What is a FODMAP diet?
The FODMAP diet , is the diet that works to improve symptoms of irritable bowel, problems with intestinal transit, abdominal bloating and flatulence. This diet is also recommended when a person has SIBO or bacterial overgrowth . In this case, it should be done throughout the treatment with the relevant antibiotics.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.
The diet low in FODMAPs urges you to eat a diet without these compounds, that is, it is actually a diet free of or without FODMAP foods.
These fermentable substances are simple or complex carbohydrates found in food, although not all carbohydrates or sugars are fermentable and are categorized within the FODMAP list.
What foods should be avoided or reduced on a FODMAP diet?
The vegetables that tend to feel worse and that we recommend avoiding are: artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic, leeks, onion, peas, green beans, fennel, beets, mushrooms and other mushrooms.
Within this list of fermentable carbohydrates, and that therefore we should avoid eating, there are:
- Fructose: found in fruit, honey and syrups.
- Lactose : in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Fructans : found in wheat, garlic, onion, artichoke, peas, asparagus, leeks, chicory, and foods that contain inulin fiber.
- Galactans : in legumes (including soybeans).
- Polyols : present in sweeteners with isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol and stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc.
These sugars cause an increase in water in the intestine through osmosis, they may not be digested or absorbed correctly and supercharge the bacteria of the intestinal microbiota that ferment them. When this happens, discomfort such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, abdominal bloating, and stomach pricks can occur. If you suffer from some of these symptoms, a low-FODMAP diet can help reduce them. It is a diet indicated for irritable bowel syndrome and for inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease .
In this diet you should also limit fiber intake as much as possible. Fiber, for example from whole grains, is an indigestible substance that can cause the same symptoms.
It is recommended to also avoid products that contain gluten, although it is not essential to be strict at this point since eliminating wheat will greatly reduce the intake of gluten from the diet.
What foods can be eaten on a diet low in FODMAPs?
It is recommended to choose cereals that are gluten-free and the lowest in gluten.
The most recommended cereals are:
As for vegetables, start with cooked vegetables. Once you tolerate them, you add raw vegetable garnishes.
The most advisable fruits in the diet are:
- Passion fruit
Eat without problem meat, fish and eggs . Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts should be tested in each case to assess individual tolerance. Its consumption should be moderate.
You can take small amounts of lactose-free or low-lactose dairy.
As for vegetables and fruits rich in FODMAP, it is advisable to limit them to a small garnish the size of a tennis ball. Eating this small size 2 times a day is better tolerated than taking a larger quantity all at once.
In the case of constipation during the weeks that the diet is followed you can introduce oats , which is low in FODMAP but provides fiber. You also have to increase your water consumption.
Many doubts often arise when it comes to eating out and preparing a suitable menu. In this article we leave you a series of ideas and menus for a FODMAP diet.
How long should the low-FODMAP diet be followed?
It is recommended to follow it for 6 weeks . When the symptoms have disappeared it is time to reintroduce food. I recommend doing it little by little and recording everything you eat and the symptoms you suffer. In this way, it will be easier to identify if there is a food that is poorly tolerated and that, therefore, should be excluded for a longer time or permanently from the diet.
Example of low FODMAP diet
Coffee or tea with brown sugar.
Lactose-free almond milk or cow’s milk.
Round zucchini stuffed with white rice, spinach and red pepper. You can add a little Parmesan cheese on top and gratin.
Grilled fresh tuna.
Fresh fruit salad: papaya, pineapple and grapes.
Corn fajita with chicken, lettuce, tomato, carrot and olives.
The advice of a dietitian – nutritionist is essential to, firstly, detect in which cases this type of diet is indicated and, secondly, correctly plan a diet low in FODMAP and the subsequent reintroduction of food.