BonCalme

The FODMAP Diet

About the Diet

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I am a Certified Nutritionist Consultant with the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy and have received training in the Low-FODMAP Diet Training Programâ„¢ and can give you the tools that will educate and empower you on your wellness journey.  Learn more by visiting my Nutritional Coaching page.

The Low-FODMAP diet and the restriction of certain carbs helps reduce the fermentation process and symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)  and other Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGID) for about 75% of patients.  The low-FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne by Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd.

FODMAPs is an acronym used to describe short-chain carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. 

Research has shown that for some people with sensitive guts, FODMAPs can trigger symptoms when they are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and then fermented in the large intestine when bacteria have a feast and trigger symptoms of IBS such as: gas, bloating, distention, constipation (IBS-C), diarrhea (IBS-D) or an alternation between IBS-C and IBS-D.

FODMAPs stand for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides – are short chains of carbohydrate molecules linked together including Fructans, a chain of fructose molecules and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) a chain of galactose molecules.
    • Some Examples: Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Spring Onion (white part), Shallots, Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Barley (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.  Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas.  
  • Disaccharides – are two carbohydrate molecules linked together including Lactose (composed of glucose and galactose), the sugar found in milk and dairy products.  
    • Some Examples: Milk, ice cream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yogurt, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone). 
  • Monosaccharides – are single carbohydrate molecules including Fructose, the sugar found in many fruits and some vegetables.  It does not require any digestion before it is absorbed. When foods containing equal amounts of fructose and glucose are eaten, glucose helps fructose to be completely absorbed.  However, when fructose is present in greater quantities than glucose, fructose absorption depends upon the activity of sugar transporters located in the intestinal wall. The ability to absorb excess fructose varies from person to person. In people with fructose malabsorption, the capacity of sugar transporters is limited and excess fructose travels to the colon where fermentation occurs.  
    • Some Examples: Honey, Apples, Mangos, Pears, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), asparagus, artichokes and sugar snap peas.
  • And
  • Polyols – are a type of carbohydrate that humans can only partially digest and absorb in the small intestine.  
    • Some Examples:Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, as well as Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Maltitol (all end in ‘ol) and Isomalt, used in sugar-free products like candy, flavored jam and jelly spreads, baked goods and baking mixes, chewing gum and cough drops as well as diet products.  Sugar alcohols mimic the sweetness of sucrose (table sugar), however, because their absorption is much slower, only a small amount of what is eaten is actually absorbed. 

Why Low-FODMAP?

Many people go years experiencing painful, embarrassing and life-altering symptoms, and they never find a solution.  Often times as well, people are just given medications, misdiagnosed by doctors or told that their symptoms are not real, or all “in their head.”  Sure if you have IBS or other FGIDs, stress is often said to play a part but IBS is a condition that should be taken seriously by anyone.  It is not a life-threatening syndrome but it can adversely affect overall health and your quality of life.  Make stress relief a part of your everyday life,  and also take your diet into consideration and learn about how FODMAPs may improve your life and your mood.  Certified Nutritionists or Registered Dietitians, specializing in the low-FODMAP diet and digestive health can step in and help with diet and stress.

Of course working with your doctor is necessary as he or she can give you a proper diagnosis and clearance in order to utilize the low-FODMAP diet.  You will also want to ask for: 1) blood work to rule out celiac disease 2) a hydrogen breath test (HBT test) – to see if you have a fructose, lactose or polyol absorption problem 3) with an HBT test your doctor will also help you rule out SIBO.

Please be sure to download my free Infographics and Smart Fact Sheets, read my blogs, check out the Grocery List and several other pages and helpful resources I have put together for you.  

Visit my Nutritional Coaching page to learn more about how I can help you.  Please contact me if you have any questions.  I respond to every single email, and I receive many, so please be patient if I do not respond immediately.

Healthy regards,

Colleen Francioli