Have you ever heard of the FODMAP diet? Do you have any issues with your large intestine such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea? If you have any of these conditions, then continue reading because this diet could be the solution.
What is the FODMAP diet?
FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. It involves eliminating vegetables with high amounts of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates from your diet.
Although some individuals love them, not everybody can synthesize them without having any problems. This diet is especially great for those who have issues with:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Unlike many extreme diets that don’t really take your health into consideration and only focus on having you immediately and indiscriminately loss weight, this diet is well planned out. Likewise, it’s not meant to have you shed pounds, but prevent discomfort over short and long periods of time.
What foods should be avoided while being on the FODMAP diet?
You should avoid the following foods that have FODMAP characteristics:
- Foods high in galacto-oligosaccharides: legumes
- Foods in high fructooligosaccharides: garlic, rye, wheat, and onion
- Products high in sorbitol, xylitol, ad mannitol: sweeteners and low-calorie products
- Natural sweeteners due to their fructose content: syrups, honey, jams
- Foods with lactose: milk and dairy products
FODMAP diet benefits
At first sight, FODMAP diets certainly seem to be very restrictive. However, before you begin, you should know how beneficial it is for you.
1. Calms the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by almost 76%
According to a study, a large number of people who follow this diet can eliminate gas, bloating, and stomach pains. Therefore, it’s important to consider that many foods should be removed from your diet, because they ferment inside your intestines. Therefore, you should carefully select foods that are high in fiber, which improve bowel movements.
For example, you can make brown rice or quinoa versions of commercial whole wheat bread.
2. Reduces discomfort in people who have Crohn’s disease
A study with 9 people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease showed that the FODMAP diet positively changed their amount and quality of prebiotics. Of course, a study with 9 patients isn’t legit, but this gives some insight in regard to what this diet can do. Remember that if you have Crohn’s disease, you’ll have to make healthy changes in your lifestyle.
If you don’t want to be on this very restrictive diet all of your life, follow it for a few weeks and gradually include small amounts of foods. Repeat once a month to let your body rest. Just remember to be consistent. Controlling or avoiding a food group one day doesn’t mean you’ll be able to eat whatever you want another; this could be even more painful.
3. Reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue
Are you always tired no matter how much you eat? The FODMAP diet has been proven to reduce fatigue. This is because your body is no longer receiving foods that don’t take that much energy to digest, which is especially true with sweeteners.
Of course, you’ll still eat sugar since fruit is allowed. However, those are natural sugars that cause less fermentation than honey or artificial sweeteners. Remember that the best sugar is the one you find in a fruit. This is because fruit contains fiber, which reduces fermentation and an increase in blood sugar.
Foods allowed in the FODMAP diet:
The FODMAP diet isn’t only about restrictions. Some of the foods you can eat include:
- Any meat and meat-byproducts, as long as they’re free of fructose and sweeteners
- Natural oils
- Herbs, spices, and natural condiments
- Natural nuts and seeds free of preservatives and sweeteners
- Fruits, not just juice: bananas, berries, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, melons, tangerines, and limes
- Natural sweeteners
- Whole grains: natural corn, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, sorghum, and tapioca
Remember that not all diets are for losing weight. Some are simply simply meant for you to live a healthier life, free of pain and discomfort.