1 IN 7 ADULTS, WORLD WIDE, SUFFER FROM IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON DISORDERS SEEN BY PHYSICIANS
THE low-FODMAP DIET IS THE FIRST RECOGNIZED TREATMENT
Low-FODMAP is an elimination diet created by Monash University in Australia to treat symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGIDs). Though sufferers of IBS have long known that diet affects symptoms, this is the first comprehensive and scientifically proven system to have consistent results.
IBS is one of the most common disorders seen by physicians, and it is estimated that 1 in 7 adults, world wide, experience symptoms. The FODMAP diet has taken a strong hold in Australia, and is slowly making its way to the rest of the world. Due to the immense number of people who suffer from IBS/FGID, once the word gets out, I believe it will be a hugely popular diet in the USA.
FODMAP is an acronym for
Oligosaccharides (“few sugars”),
Disaccharides (“two sugars”),
Monosaccharides (“single sugar”),
Polyols (sugar alcohols).
Without getting too “science-y”, FODMAPs include fructose (when consumed in a higher ratio to glucose), fructans (found in vegetables like night shades), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS – found in legumes and beans), lactose (found in milk) and polyols (artificial sweeteners, some vegetables, fruits and mushrooms, fermented foods).
Being sensitive to FODMAPs means that your body has difficulty absorbing this specific group of carbohydrates in the small intestine, as is the normal process, so they pass through to the large intestine. In the large intestine, bacteria begins to ferment the FODMAPs producing excess gas. Simultaneously, FODMAPs are highly osmotic, which means that the intestines are inundated with water, inducing rapid and urgent bowel movements. The gas and water cause the intestines to swell, leading to bloating and distension. The excess pressure against the digestive organs triggers the nerves sending strong pain messages to the brain. People who suffer from IBS are particularly sensitive and can feel sharp pain with any amount of swelling, which is called visceral hypersensitivity.
Here is a short video, produced by Monash University, explaining the above:
Using the traffic light system, Monash university has categorized many of the most common foods as low-FODMAP (green, eat freely), moderate-FOMAP (yellow, eat in moderation) and high-FODMAP (red, avoid completely). They have produced an app, which I have found invaluable when grocery shopping and developing new recipes. It is expensive as far as apps go, but it is a tool which I use daily so I consider it to be worth the investment. The app is constantly being updated as they continue to test foods, and garner new results. I have gone through the list, item by item, to produce the following table for your convenience. While there are many lists out there, this list contains only the official Monash University rated foods as of September, 2017. I urge you to still purchase the app for three reasons: 1. To support on-going research into IBS and the low-FODMAP system, 2. The app is updated more frequently than this list, 3. The convenience is priceless. Please note: I do not receive incentives, financial or otherwise, to promote this app.