WITHOUT FODMAPS is intended for education and enjoyment purposes only. Information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before altering your diet, changing your exercise regimen, starting any new lifestyle changes or modifying an existing treatment plan. 

I love olives, bacon and puppies (in no particular order) and hate feeling like crap because of certain foods. By day, I help people as a supermarket dietitian. By night, I create easy and fun, low fodmap recipes for you (and me)! :)

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