If you’re feeling extra bloated, lethargic and all around uncomfortable from all the rich holiday foods, trying a low FODMAP diet will help you get back to baseline! This diet can be a bit of a commitment, if you decide to go all in. But it is easily customized and modified for your needs!
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the body, causing intestinal distress). FODMAPs occur naturally in some foods or are added to foods in the form of additives and preservatives. FODMAPs ferment in the large intestine during digestion, creating gas and causing the intestine to expand, leading to discomfort, pain and bloating. FODMAPs are indeed found in many healthy foods, like fruit and vegetables. This does not make them unhealthy, rather, some may simply have a higher sensitivity to that particular fruit or vegetable.
Fructose- Found in fruits and vegetables
Fructans- Found in some fruits, vegetables and grains
Lactose- Found in many dairy products
Galactans- Found in legumes
Polyols- Found in artificial sweeteners
High FODMAP Foods
Red Kidney Beans
High Fructose Corn Syrup
This list is not comprehensive and is only meant to give an overview of some high FODMAP foods.
What is a low FODMAP diet?
A low FODMAP diet is a diet that restricts and eliminates foods that are high in those FODMAPs that cause intestinal issues like bloating, pain, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. The diet is meant to last 3-8 weeks before slowly reintroducing other foods to determine if certain foods trigger symptoms. Because this is a very restrictive diet, it is not meant for long term use. This is an elimination diet that can help give the digestive tract a good reset, as it is gentle on the system. This diet is traditionally used to aid people who live with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to identify triggering foods, but the guidelines for a low FODMAP diet work well for a general belly reboot too!
Low FODMAP Foods
Coconut-milk, cream, flesh
Gluten-free and Wheat-free products
Rice and Rice Flour
This list is not comprehensive and is only meant to give an overview of some low FODMAP foods.
Be mindful of condiments and sauces, as many are loaded with FODMAPs.
Step 1: Low FODMAP Diet
For 3-8 weeks- swap high FODMAP foods for low FODMAP foods.
Step 2: FODMAP Reintroduction
Over the following 8-12 weeks reintroduce one FODMAP at a time, one food at a time, over the course of three days. Increase serving size each day and monitor your tolerance.
Step 3: FODMAP Customization
As you have reintroduced foods and FODMAPs slowly, you’re much more aware of what your body tolerates and what it does not. Going forward, you can tailor your diet to your specific needs. Your body should be feeling much better at this point, as you avoid foods that are triggering for you.