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A Low FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know

A Low FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know

There’s a lot of hype these days about a low FODMAP diet, but what exactly is it? 

What is a Low FODMAP Diet?

FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, & Polyols) is an acronym that refers to specific carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by certain people, leading to issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea, & constipation.  A low FODMAP diet suggests limiting these types of carbs in order to encourage better digestion.

Is the FODMAP diet healthy?

If you struggle with certain food sensitivities or experience IBS-like symptoms, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, eating a low FODMAP diet may help lessen some of your discomfort. But to see if a FODMAP diet can help bring you digestive relief, you’ll need to do some experimentation to see which high FODMAP foods are troublesome.

How to eliminate FODMAP foods from your diet

Begin by identifying the high FODMAP foods in your diet. Then, do your best to completely eliminate them. If you start to notice your symptoms subsiding – which could take as little as two weeks or up to two months – slowly reintroduce one food at a time to assess whether or not each is a trigger food for you.

If you don’t notice a substantial improvement in your symptoms after the two-month mark, then it’s likely that a low FODMAP diet isn’t the best fit for you. 

What can you eat on a FODMAP diet?

Sticking to a FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be hard. In fact there are lots of things you can eat, including certain carbs. Even if you’re attempting to eat a more low FODMAP diet, you can still safely enjoy low FODMAP fruits, treats and low FODMAP juices to get your sweet fix. And once you get a handle on which foods work and don’t work for you, you can create a diet that’s perfectly suited to help your gut health.

What can you eat on a FODMAP diet?

If the FODMAP diet seems like it may be something you want to try, here are some low FODMAP foods that you can try to incorporate into your daily diet. 

  • Fruits – Avocado, banana (firm and small), blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, pomegranate (handful of seeds), lemon, lime, olives, oranges, papaya, plantains, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries

  • Vegetables – Arugula, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, corn, eggplant, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce, parsley, parsnip, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnut, zucchini

  • Grains – Amaranth, brown rice, bulgur wheat, oats, gluten-free products, quinoa

  • Dairy and alternatives – Almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, butter, hard or aged cheeses (ex. cheddar, parmesan or brie)

  • Nuts, seeds and legumes – Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds

What should you avoid on a FODMAP diet?

Trigger foods that you may want to avoid while on the FODMAP diet include high FODMAP foods such as:

  • Fruits – Apples, apricots, banana (ripe), blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, mango, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon, canned/dried fruit

  • Vegetables – Artichokes, Cauliflower, Garlic, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onion, Scallions, Snow Peas

  • Grains – Barley, couscous, farro, rye, semolina, wheat

  • Dairy and alternatives – Cow’s milk, buttermilk, cream, custard, ice cream, margarine, soft cheeses (ex. ricotta or cottage cheese), soy milk, yogurt

  • Nuts, seeds and legumes – Baked beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans, split peas

 

 

AUTHOR: Lisa Testa, Holistic Nutritionist, M.S.

BIO: Lisa Testa, M.S. is a Holistic Nutritionist in the New Jersey area and recently joined the team at Raw Generation. 14 years ago she went into practice with the desire to share her knowledge and excitement for healthy living with others in an innovative way. In 2005, she personally adopted a raw foods lifestyle after many years of struggling with weight issues and other stubborn ailments that were not helped through conventional means. Now 17 years later, Lisa still loves living her raw food lifestyle and using those principles to help others learn to include more fresh foods into their daily diets. She has had a tremendous amount of success with her clients following what she calls a "high-raw lifestyle" , improving overall health and reversing all types of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, IBS, arthritis, chronic skin disease, and a wide array of autoimmune disorders.

"My goal is and has always been to change the world, one person at a time. I strive to live what I teach, and to teach so effectively that healthy, vibrant living becomes contagious!"