FODMAP Diet: The Beginner’s Guide

Comments Off on FODMAP Diet: The Beginner’s Guide | November 22, 2015

fodmap diet diagram

What is the FODMAP diet? FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate found in your food. They are common in the modern western diet and are found in foods such as bread, beans, apples, and blackberries. The problem with FODMAPs is that they are poorly absorbed by the small intestine, and studies have shown that a reduced FODMAP diet can help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in both children and adults.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

According to the IFFGD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects 25 to 45 million people in the United States alone and 10% to 25% of the entire world population. At the current world population that means there are 730 million people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome! So, if you suffer from IBS you are not alone! In a recent study, it was shown that a low FODMAP diet can reduce symptoms for up to 75% of people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Let’s break down who is most likely to be affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There was a great study from December 2015 that dives into the types of people who are affected by IBS.

  • Only 30% of people who suffer from IBS will actually reach out to a doctor for treatment. That means that in the world there are at least 511 million people affected by IBS who are fighting it by themselves! More importantly the people who do not consult a doctor “do not have significantly different abdominal symptoms to those who do consult, but they do have greater levels of anxiety and lower quality of life.”
  • The highest group of people affected by IBS are young women.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a fatal disease. However, according to the study, “patients diagnosed with IBS are highly likely to have other functional diseases and have more surgery than the general population.”

We don’t know what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but there is exciting research being done in the field. Just recently in 2014 Norwegian medical researchers found definitive proof of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and we are continuing to learn more. In 2013 researchers at Monash University published a paper describing how FODMAPs, and not gluten, were to blame for increased symptoms of IBS.

Treating IBS with a Low FODMAP Diet

In September of 2013 those same researches from Monash University published another study on the affects of gluten and FODMAPs on people suffering from IBS. They took 37 people with IBS and conducted a double blind study where some people followed a low FODMAP diet and others did not. The academically minded amongst you may scoff at the low sample size, but this early into the research it is the best we have to go with. Their results were pretty amazing. They found that by reducing FODMAPs in the diets of patients they were able to consistently and significantly improve their symptoms. Not only that, but reintroducing high FODMAP foods led to an increase of those same IBS symptoms!

So the important part is that a low FODMAP diet works! It has been shown to help reduce symptoms in almost 75% of people who suffer from IBS. Out of those 730 million people worldwide who suffer from IBS, nearly 547 million of them can benefit from following a low FODMAP diet. But you won’t know if you’re one of those people until you try it out!

The Science of FODMAPs

The low FODMAP diet (also called a FODMAP elimination diet) itself was originally developed by Dr. Sue Shepherd in 1999. She describes FODMAPs like this:

“These are complex names for a collection of molecules found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. When the molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract, these molecules then continue along their journey along the digestive tract, arriving at the large intestine, where they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally. The bacteria then digest/ferment these FODMAPs and can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).”

The term FODMAP actually is an acronym, deriving from “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.” Let’s go into what those words actually mean. Fermentable means that it will interact with bacteria and cause gas in a process called fermentation. “Oligo” is short for “Oligo-saccharides” and these include a type of carbohydrate found in onions, garlic, rye, and wheat. “Disaccharides” roughly means lactose, the same stuff you find in milk, cheeses, and yogurts. “Mono-saccharide” are found in high fructose corn syrup, honey, and apples. Finally “Polyols” are a type of sugar found in artificial sweetener and some fruits or vegetables.

As mentioned previously, FODMAPs are poorly absorbed by your small intestine. This means that FODMAPs will then pass into the large intestine without being absorbed. While in the large intestine FODMAPs interact with the bacteria living there. When the FODMAPs and bacteria interact, the FODMAPs ferment and create gas. Normally this is not problematic. However, if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or any other Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (FGID) consuming FODMAPs can make things worse.

The low FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia by a team of researches led by Peter Gibson. They conducted a randomized trial which showed evidence that a low FODMAP diet would help fix some of the symptoms associated with IBS and FGID.

FODMAP Foods List

We’ve used the most authoritative low FODMAP diet source out there to gather this comprehensive low FODMAP diet list of what low FODMAP foods you can eat and high FODMAP foods to avoid.

As a rule of thumb, avoid foods with glucose or lactose in them as well as onions and garlic. Also avoid having more than one serving of fruit per meal. Finally, be aware that while some alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are allowed, these are two substances which are known to trigger IBS symptoms if used excessively.

Click on a category to see a FODMAP list and breakdown of what foods you can eat on a low FODMAP diet. You can click here to download a printable version of our beginner’s guide and chart.

Beverages

Coffee
Low Fodmap Coffee
  • Espresso (Decaf with low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Espresso (Decaf, black)
  • Espresso (Regular, with low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Espresso (Regular, black)
  • Instant Coffee (Decaf with low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Instant Coffee (Decaf, black)
  • Instant Coffee (Regular, with low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Instant Coffee (Regular, black)
High Fodmap Coffee
  • Espresso (Decaf with cow’s milk)
  • Espresso (Decaf with soy milk)
  • Espresso (Regular with cow’s milk)
  • Espresso (Regular with soy milk)
  • Instant Coffee (Decaf with cow’s milk)
  • Instant Coffee (Decaf with soy milk)
  • Instant Coffee (Regular with cow’s milk)
  • Instant Coffee (Regular with soy milk)
Juices
Low Fodmap Juices
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Vegetable blend (Tomato juice base)
  • Vegetable blend (tomato, carrot, celery, beetroot)
High Fodmap Juices
  • Apple Juice
  • Berry Fruit Blend
  • Coconut Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Tropical Juice (apple, pear, mango)
Tea
Low Fodmap Tea
  • Black Tea (Strong, with added cow’s milk)
  • Black Tea (Strong, with added low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Black Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Black Tea (Weak, with added cow’s milk)
  • Black Tea (Weak, with added low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Black Tea (Weak, with added soy milk)
  • Chai Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Chai Tea (Weak, with added cow’s milk)
  • Chai Tea (Weak, with added low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Green Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Dandelion Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Peppermint Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • White Tea (Strong, made with water)
High Fodmap Tea
  • Black Tea (Strong, with added soy milk)
  • Black Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Chai Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Chai Tea (Strong, with added cow’s milk)
  • Chai Tea (Strong, with added soy milk)
  • Chai Tea (Strong, with added low FODMAP milk alternatives)
  • Chai Tea (Weak, with added soy milk)
  • Oolong Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Oolong Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Herbal Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Herbal Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Fennel Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Fennel Tea (Weak, made with water)
  • Dandelion Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Chamomile Tea (Strong, made with water)
  • Chamomile Tea (Weak, made with water)
Alcoholic Beverages
Low Fodmap Alcoholic Beverages
  • Beer
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Red Wine
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Sweet Wine
  • White Wine
High Fodmap Alcoholic Beverages
  • Rum
  • Wine (Low glycaemic index)
  • Sticky Wine
Other Beverages
Low Fodmap Other Beverages
  • Cacao Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Protein Supplement (Plant based)
High Fodmap Other Beverages
  • Carob powder

Wheats

Breads
Low Fodmap Breads
  • Gluten Free Bread
  • 100% Spelt Flour Sourdough Bread
  • Spelt Flour Sourdough Bread
  • White Wheat Sourdough Bread
High Fodmap Breads
  • Multigrain Bread
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Oatmeal Bread
  • Pumpernickel Bread
  • Rye Bread
  • Sourdough Oat Bread
  • 100% Spelt Flour Bread
  • 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Wheat High Fiber Bread
  • White Wheat Bread
  • Raisin Bread
Breakfast Cereals
Low Fodmap Breakfast Cereals
  • Corn Flakes (Gluten Free)
  • Quinoa Flakes
  • Rice Flakes
High Fodmap Breakfast Cereals
  • Granola (Fruit & Nut) Cereal
  • Granola (Honey)
  • Rice Crisps
  • Corn Flakes
  • Flakes of Wheat, Corn, Rice, Oats, Dried Fruit, Nuts
  • Spelt Flakes
  • Muesli
  • Wheat Bran
  • Whole Wheat Grain Biscuit
Flours & Starches
Low Fodmap Flours & Starches
  • Flour (Buckwheat)
  • Flour (Corn)
  • Flour (Maize)
  • Flour (Millet)
  • Flour (Quinoa)
  • Flour (Rice)
  • Flour (Sorghum)
  • Flour (Spelt, organic, sieved)
  • Flour (Teff)
  • Flour (Yam, pounded)
  • Starch (Maize)
  • Starch (Potato)
  • Starch (Tapioca)
High Fodmap Flours & Starches
  • Almond Meal
  • Flour (Amaranth)
  • Flour (Barley)
  • Flour (Einkorn)
  • Flour (Emmer)
  • Flour (Kamut Wholewheat)
  • Flour (Lupin)
  • Flour (Rye)
  • Flour (Spelt, organic)
  • Flour (Spelt, white)
  • Flour (Spelt, wholemeal)
  • Flour (Wheat)
Grains
Low Fodmap Grains
  • Bran (Oat, unprocessed)
  • Bran (Rice, unprocessed)
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Millet (Hulled)
  • Noodles (Rice stick)
  • Pasta (Gluten Free)
  • Pasta (Quinoa)
  • Polenta (Cornmeal)
  • Quinoa (Black)
  • Quinoa (Red)
  • Quinoa (White)
  • Rice (Basmati)
  • Rice (Brown)
  • Rice (White)
High Fodmap Grains
  • Barley (Pearl)
  • Bourghal
  • Bran (Wheat, processed)
  • Bran (Wheat, unprocessed)
  • Cous cous (Rice & corn)
  • Cous cous (Wheat)
  • Freekeh
  • Noodles (Wheat)
  • Pasta (Gnocchi made from wheat)
  • Pasta (Spelt)
  • Pasta (Wheat)
Snacks
Low Fodmap Snacks
  • Snack Biscuit (Plain)
  • Snack Biscuit (Wholemeal)
  • Snack Biscuit (Sweet, plain)
  • Chips (Corn, plain)
  • Chips (Potato, plain)
  • Chips (Potato straws, salted)
  • Cracker (Saltines, plain)
  • Pretzels
  • Rice Cakes (Plain)
  • Rice Crackers (Plain)
High Fodmap Snacks
  • Snack Bar (Wheat based)
  • Snack Bar (Oat or Honey based)
  • Snack Bar (Museli based with fruit)
  • Snack Biscuit (Chocolate Chip)
  • Snack Biscuit (Fruit filled)
  • Cookies (Chocolate sandwich)
  • Corn Thins
  • Rice Cakes (Sour cream chives)
  • Rye Crispbread

Condiments

Dips
Low Fodmap Dips
  • Eggplant Dip
High Fodmap Dips
  • Caviar Dip
  • Hummus Dip
  • Tahini Paste
  • Tzatziki Dip
Herbs
Low Fodmap Herbs
  • Basil (Fresh)
  • Cilantro (Fresh)
  • Coriander (Fresh)
  • Curry Leaves (Fresh)
  • Fenugreek Leaves (Fresh)
  • Gotukala
  • Lemongrass
  • Pandan Leaves
  • Parsley (Fresh)
  • Rampa Leaves
  • Rosemary (Fresh)
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme (Fresh)
High Fodmap Herbs
  • None
Mustard/Pickles
Low Fodmap Mustard/Pickles
  • Capers (In Vinegar)
  • Capers (Salted)
  • Chutney
  • Mustard
  • Wasabi
High Fodmap Mustard/Pickles
  • Vegetable (Pickles/Relish)
Sauces
Low Fodmap Sauces
  • Asafoetida Powder
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Miso Paste
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Shrimp Paste
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Vinegar (Rice wine)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
High Fodmap Sauces
  • Ketchup (Sweetened with high fructose corn syrup)
  • Ketchup (Sweetened with sucrose)
  • Pasta Sauce (Cream based)
  • Pasta Sauce (Tomato based)
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Quince Paste
  • Vinegar (Balsamic)
Spices
All spices are low FODMAP!
Spreads
Low Fodmap Spreads
  • Jam (Marmalade)
  • Jam (Organic, strawberries)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vegemite
High Fodmap Spreads
  • Honey
  • Jam (Mixed Berries)
  • Jam (Strawberries, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup)

Sugars, Sweeteners, & Desserts

Chocolates
Low Fodmap Chocolates
  • Chocolate (Dark)
High Fodmap Chocolates
  • Chocolate (Milk)
  • Chocolate (White)
Sugars & Sweeteners
Low Fodmap Sugars & Sweeteners
  • Stevia (Powder)
  • Sugar (Brown)
  • Sugar (Palm)
  • Sugar (Raw)
  • Sugar (White)
  • Syrup (Maple)
  • Syrup (Rice Malt)
High Fodmap Sugars & Sweeteners
  • Treacle (Coconut)

Dairy, Soy, & Lactose Free

Cheese
Low Fodmap Cheese
  • Cheese (Camembert)
  • Cheese (Cheddar)
  • Cheese (Colby style)
  • Cheese (Cottage creamed)
  • Cheese (Feta)
  • Cheese (Goat)
  • Cheese (Havarti)
  • Cheese (Mozzarella)
  • Cheese (Pecorino style)
  • Cheese (Soft, white mould coated)
  • Cheese (Brie)
  • Cheese (Swiss)
High Fodmap Cheese
  • Cheese (Cream)
  • Cheese (Haloumi)
  • Cheese (Ricotta)
Milk & Cream
Low Fodmap Milk & Cream
  • Cream (Whipped)
  • Cream (Sour)
  • Milk (Lactose free)
  • Yoghurt (Lactose free)
  • Yoghurt (Strawberry, lactose free)
High Fodmap Milk & Cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Cream (Pure, regular fat)
  • Cream (Sour)
  • Cream (Thickened, regular fat)
  • Custard
  • Ice Cream (Vanilla)
  • Milk (A2)
  • Milk (Coconut, from can)
  • Milk (Evaporated)
  • Milk (Full cream, cow)
  • Milk (Full cream, goat)
  • Milk (Reduced fat, cow)
  • Milk (Skim, cow)
  • Milk (Sweetened, condensed)
  • Yoghurt (Natural, low fat)
  • Yoghurt (Natural, regular)
  • Yoghurt (Vanilla)

Fats & Oils

All Fats & Oils are allowed!

Fruits

Fresh Fruits
Low Fodmap Fresh Fruits
  • Banana (Common, firm)
  • Banana (Common, ripe)
  • Banana (Sugar, firm)
  • Blueberry
  • Breadfruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carambola
  • Clementine
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Durian
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Mandarin (Imperial)
  • Melon (Honeydew)
  • Oranges
  • Passionfruit
  • Paw Paw
  • Pear (Prickly)
  • Pineapple
  • Plaintain (Peeled)
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Starfruit
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarind
High Fodmap Fresh Fruits
  • Apple (Granny Smith)
  • Apple (Pink Lady)
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Banana (Sugar, ripe)
  • Blackberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Custard Apple
  • Feijoa
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Longan
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Pear (Nashi)
  • Pear (Packham)
  • Persimmon
  • Plum (Black diamond)
  • Pomegranate
  • Rambutan
  • Tamarillo
  • Watermelon
Processed Fruits
Low Fodmap Processed Fruits
  • Ackee (Tinned in brine)
  • Banana (Dried)
High Fodmap Processed Fruits
  • Apple (Dried)
  • Apricots (Dried)
  • Coconut (Dried)
  • Cranberries (Dried)
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs (Dried)
  • Goji Berries (Dried)
  • Guava (Tinned in syrup)
  • Mango (Dried)
  • Paw Paw (Dried)
  • Pear (Dried)
  • Pineapple (Dried)
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Sultanas

Meat, Fish, & Eggs

Meats
Low Fodmap Meats
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Kangaroo
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Prawns (Peeled)
  • Salmon (Plain, canned in brine)
  • Sardines (Plain, canned in oil)
  • Tuna (Plain, canned in brine)
  • Tuna (Plain, canned in oil)
High Fodmap Meats
  • None
Nuts & Seeds
Low Fodmap Nuts & Seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Linseed, Sunflower, Almond mix
  • Macadamia
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts
High Fodmap Nuts & Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachio
  • Egusi Seeds
Beans/Pulses/Legumes
Low Fodmap Beans/Pulses/Legumes
  • Chana Dal (Boiled)
  • Lentils (Canned)
  • Urid Dal (Boiled)
High Fodmap Beans/Pulses/Legumes
  • Baked Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Broad Beans
  • Butter Beans
  • Chickpeas (Canned)
  • Four Bean Mix (Canned)
  • Haricot Beans (Boiled)
  • Lentils (Green, boiled)
  • Lentils (Red, boiled)
  • Lima Beans (Boiled)
  • Mung Beans (Boiled)
  • Red Kidney Beans (Boiled)
  • Soya Beans (Boiled)
  • Split Beans (Boiled)
Vegetarian Substitutes
Low Fodmap Vegetarian Substitutes
  • Mince (Quorn)
  • Tempeh (Plain)
  • Tofu (Plain)
High Fodmap Vegetarian Substitutes
  • Falafel
  • Lentil Burger
  • Mince (Vegetarian, containing onion)

Vegetables

Fresh Vegetables
Low Fodmap Fresh Vegetables
  • Alfalfa
  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Bean (Sprouts)
  • Bean (Green)
  • Bell Pepper (Green)
  • Bell Pepper (Red)
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage (Common)
  • Cabbage (Red)
  • Capsicum (Green)
  • Capsicum (Red)
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Chicory Leaves
  • Chili (Green)
  • Chili (Red)
  • Chives
  • Choy Sum
  • Collard Greens
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Endive Leaves
  • Fennel
  • Galangal
  • Ginger (Root)
  • Kale
  • Leek (Leaves)
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Onions (Spring, green tops only)
  • Parsnip
  • Potato (Unpeeled)
  • Pumpkin (Jap)
  • Radish
  • Silverbeet
  • Spaghetti Squash (Cooked)
  • Baby Spinach
  • Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Witlof
  • Yam
  • Zucchini
High Fodmap Fresh Vegetables
  • Artichoke (Globe)
  • Artichoke (Hearts, canned)
  • Asparagus
  • Beatroot
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage (Savoy)
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cho Cho
  • Choko
  • Sweet Corn
  • Garlic
  • Karela
  • Leek
  • Leek (Bulb)
  • Mange Tout
  • Mushroom (Button)
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pumpkin (Butternut)
  • Taro
Processed Vegetables
Low Fodmap Processed Vegetables
  • Callaloo (Tinned in brine)
  • Olives (Black, pitted)
  • Olives (Green, pitted)
  • Seaweed (Nori)
High Fodmap Processed Vegetables
  • Pumpkin (Canned)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (Semi)

 

Having the full low FODMAP diet list is great and everything, but what can you do with them? Fortunately, we help you with that too! We have a big collection of low FODMAP diet recipes and you can even select the ones you like to create a low FODMAP diet plan and shopping list.

FODMAP Diet Resources

Knowledge is one of the most important parts of following this diet. Eat the wrong food, and you can be in for a very unpleasant time. One of the best books out there is The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Sue Shepherd (who you may remember discovered the diet in 1999). Another great one is by Kate Scarlata and is called Low-Fodmap 28-Day Plan: A Healthy Cookbook with Gut-Friendly Recipes for IBS Relief.

Either of these will be great resources for you, and be sure to check out our resources page for blogs, food, and other resources that will be helpful to you!

 

Sources