The word "FODMAP" is an acronym (abbreviation) used to describe short chain carbohydrates and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine
F-is for fermentable (meaning the sugars in the carbs ferment in the large intestine which trigger the release of gas)
O-is for Oligosaccharides (meaning carbs made up of a 'few' sugars) These FODMAPs include the Fructans, fructooligosaccharides(FOS) and Galactooligosaccarides(GOS)
*Humans lack the enzymes to digest Oligos and so they will be malabsorbed in all of us. Hence the gassy effect of beans! Also found in stone fruits, watermelon, artichokes, garlic, onion, wheat, pistachios etc
D-is forDisaccharides (meaning carbs made up of two sugars or the milk sugar) Found in anything with lactose: milk, yogurt, ice cream and some cheese
M-is for monosaccharides (meaning carbs made up of excess fructose to glucose) *About one third of us malabsorb fructose. Found in apples, pears, cherries, asparagus, honey etc
A-is for and
P-is for Polyols (meaning sugar alcohols or sugars with an alcohol attached - sorbitol and mannitol) *Around half of us malabsorb Polyols. Found in prunes, cauliflower and many sugar substitutes - also including maltitol, xylitol, polydextrose and isomalt
If you have IBS, chronic bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain....the low FODMAP diet is scientifically proven to help.
HOW DO FODMAPS CAUSE SYMPTOMS?
FODMAPs (fermentable sugars) are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Many of these molecules arrive in the stomach into the small intestine but don't get absorbed, instead passing through to the large intestine causing distention and IBS symptoms. This occurs because they cannot be broken down or they are slow to be absorbed.
Many types of FODMAPs are usually present in any one meal, therefore their effects are cumulative. This means the degree of symptoms can depend on the total FODMAPs being consumed, not just the amount of one FODMAP e.g. (If you cannot digest lactose well and malabsorb fructose) eating foods containing lactose + fructose = greater symptoms
When purchasing packaged food
Look out for the FODMAP Friendly logo on packaged foods. If a food has the FODMAP Friendly logo, this means it has been laboratory tested to be low in FODMAPs. You can enjoy these foods without having to read the ingredients lists! Even if a food contains onion or garlic, it would be suitable if it has the logo, as the amount of onion or garlic present must be very small as the overall product has been tested and is low in FODMAPs.