The Simple Scoop on FODMAPs
If you’ve got chronic tummy troubles—abdominal pain, irregularity, gas, and even food-related mood swings—there may be some good news. A few changes to your diet might make a huge difference. An approach known as the Low FODMAP Diet is gaining in popularity and, in some studies, has been shown to improve gut symptoms in as much as 75 percent of patients.
Representing a group of dietary sugars, the acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
What Are FODMAPs?
Representing a group of dietary sugars, the acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. They are found in foods like dairy products, certain fruits, sweeteners, fibrous vegetables and sugar alcohols. Essentially, they’re short-chain carbohydrates that aren’t fully absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore can be easily fermented by gut bacteria; plus they exert an osmotic effect, pulling fluid into the large bowel. Ultimately this fermentation and osmosis can cause gas, pain and diarrhea.
Who Should Avoid FODMAPs?
If you suffer from chronic gut symptoms, you might discover dramatic relief avoiding FODMAPs; but getting to the actual root of your tummy issues should be part of the process too. Whether it’s an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine or a lack of digestive enzymes that is causing the FODMAPs to ferment should be determined with the help of a health practitioner. In the meantime, if you want to explore whether cutting out FODMAPs makes a difference for you, check out this comprehensive FODMAP list and give it a try.