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FEELING BLOATED? HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TUMMY-FRIENDLY OR LOW-FODMAP DIET

FEELING BLOATED? HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TUMMY-FRIENDLY OR LOW-FODMAP DIET

 

FODMAPs(Fermentable Oligosaccharides , Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are carbohydrates that are found in many foods. Not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs.

A low-FODMAP diet limits foods high in fructose , oligos,lactose, fructose and polyols. FODMAPs are rapidly fermented by the bacteria living in your intestines. They pull more water into your gut, which can cause more gas to be produced. This results in bloating and distension, impacting the ways the muscles in your gut contract. As a result, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can experience gastrointestinal discomfort (such as diarrhea and constipation). This diet was first used in Europe during the 1950s for people with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. It was then forgotten for several decades then recently brought back into usage by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Today, it is used by anyone with chronic digestive dysbiosis including Crohn’s disease and those experiencing digestive upset when eating high-FODMAP foods.

You might have noticed that onions, garlic or apples give you gas and make you bloat, but you can eat them again if you repair your gut by restoring the digestive bacterial flora that helps to break down these sugars.

One of the redeeming qualities of this diet is that You can have many of the high -FODMAP foods in small amounts. For example, even though almonds are high in oligos, a handful of nuts (about 10 nuts)is still considered low in FODMAPs.

 

Low-FODMAP food list:

High FODMAP foods

Low FODMAP alternatives

Vegetables

Artichoke, asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, green peas, mushrooms, onion, sugar snap peas

Aubergine/eggplant, beans (green), bok choy, capsicum (bell pepper), carrot, cucumber, lettuce, potato, tomato, zucchini

Fruits

Apples, apple juice, cherries, dried fruit, mango, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon

Cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi fruit (green), mandarin, orange, pineapple, strawberries

Dairy & alternatives

Cow's milk, custard, evaporated milk, ice cream, soy milk (made from whole soybeans), sweetened condensed milk, yoghurt

Almond milk, brie/camembert cheese, feta cheese, hard cheeses, lactose-free milk, soy milk (made from soy protein)

Protein sources

Most legumes/pulses, some marinated meats/poultry/seafood, some processed meats(beware of potential high FODMAP ingredients added in the preparation of these foods such as breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, marinades and sauces/gravies)

Eggs, firm tofu, plain cooked meats/poultry/seafood, tempeh

Breads & cereals

Wheat/rye/barley based breads, breakfast cereals, biscuits and snack products

Corn flakes, oats, quinoa flakes, quinoa/rice/corn pasta, rice cakes (plain), sourdough spelt bread, wheat/rye/barley free breads

Sugars, sweeteners & confectionery

High fructose corn syrup, honey, sugar free confectionery

Dark chocolate, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, table sugar

Nuts & seeds

Cashews, pistachios

Macadamias, peanuts, pumpkin seeds/pepitas, walnuts

 

How many meals should you eat per day?

In line with general dietary guidelines, eating three main meals per day plus one or two snacks between meals if required is advised.

 

 

 

Should you follow this diet all your life?

The aim of the Low FODMAP Diet is to heal your gut and to reintroduce certain foods back into your diet over a controlled period of time. It is recommended that the Low FODMAP Diet is only followed for 2-6 weeks. Then your progress should be reviewed by your dietitian.

After the initial restrictive diet, many people are able to return to their usual eating habits, with just a few high FODMAP foods that need to be avoided in large amounts. Recent research has shown that following a strict low FODMAP diet in the longer term can reduce levels of certain beneficial bacteria in the gut. For this reason, we recommend your don’t follow an unnecessarily strict low FODMAP diet and to see a specialist dietitian for appropriate reintroduction of FODMAP-containing foods.

Could probiotics help?

There is some evidence that probiotics can help with IBS symptoms, but this may vary depending on which probiotic preparation is used. We recommend that you try one management strategy at a time; commence the low FODMAP diet first. If you have not achieved good symptom control after two to six weeks, consult with your dietitian. At this review-stage, you can discuss other management strategies and the possibility of introducing probiotics.

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