It's Holiday Season! This means lots of celebrations & yummy foods. The infusion of good, rich food may leave your gut bloated, gurgling, gassy, stopped up, or loosened up at some point. Not exactly convenient for us in the southern hemisphere as we don't get to hide our food babies with an oversized sweater lol.
There are 4 main factors that cause bloating:
1. hypersensitivity reactions,
2.increased gut transit time (motility)
3. higher than normal amounts of fermentation
4. malabsorption of sugar.
The FODMAPS Diet addresses two of these factors: fermentation and sugar malabsorption.
When the poorly-digested FODMAPS hit the colon, the bacteria have a field day and produce lots of gas. These foods also tend to draw water into the large intestine reducing gut motility, causing swelling of the intestinal walls (bloating) and pain.
FODMAPS acronym, it’s no surprise that it refers to something scientific:
- Fermentation – foods that cause fermentation. They include the following:
- Oligosaccharides – composed of simple sugars, including wheat, rye, barley, onions, shallots, spring onions, garlic, legumes, lentils, artichokes, and chicory.
- Disaccharides – foods containing double sugar molecules (lactose) such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream.
- Monosaccharides – foods containing single sugar molecules (fructose) such as honey, corn syrup, mango, apples, pears, and watermelon.
- Polyols – foods containing sugar alcohols — sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol — such as stone fruits like avocados, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines.
Because Australia is such a multicultural country we are particularly susceptiblebecause we bounce between different cuisines on a daily basis.
It can seem like a pretty big sacrifice to cut out FODMAP foods from your diet as its very likely most of your favourite meals will have a few ingredients listed below. However cutting them out for a week can give your gut a much needed break & leave you feeling re-energised.
I personally avoid high FODMAP foods on days leading up to a photoshoot or if I'm heading to the beach & I don't want to embrace my little food baby haha!
Low and High FODMAP Foods (from Monash University)
|Food Category||High FODMAP foods||Low FODMAP food alternatives|
|Vegetables||Asparagus, artichokes, onions(all), leek bulbs, garlic, legumes/pulses, sugar snap peas, onion and garlic salts, beetroot, Savoy cabbage, celery, sweet corn||Alfalfa, bean sprouts, green beans, bok choy, capsicum (bell peppers), carrots, chives, fresh herbs, choy sum, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini.|
|Fruits||Apples, pears, mangoes, nashi pears, watermelons, nectarines, peaches, plums||Bananas, oranges, mandarins, grapes, melons|
|Milk and dairy||Cow’s milk, yogurt, soft cheese, cream, custard, ice cream||Lactose-free milk, lactose-free yogurts, hard cheeses|
|Protein sources||Legumes/pulses||Meats, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh|
|Breads and cereal||Rye, wheat-containing breads, wheat-based cereals with dried fruit, wheat pasta||Gluten-free bread, sourdough spelt bread, rice bubbles, oats, gluten-free pasta, rice, quinoa|
|Biscuits (aka cookies in the US) and snacks||Rye crackers, wheat-based biscuits||Gluten-free biscuits, rice cakes, corn thins|
|Nuts and seeds||Cashews, pistachios||Almonds (<10 nuts), pumpkin seeds|
Sample Low FODMAP meal ideas – From Monash University
|Breakfast||Gluten-free or spelt toast with vegemite, strawberry jam (sweetened with sucrose)· Cereal (oats, porridge, cornflakes*, rice bubbles*)· Tea or coffee (lactose-free milk if you have lactose malabsorption)· Serving of suitable low FODMAP fruit* add oat or rice bran for extra dietary fiber|
|Lunch||Gluten-free or spelt sandwich with fillings (ham salad, tuna salad, cheese/salad, egg/ lettuce)· Soup homemade with low FODMAP vegetables· Fresh salads with dressing (olive oil, lemon juice) and plain meat· Gluten-free pizza with low FODMAP vegetable toppings|
|Dinner||Meat/fish/tofu plus low FODMAP vegetables/salad plus potato/rice/gluten-free pasta/rice noodles|
One serving of suitable fruit (cantaloupe, banana, grapes, strawberries, orange)· Yogurt (lactose-free if you have lactose malabsorption)· Gluten-free biscuits and cakes
The FODMAPS Elimination and Reintegration Diet Plan
This diet can produce results quickly for some, but experts on different websites recommended a 2-8 week trial period. If all goes well, then you can attempt to reintroduce one FODMAP food at a time back into your diet in order to maintain as high a variety of foods as you can tolerate.
The FODMAPS diet isn’t curing IBS. If you have IBS and go back ona FODMAPS-rich diet, your gut will probably blow up again; it’s about removing foods that trigger it. Going on a low FODMAPS diet, however, should allow you to later reintroduce some higher FODMAPS foods back into your diet, perhaps in smaller amounts than you were used to.
Your gut may also be sensitive to some categories and of some FODMAPS foods and not others. Your gut may also be sensitive to foods not in the FODMAPS categories. I have problems, with bananas which are in the low FODMAPS category but do pretty well with apples which are in the high FODMAPS category. FODMAPS is a good beginning, but IBS is complex, not completely understood and surprises may be in store.
To summarise, it's a bit of a trial an error process, however once you have a good idea of what foods cause you to become bloated you can navigate your diet around them or at least reduce your intake.
I hope this information helps and leads to everyone having a happy tummy :)
*disclaimer: All content and media on the Leelo Active Website is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.