You have replaced refined grains with whole grains, increased nuts, fruits and vegetables, are drinking more water and even began taking a probiotic supplement to support your digestive health. Yet, despite these healthy habits, you’re still not feeling your best and you don’t understand why.
Why you need to know about FODMAPs
If you are troubled by digestive discomfort, it may be helpful to learn about Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols, more commonly referred to as FODMAPs. Researchers at Monash University in Australia coined the term FODMAPs in 2005 to classify specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine resulting in symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea.
What are FODMAPs?
For a quick tutorial on FODMAPs, watch this short video:
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What foods contain FODMAPs?
FODMAPs can be found in ordinarily healthy foods, such as wheat bread, beans, yogurt, milk, apples, onions, garlic, cashews, mushrooms, honey and many more. FODMAPs can also be found in less obvious places such as probiotic supplements, which people with digestive sensitivities often take to support digestive health.
Who should be concerned about FODMAPs?
FODMAPs can trigger digestive discomfort in people with digestive sensitivities. There are 80 million people in the US who suffer from digestive sensitivities—one third of the US adult population.1 People with digestive sensitivities experience symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.
“We found that many people were unfamiliar with the term ‘FODMAPs’, ” says Jodi Mordekai, Senior Marketing Manager of ProNourish® Nutritional Drink. “That’s one of the reasons we created www.LowFODMAPcentral.com, a comprehensive resource for people with digestive sensitivities who would like to learn more about FODMAPs and a low FODMAP diet.”
What is a low FODMAP diet?
A low FODMAP diet is recommended as the first line of nutrition or diet therapy for people with digestive sensitivities, including those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Although foods high in FODMAPs are not the cause of the problem, they can trigger GI symptoms.
The low FODMAP diet begins with a two-to-six week trial elimination phase where foods high in FODMAPs are removed from the diet. This removal reduces the effects of FODMAPs on the gut (e.g., stretching caused by water and gas) that can lead to symptoms such as pain, bloating, and cramping. It also helps establish the least symptoms possible.
A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) trained in the Low FODMAP diet provides guidance on the reintroduction of FODMAPs, in a step-wise process, to distinguish individual FODMAP triggers and tolerances. From there, the RDN prepares a customized, well-balanced eating plan to restrict your digestive sensitivities while minimizing food eliminations and maximizing nutritional value.
According to RDN and FODMAP expert Kate Scarlata, "Once I work with a patient with digestive sensitivities to identify and eliminate their FODMAP triggers, they report feeling like a whole new person. Planning ahead, like keeping low-FODMAP grocery lists on hand and identifying favorite low-FODMAP recipes and snacks, is the key to living comfortably to keep your symptoms at bay."
What if I forgot to plan ahead?
Adhering to any diet can be a challenge. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves running out of the house to make a meeting or pick up a child at school. “That’s one of the reasons we created the ProNourish® Nutritional Drink, which you can find online at Amazon.com and NestleNutritionStore.com and in many stores,” says Mordekai. “It is a convenient way to help maintain a low FODMAP diet lifestyle.”
ProNourish® Nutritional Drink was carefully formulated based on feedback from Monash University, the creators of the Low FODMAP diet, and an advisory board composed of expert GI dietitians, physicians and scientists. The vitamins and minerals in the drink were specifically chosen to help fill nutritional gaps common in people following a low FODMAP diet. The end result is a delicious, nutritionally-complete drink that fully complies with the Low FODMAP diet.
It is important to work with your doctor and a FODMAP knowledgeable RDN to determine if a low FODMAP diet is right for you.
- TNS Volumetric Study 2015.