Most people with GI symptoms find that some foods seem to be triggering and worsening those symptoms. It is, at times, a long process of both trial and error to precisely pinpoint which kind of foodstuffs are triggers.
Researchers have discovered that human digestive enzymes can’t possibly break down certain kinds of fibers, sugars, and food. Instead, good bacteria in the gut ferment them.
Avoiding foodstuffs containing those kinds of carbohydrates and taking low-Fodmap foods can be the key to relieving uncomfortable symptoms that certain foods trigger.
What Fodmap Is
What does Fodmap stand for? Well, it stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. All these are short-chain carbohydrates, which small intestines poorly absorb.
Some individuals experience GI distress after taking them. Symptoms they are likely to experience are:
- Flatulence and gas
- Stomach bloating
Is Fodmap Bad for Everyone?
Well, not at all. As a matter of fact, the human digestive system is designed to process certain foods, which you can’t digest fully for yourself. And feeding bacteria in your gut is basically part of a symbiotic arrangement with the bacteria.
However, some individuals with a sensitive gut experience a high indigestion level from the foodstuffs that impact their quality of life. For these individuals, byproducts of fermentation can use symptoms of distension and abdominal pain. And the extra water that small intestines draw can result in diarrhea or constipation when there isn’t enough.
The Purpose of Fodmap Diets
Fodmap diets are three-step diets used to manage symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). IBS refers to a gut problem with symptoms like farting, changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, and bloating.
The purposes of Fodmap diets are to know which Fodmaps and foods you can tolerate and what triggers IBS symptoms. Understanding this can help you follow more nutritionally and less restrictive balanced diets for the long term.
Fodmap diets can also help to determine if your IBS symptoms are subtle to Fodmap. Not every individual with IBS can improve on low-Fodmap diets. This is why it is vital to know whether you are among the ¼ IBS sufferers who don’t experience symptom improvement on Fodmap diets or the ¾ IBS sufferers who improve on Fodmap diets.
Foods to Eat on Low Fodmap Diets
Know that the purpose of this diet is not to eliminate Fodmaps, which are extremely difficult. Minimizing these kinds of carbs will be enough to minimize digestive symptoms. Some of the nutritious and healthy foods you may eat while on a low-Fodmap diet include the following:
- Unripe bananas
- Most spices and herbs
- All oils and fats
- Eggs, fish, and meats
Foods not to Eat or to Limit
- Condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Milk from sheep, goats, and cows
- Ricotta cheese
- Cream cheese
Low-Fodmap diets can dramatically improve GI symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. But the diets involve three-stage processes, which might take up to seven weeks to improve, and not everyone with irritable bowel syndrome responds to the diet. Unless you really need it, the diet can do more harm than good, as Fodmaps are prebiotics supporting gut health.