FODMAP is an acronym that refers to a short chain of carbohydrates which are not absorbed properly into the small intestine. However, for most individuals, the symptoms are not even noticeable. Hence, for those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), a good FODMAP diet plan is crucial in their everyday lives.
What Does FODMAP Mean?
FODMAPs are present in almost every kind of food we eat. The acronym consists of different names of complex molecules that affect the digestive tract:
- Oligosaccharides, commonly found in vegetables – particularly onions
- Disaccharides, present in milk or any other lactose products
- Monosaccharides, which represents the simplest form of sugar
- Polyols, which are sugar alcohols present in peaches, plums and sugar-free sweets
Individuals that suffer from IBS have a lower tolerance towards FODMAPs and may experience severe symptoms. This is due to the fact that FODMAPs pass through the small intestine and into the large intestine without being properly absorbed. By doing so, the foods enter a state of fermentation that leads to abdominal pain, bloating or even constipation.
What is a FODMAP Diet?
FODMAP diet is a list of foods that are either low in FODMAPs or do not contain them at all. It is very important to understand that those who suffer from IBS should consult a dietitian before anything else. It is possible that some of your daily use products may contain high levels of FODMAPs. Therefore, only a professional will be able to put together a diet plan to suit your needs.
The FODMAP Diet consists of two phases:
- Phase one involves eliminating all the products that are high in FODMAPs from your diet for 4 to 6 weeks. Consequently, the dietitian will eliminate such products and replace them in order to keep a balanced diet. Next, the symptoms response are noted. This concludes the first phase.
- Phase two means that all research has been previously made and it is safe to move on. The foods that were initially restricted will be gradually reintroduced into the individual’s diet. As a result, the dietitian can determine which type and how much FODMAP a patient can tolerate. The results are observed and all the products that can be comfortably tolerated are identified by a professional. As a result, the dietitian can put together a long-term diet plan for the patient.
The outcome of this two-stage process is the minimization of IBS type symptoms. Therefore, people suffering from IBS will gradually tolerate an increased variety of foods in an individualized eating plan.
FODMAP Diet List
There is a wide variety of products and ingredients that are safe to consume, even if you suffer from a digestive condition. Nonetheless, doctors do not recommend self-medication. To avoid any discomfort or potential dangers to your health, consulting with a professional dietitian is a must. He will be able to provide a chart that contains everything safe to eat as well as low in FODMAPs.
This is a list of products they can safely use in their daily meals:
- Fruits: banana, orange, grapes, mandarin, apples, blueberries, cranberries, lemons, lime, passion fruit, papaya, pineapple, raspberry
- Vegetables: broccoli, common cabbage, green pepper, ginger, olives, potato, pumpkin, baby spinach, green beans, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, canned tomato, zucchini
- Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes: beef, chicken, lamb, pork, prosciutto, turkey
- Fish and Seafood: canned tuna, cod, trout, salmon, crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, prawns
- Cereal, Grains, Bread, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes: gluten free bread, wheat free bread, corn bread, oat bread, rice bread, almonds, corn flakes, chestnuts, mixed nuts, rice cakes, rice crackers, pretzels, quinoa, popcorn, polenta
- Dairy: butter, cheese, cheddar, cottage, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs, margarine, soy protein, tofu, whipped cream, yoghurt (lactose-free)
- Drinks: tea, water, soy milk, instant coffee
- Cooking ingredients: gelatin, lard, salt, icing sugar, cocoa powder
- Condiments, dips and sweets: marmalade, wasabi, soy sauce, peanut butter, fish sauce, mustard, barbecue sauce, chocolate
FODMAP Foods List Available for Smartphones
The Monash University in Australia has the best knowledge on FODMAPs and their effect on the human body. This is due to the fact that the concept of FODMAP itself was developed through research at this particular University.
Two main characters played important parts in creating a smartphone application for those suffering from IBS. One of them was the Director of Gastroenterology at the Alfred Hospital, Professor Peter Gibson. Along with the Head of Translational Nutrition Science at Monash University, Dr. Jane Muir, they led a group of researchers that were tasked with measuring the majority of FODMAPs in food.
The application is available for both Android and iOS. It lists a variety of foods and ingredients and displays the level of FODMAPs present in every one. As a result, this proves to be extremely helpful for those who suffer from IBS whenever going shopping or dining in town with friends.
FODMAP Elimination Diet
The FODMAP elimination diet represents the first phase in creating a well-balanced diet for those who suffer from IBS. Most noteworthy is the fact that the FODMAP elimination diet is not a list or a plan. It represents a process. The FODMAP diet plan consists of two phases: first, you take out some ingredients and then you put them back into the diet. FODMAP elimination diet refers to the process of slowly eliminating FODMAP foods from your diet. This process may last for several weeks.
FODMAP Diet Recipes
Suffering from IBS does not mean that you should throw out your cookbook. Nonetheless, there is still a wide variety of tasty and exquisite meals you can still enjoy.
If you`re looking for a quick snack, you could choose to delight yourself with some oven baked eggs and chips. Just take some potatoes, clean them and then cut into chunky wedges. Roast them for 25 minutes. You can add olive oil, paprika for seasoning and halved tomatoes. With the wedges form a triangle and place the eggs inside. Bake everything in the oven for 6 or 8 minutes, and you’re all set.
Dietitians also recommend a gluten free diet for those who display IBS symptoms. As a result, the gluten free carrot cake is the perfect treat. It requires some cooking skills, but in the end it will be worth the effort.
For those struggling with IBS, good news is on the way! There aren’t just quick snacks and gluten free cakes out there. More impressive recipes are available in order for you to experience everything the culinary world has to offer. Among these recipes, there is:
- Baked sea bass with lemon caper dressing
- Pineapple and ginger pavlova
- Chocolate crunch and raspberry pots
- Summer-in-winter chicken
- Bacon & Brie omelette wedges with summer salad
These are some examples of meals that do not need a superhuman level of skill. However, if everything else fails, the perfect scrambled eggs is always there for you.
Suffering from IBS does not necessarily mean one can no longer enjoy life or food anymore. Specialist dietitians are able to deliver a complete diet plan rich in nutrients that do not come short on taste either. Also, the FODMAP diet manages to combine great taste with a healthy lifestyle and no discomfort.
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