The FODMAP diet

The low FODMAP diet

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How a change in diet could help you find relief from the symptoms of IBS.

FODMAPs stand for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are rapidly fermentable short-chain carbohydrates which may be key suspects in causing symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

These include foods high in excess fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols (including sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol).

Foods high in FODMAPs are considered more likely to induce IBS symptoms, yet it is important to remember that these foods do not cause IBS, but merely increase symptoms.

The low FODMAP diet is a common dietary management approach to IBS relief, with a success rate of up to 70 percent of people with IBS. Minimising high FODMAP foods are likely to reduce fermentation in the large intestine, consequently reducing symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. 

Consulting a specialised dietitian is highly recommended before undertaking a low FODMAP diet, to ensure there are no nutritional deficiencies.  

Examples of foods high in FODMAPs and some low-FODMAP alternatives are listed in the table below. 
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High FODMAP foods

Low-FODMAP alternatives

Fruits
apples, pears, nashi pears, mango, sugar snap peas, watermelon, tinned fruit in natural juice, dried fruit, fruit juice, custard apple, rambutan, persimmon, apricots, cherries, lychee, nectarine, peaches, plums, prunes.

Vegetables

artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, Brussels sprout, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, garlic, leeks, okra, onions, peas, shallots, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas

Dairy products
Milk: cow, goat and sheep (regular & low-fat), Ice cream Yoghurt (regular & low-fat) Cheeses: soft & fresh (e.g. ricotta, cottage)

 
Fruits
banana, blueberry, grapefruit, grape, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passionfruit, paw paw, raspberry, rockmelon, strawberry, tangelo.

Vegetables
bamboo shoots, bok choy, carrot, celery, capsicum, choko, choy sum, corn, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, chives, parsnip, pumpkin, silverbeet, spring onion (green only), tomato

Dairy products
Milk: lactose-free, rice milk Cheese:‘hard’ cheeses including brie, camembert Yoghurt: lactose-free Ice cream substitutes: gelati, sorbet Butter

Low FODMAP recipes

Low FODMAP breakfast smoothie

Ingredients

  • 250mls of almond or rice milk
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 banana (needs to be firm not ripe)
  • ½ cup of lactose free yogurt (check the label to make sure there is no inulin, otherwise use Greek yoghurt)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 x sachet of Blackmores Probiotics+ Bowel Support

How to make

Combine all ingredients in a blender on high speed until combined and drink immediately.

Low FODMAP dessert smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 2 heaped teaspoons unsweetened raw cocoa powder
  • 1 banana (needs to be firm not ripe)
  • ¼ avocado (if you are sensitive to avocado use half this amount)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 x sachet of Blackmores Probiotics+ Bowel Support

How to make

Combine all ingredients in a blender on high speed until combined and drink immediately.

FODMAP logo

Article first published: 13th February 2017 and updated 25th June 2018

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Thanks for this article. However, IMO it needed to be more specific. I am fructose intolerant and although I am aware that there are a few different opinions "out there", I would benefit from your opinion on tolerable quantities of the higher fodmap foods. e.g. celery & corn may be tolerated in small quantities rather than listing them as a "low fodmap" as you have done in this article.