FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols which are types of fermentable carbohydrates (or sugars) found in some foods. These sugars are naturally present in foods, and as any other sugars when eaten in moderation, play important roles in our body such as providing energy after being absorbed (1).
However, under some health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems, the FODMAPs are not fully digested and absorbed. So they stay in the colon (bowel) and once there, the gut bacteria will feed on these undigested sugars, releasing gases that lead to bloating, cramping, and other symptoms. FODMAPs may also have an osmotic effect, meaning they draw water into the bowel, causing diarrhea (1).
|Research shows that a diet reduced in FODMAPs, known as low FODMAP diet, can significantly reduce symptoms in people with IBS and can also benefit other conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel diseases (2).|
Following a low FODMAP diet is far from easy. It is very restrictive with a long list of foods to avoid. However, complete elimination of FODMAPs is only recommended for a short period of time (usually 6 to 8 weeks), and they should be reintroduced gradually as symptoms become less intense. It is paramount to seek professional advice and guidance for a personalised eating plan as tolerance to FODMAPs can change over time.
General dietary advice to people with IBS includes eating healthily and in small portions, limiting intakes of FODMAPs, as well as alcohol, fat, and spicy foods (2). Many studies have also shown that low FODMAP diet combined with gluten-free and lactose-free diets can help relieve IBS symptoms (3). Gluten may alter the function of the bowel barrier reducing its permeability which may cause faster bowel transit in patients with IBS (3,4).
If you are struggling to find food options that are free of gluten and lactose, in addition to be low FODMAP, you are in the right place. Nonetheless, our products are for everyone who seeks to eat nutritious and delicious food, whether you have a food intolerance or not. Try our range now!
Written by Elaine Barritt, Registered Nutritionist & Lemon Leaf Co-founder