You must have read about the FODMAP diet while scrolling through the internet. The diet comes to the rescue for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The diet is a temporary eating plan that comes with certain restrictions and loads of benefits.
Want to know more about the FODMAP diet? Be with us!
1. What Is FODMAP?
2. Who Can Follow FODMAP Diet?
3. Foods To Avoid On FODMAP Diet
4. Steps To Follow On FODMAP Diet
5. What Are The Benefits Of The FODMAP Diet?
6. Dietitian’s Recommendation
7. The Final Say
FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohol found in the foods we consume.
FODMAPs are the sugars that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, make gas and attract water in the large intestine, causing abdominal pain, digestive distress and bloating. Strictly following the diet for at least 6-10 weeks or depending on the patient's response, slowly relieves the symptoms and can help heal the body faster.
According to the National Institutitute of Nutrition, “Those who have IBS, IBD and SIBO benefit from this diet.” Anyone with digestive issues or wanting to discover items causing harm can use this as a short-time elimination diet.
The primary symptoms of SIBO, IBS and IBD are:
Here is a list of the FODMAP foods to avoid:
Cereals - Wheat, barley based-bread, biscuits and snacks.
Pulses And Meat - Kidney beans, lentils, baked beans, processed meats, soybean, black beans, chickpea, and split peas.
Fruits - Apple, apple juice, cherries, dried fruit, peach, canned fruits, watermelon melon and honey.
Vegetables - Broccoli, artichoke, okra, peas, garlic, mushroom, beetroot, cabbage and onion.
Beverages - Tea, dessert, wine, apple cider vinegar, fennel tea and fruit juices.
Milk And Its Products - Milk and its products like ice cream, custard, yoghurt, paneer, soya milk (made from the whole soybean) and sweet condensed milk.
Cereals - Rice, oats, corn flakes, rice cakes, quinoa, brown rice, maise etc.
Pulses - Sprouted beans
Non-veg - Eggs, tofu, tempeh, fish etc
Fruits - Grapes, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, blueberry, orange, pineapple.
Vegetables - Tomato, carrot, green bean, lettuce, ginger etc.
Milk And Its Products - Cream, ghee, whipped cream, parmesan cheese etc.
Beverages - Beer, black tea, coffee, green tea, red wine, white wine etc.
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The FODMAP diet includes three steps. These are:
Avoid FODMAP foods for around 4-8 weeks. However, you do not have to follow it for long but wherever you plan this diet, restrict it completely. It is necessary to consult a doctor or dietitian before getting started.
Slowly reintroduce them to see which ones are troublesome. Although its duration varies from person to person, it typically lasts 6–10 weeks.
Once you recognise the foods that cause symptoms, you can avoid them while enjoying everything else. Progressing to this final stage is essential to increase variety and flexibility in the diet. Moreover, these qualities are linked to improved long-term compliance, quality of life, and gut health.
With several restrictions, the FODMAP diet comes with benefits also. These are:
FODMAP diet helps with long-term reductions in IBS symptoms. For example, in one study, 57% of IBS sufferers experienced a satisfactory improvement in symptoms five years after the low FODMAP diet approach began.
Histamine is a powerful inflammatory signal and an immunological response. One clinical research found that a low FODMAP diet for three weeks (21 days) led to an eight-fold reduction in urine histamine.
One study found that those with IBS who followed a low-FODMAP diet reported feeling less anxious, depressed, and exhausted. They also reported less dysphoria and had a better perception of their bodies.
FODMAPs feed the gut bacteria. Hence cutting back on them is anticipated to slow bacterial development and manage SIBO(Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).
Most studies found that a low FODMAP diet reduced or eliminated the most distressing gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, discomfort, gas, and loose stools.
Most people with IBS benefit from a low FODMAP diet in the short and long term. It also enhances the quality of life, reduces inflammation, and may be superior to traditional IBS dietary recommendations. However, a dietitian with experience in digestive issues should be consulted to ensure nutritional adequacy and avoid potential imbalances.
-Dietitian Vajeda Rehman
Not everyone with IBS adopts the FODMAP diet. It is challenging and could take up to eight weeks to yield results. However, it effectively decreases the symptoms of IBS in patients. Remember, if you have anaemia, a rectal bleeding problem, celiac disease or cancer, then kindly consult experts.
1. Is the Fodmap diet worth it?
A low FODMAP diet is effective in people with IBS, but not all. Research shows that around 50% to 80% of sufferers will experience an improvement in IBS symptoms during the first phase of the diet, leaving 20-50% of people who will not respond.
2. Who benefits from a Low FODMAP diet?
The most significant known benefit of the low-FODMAP diet is its relief for people with IBS. Most of the research on the diet is about IBS symptoms. A 2011 study published by Monash University found that 76% of IBS patients reported improved symptoms on a diet restricting high-FODMAP foods.
3. Are eggs allowed in a Low FODMAP Diet?
Eggs are on the list of foods you are allowed to have on a low FODMAP diet. They help because they are rich in proteins and nutrients and very low in fermentable carbohydrates.
4. Is the FODMAP diet suitable for everyone?
It is not suggested for individuals without IBS. However, it is not appropriate for every individual with IBS as well.
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