Food spotlight: Are you FODMAP-intolerant?

You’ve likely heard of lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity but do you know about FODMAPs?

FODMAPs, which stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (we definitely prefer the acronym), are carbohydrates and sugar alcohols in your diet that are poorly absorbed by your body.

If you’re experiencing gas, bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhea and you’re suspected of having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high FODMAP foods may be a culprit.

IBS is a disorder that affects 10 to 15% of the population and women more often than men. Reducing intake of foods that contain FODMAPs can help alleviate IBS symptoms as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, eczema, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches.

Foods that should be avoided on a low-FODMAP diet include:

·       Vegetables like onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, leeks, celery, sweet corn, brussels sprouts, and mushrooms

·       Fruits including peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, prunes, mangoes, apples, pears, watermelon, cherries, and blackberries

·       Beans, lentils, and nuts

·       Wheat and rye

·       Dairy products that contain lactose

·       Sweeteners including high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave, and sorbitol

·       Drinks including alcohol, sports drinks, and coconut water

 Food usually safe to eat on a low-FODMAP diet include:

·       Vegetables like alfalfa sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, olives, and tomatoes

·       Fruits including oranges, grapes, honeydew melon, bananas, blueberries, kiwis, and lemons.

·       Lactose-free dairy, hard cheeses and soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and feta

·       Beef, pork, chicken, fish and eggs, as well as non-dairy milks like almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk

·       Soy products

·       Grains like rice, oats, corn flour, and quinoa

·       Tea, coffee, and water

·       Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, and pumpkin seeds

If particular foods containing FODMAPs are suspected of aggravating your IBS symptoms, you may want to try a FODMAP elimination diet, limiting or avoiding certain foods and drinks for 3 to 8 weeks at a time, after which time individual foods are reintroduced to see whether IBS symptoms return. Consult with your doctor for more information.

To learn more about FODMAPs, click here. Do you have IBS or suspect you have sensitivity to foods with FODMAPs? Please share your tips and experiences with the Shop Talk blog community forum.

Did you know: IBS triggers

Beside high FODMAP foods, Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be triggered by stress, anxiety, antibiotics, antidepressants, and menstrual pain.

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