FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols, so it may be best to just stick to FODMAP. FODMAPs are essentially carbs (sugars) that are found in foods, however, not all carbohydrate foods are FODMAPs.
Here’s what’s considered FODMAPs:
- Fructose (honey, high fructose corn syrup, fruits, etc)
- Galactans (legumes like lentils, soybeans, beans, etc)
- Lactose (dairy)
- Polyols (sweeteners that have mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, or isomalt. Also “stone fruits” like avocado, apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, etc)
- Fructans (onion, inulin, garlic, wheat, etc)
A low FODMAP diet is typically recommended to people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome which affects 1 in 5 of Americans) but can also help people experiencing symptoms of diahhrea, constipation, gas, bloating and/or cramping. This diet works because it limits osmotic foods (those that pull water into the intestinal tracts) and foods high in fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols. When consumed in excess, these foods may not be absorbed or digested well and may allow bacteria to rapidly ferment upon them in the intestinal tract causing the symptoms above.
It’s worth noting that this diet also limits fiber as some foods that are high in fiber also happen to be high in FODMAPs. This is because fiber is one component that the body can’t digest. It is typically found in plant-based foods like whole grains, veggies, beans and fruits.
Multiple studies have shown that low FODMAP diet can be an effective solution for those with IBS and can reduce the associated symptoms.