In the ever-growing field that is nutritional science and my hunt to stay in the know, I have come across a few studies mentioning a form of carbohydrates called FODMAPS which stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. These short-chain carbs are said to cause bloating, gas, and even anxiety in some individuals. As an anxiety trigger for some stems from the stomach area. Instead of being digested, these substances make their way into your gut and create hydrogen gas which causes problems in sensitive individuals.
FODMAPS are substances that make up common foods that are apart of everyone’s diet. These substances are fructose, lactose, galactans and polyols. Fructose is apart of many fruits and vegetables as it is a simple sugar which is also present in most if not all added sugars. Lactose is present in dairy products whereas fructans are in a slew of foods such as wheat, rice and spelt. Legumes contain galactans whereas artificial sweeteners, alcohol and some fruits contain polyols. Some individuals may not have one of these substances due to allergies like lactose and tolerance, but for the most part, everyone eats them.
However, the main reason I bring them up is that for the individuals who are constantly bloated, gassy, and suffer from chronic constipation FODMAPS could be the culprit. Therefore, learning to eat the right foods could be highly beneficial as supposed to ingesting pills and other chemicals to alleviate the issues. Before reading further, I want to mention that I am not a doctor or advising anyone to stop taking prescription meds or to ignore specifics from your dietitian or personal physician.
Low FODMAP Diet
Learning to eat the right foods, in this case, means to consume low FODMAP foods. This approach doesn’t apply for everyone but is worth mentioning especially for those who prefer not to take food by food approach.
Unlike most elimination dietary adjustments, the goal of a low FODMAP diet is to reduce the intake of them daily. Eating foods such as Meats, fish, herbs, spices, nuts, fruits, natural sweeteners, lactose-free dairy products, veggies, and grains are all apart of this lifestyle. Moderating the foods that cause you to react is another aspect of eating this way. Yet, to moderate properly you need to know what foods are considered to have high levels.
High FODMAP Food
Therefore, here is a list of foods within the categories. Please note this does not mean there aren’t other foods that are high or triggering, but rather the most common ones.
Fruits: apples, pears, watermelon, mangoes, cherries, figs, pears, dried fruit, apricots, blackberries, and canned fruit.
Veggies: artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas, okra, beetroot, Brussel sprouts, cabbage
Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, baked beans, soybeans, split peas, falafel
Dairy: all that include lactose as well as whey supplements.
Wheat: pasta, breakfast cereals, waffles, pancakes, crackers, bread
Drinks and sweeteners: honey, sorbitol, high fructose corn syrup, beer, soft drinks, soy milk, fruit juices milk
Even though these foods are all considered to be high on the scale, I suggest only eliminating the ones that cause you to feel bloated, gassy or trigger anxiety stress.
The goal is not to remove FODMAPS out of daily dietary lifestyle but rather manage intake by eating foods containing low levels rather than high ones. Moreover, cutting out the specific foods that cause digestive issues or interfere with your overall quality of life. Following a Low FODMAP diet yields benefits for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome as well as inflammatory bowel disease. Use the information in this post as a tool rather than a be all end all way of life. I say this because the majority of the studies focus on people with diagnoses.
For those trying a low FODMAP diet, use it as a full-on elimination by only eating foods on that list. After a month or so begin adding one food a week outside the list to aid in finding the foods that trigger you.