Do you suffer from an intestinal disease? Following the popular FODMAP diet can help improve your symptoms and even eliminate them. In general, this diet involves avoiding certain types of foods that are difficult to digest.
Want to know what it is and how it can help you? If so, keep reading!
The popular FODMAP diet
The FODMAP diet is promoted by researchers from Monash University in Australia. This acronym stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.” This is because these belong to a group of short-chain carbohydrates that the gut has difficulty absorbing and some people are simply unable to digest.
What is the purpose of this diet?
The basis of this type of diet is to limit the intake of foods that lead to certain intestinal symptoms, for example:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Impaired bowel function
You can also use this diet to improve problems such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
What is the FODMAP diet?
The FODMAP compounds are present in foods containing fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans or polyols, mainly in the following:
- Wheat, rye, onions and garlic are rich in fructooligosaccharides.
- Legumes contain galactooligosaccharides.
- Dairy products (mainly milk) contain lactose.
- Honey, syrup, apples and other fruits contain fructose.
- “Light” food products usually contain sweeteners.
- Pears and plums have polyols (sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol and mannitol).
Foods to avoid:
- Cereals such as brown rice, oats, barley, rye, millet and whole grains.
- Legumes such as beans, chickpeas, peas, beans and lentils.
- Vegetables such as garlic, artichokes, aubergines, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, asparagus, lettuce, peppers, leeks, beets and mushrooms.
- Fresh and dried fruits such as cherries, plums, raspberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, melons, blackberries, watermelon pears, grapes, olives, apricots, cranberries, figs, avocados, persimmons and mangoes
- Nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and pistachios.
- Milk and its derivatives.
- Processed meat.
- Sausages and lunch meat.
- Refined sugar.
- Drinks such as coffee, beer, liquor, soft drinks, tea, wine, packaged fruit juices.
- Natural sweeteners such as sugar, fructose, agave syrup, maple syrup and honey.
- Artificial sweeteners such as erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.
How should the diet be implemented?
There are three stages to implementing the FODMAP diet:
- The restriction phase usually lasts 6 to 8 weeks and is about strictly avoiding all foods rich in FODMAP. This is to improve gastrointestinal problems.
- During the reintroduction phase, slowly introduce the foods you avoided in the previous phase. This is to determine the tolerance of each person. Also, it usually lasts between 8 and 12 weeks.
- When the reintroduction phase is over , you can personalize your diet to maintain variety in your food and avoid unnecessary restrictions, while maintaining control over your symptoms.
What are the benefits of the popular FODMAP diet?
As we mentioned earlier, this type of diet is recommended for the treatment of intestinal diseases. It has many proven benefits for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, according to a study published in Gastroenterology . This is because it can reduce symptoms by 76%.
In general, it improves the symptoms of this condition and reduces inflammation and abdominal pain by reducing the fermentable substrates of the intestinal bacteria. It also helps with flatulence and normalizes the frequency of bowel movements.
Following the FODMAP diet can help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
It improves digestive symptoms in patients with a functional bowel disease as well as those with organic gastrointestinal conditions.
84% of the patients in one study showed an improvement in the digestive symptoms when they adhered to the diet. In addition, after the reintroduction phase, more than 80% of patients tolerated wheat and whole milk, over 70% legumes and two servings of low-fructose fruit, all in the same meal.
There are many health benefits to this diet, but it also has some drawbacks. So be careful with it if you suffer from constipation. This is because your diet is low in fiber and can make your symptoms worse.
You must therefore work with a dietitian or a nutritionist, as it is a very strict diet that requires you to gradually reintroduce and adjust a particular food intake.
Talk to your doctor for more information.