What is FODMAPs?
For the best information I’ve found available on the internet, check out Sue Shepherd’s Shepherd Works site. There are info sheets on Fructose Malabsorption and Low FODMAP diet which explain things way better than I can.
I’ll try to provide a brief summary of the information from the Sue Shepherd website. Fructose malabsorption occurs when your body can’t absorb fructose normally (through the lower bowel). Fructose malabsorption can cause symptoms of stomach bloating, wind, stomach pain, loose bowel motions and / or constipation. Fructose is a sugar found in many foods including honey, wheat, fruits and vegetables.
Dietary strategies to assist with minimising symptoms include
- Avoid foods that contain excess fructose
- Avoid dietary sources of fructans
- Reduce the fructose load
FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym for
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans)
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose)Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)
Where are FODMAPs found?
A few examples of food sources for each of the FODMAPs are listed below.
- Excess Fructose: Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids
- Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Asparagus, Beetroot, Chicory, Dandelion leaves, Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Raddicio lettuce, Spring Onion (white part), Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.
- Lactose: Milk, icecream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, margarine, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone).
- Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas
- Polyols: Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Longon, Lychee, Nectarines, Pears , Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, Sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and Isomalt (953).
So, you can see that there are some basic staples, such as onion, fruit and loads of vegetables, that need to be reduced or excluded from a low FODMAP diet. For me, wheat and rye are already out of my diet, as well as large amounts of lactose. I can see already that following this eating plan will make it very difficult to eat out, as most foods cooked in restaurants and cafes would have onion or onion powder used in a stock or sauce. I foresee lots of grilled or steamed chicken and vegetables, rice, sushi etc.