FODMAP refers to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
These molecular food groups are commonly found in a large variety of foods. These food molecules are not properly absorbed in the small intestine and continue through the digestive track to the large intestine as a bacteria, which then ferments. Suffers can experience gastro-intestinal symptoms such as bloating, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea and changes in bowel movements.
Fermentable Oligosaccharides (fructans and/or galactans) are carbohydrates characterized by the simple sugars they contain.
Fructose or fruit sugar, is a natural occurring simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables and honey. How well you absorb fructose depends partly on the amount of other sugars such as glucose, sucrose (table sugar) and sorbitol in the foods that you eat. Foods with excess fructose compared with glucose will likely trigger symptoms.
Fructans are made up of chains of fructose. They are found naturally in some vegetables (onion and garlic) and wheat based foods (breads, cereals and pasta). They are completely malabsorbed because the intestine lacks an enzyme to break the fructose-fructose bonds. On a food label, fructans are often called fructo-oligosaccharides or inulin and are often added to foods such as yogurt and bread.
Galactans are made up of chains of the sugar galactose, and are malabsorbed for the same reason as fructans. They are found in legumes such as kidney beans, chick peas and lentils and also found in some vegetables such as onions and peas.
Disaccharides meaning 2 sugars are carbohydrates found in most common and encountered sugars, including sucrose (table sugar) and lactose, the discomfort-causing sugar in milk. They are also called simple sugars, or simplest carbohydrate called Monosaccharides such as glucose (Blood Sugar) – the immediate source of energy and the body’s primary fuel source, galactose – the sugar component of lactose from dairy and fructose – the sugars from fruits.
A disaccharide is when two monosaccharides are joined together and a molecule of water is removed also known as known as dehydration synthesis or condensation reaction.
Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols, are low-digestible sugar replacers or sugar-free sweeteners, they are carbohydrates but they are not sugars.
Following the Low FODMAP Diet includes eliminating food groups that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and limiting food groups that are only partly absorbed by the small intestine.
The Low FODMAP Diet is somewhat restrictive but can provide adequate nutrients with careful planning. Your dietitian can ensure that restricted foods are replaced with suitable alternatives. Your dietitian can also advise on the need and suitability of vitamin and mineral supplements.
For people suffering from lactose intolerance, meeting calcium and vitamin D requirements used to be difficult. With the availability of lactose free dairy products, it is much easier to consume adequate calcium by choosing sufficient lactose-free milk; lactose free or low lactose cheeses; enriched rice milk; spinach; and canned salmon.
There are plenty of online help and references along with plenty of examples of diets you can follow but your doctor and dietitian will advise whether a low FODMAP diet is recommended for you and this is advised before you start.
Monash Medical The Low FODMAP Diet
Monash Medical Diet and IBS
Monash Medical Low FODMAP Diet FAQsGesa – Gastroenterological Society of Australia Information PDF’s
Gesa – Gastroenterological Society of Australia
Some Examples of Low Fodmap Foods
Bread, Pasta and Rice
Gluten Free bread
Gluten Free pasta
Gluten Free cornflakes
Enriched rice milk
Lactose free milk
Lactose free yogurt
Low Lactose cheeses
Snacks, Nuts and Seeds
Almonds (minimal amount)
Gluten Free biscuits