FODMAP Diet Beginner’s Guide
The FODMAP Diet is temporary learning diet designed to help alleviate digestive symptoms in those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The word “FODMAP” is an acronym that represents categories of short-chain carbohydrates known to cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain in certain individuals.
Most Common FODMAPs
Within the FODMAP acronym categories, there are a few common culprits.
|FODMAP||Common Food Examples|
|Fructans (Oligo-)||Wheat, barley, rye, garlic, onion|
|Galactans (Oligo-)||Large portions of lentils and chickpeas, soy beans, pinto beans, and pistachios|
|Lactose (Di-)||Milk, yogurt, ice cream, and other milk products|
|Fructose (Mono-)||Mango, figs, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and some vegetables|
|Polyols||Xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and other sugar alcohols, stone fruit, and avocado|
3 Phases of the FODMAP Diet
After starting the diet, you will move through each of the 3 phases.
Phase 1: Low FODMAP Diet (2-6 weeks)
The goal of this phase is to identify any high FODMAP foods in your existing diet and make low FODMAP swaps. Common swaps include:
- Milk –> Lactose-free milk
- Apple –> Orange
- Wheat bread –> Sourdough
Phase 2: Reintroduction (6-8 weeks)
The goal of this phase is to identify your triggers by reintroducing each FODMAP category back into your diet one by one. Here is an example of what this might look like:
- Week 1: Fructose – honey
- Week 2: Lactose – milk
- Week 3-4: Fructans – wheat, garlic
- Week 5: Galactans – beans
- Week 6: Polyols – avocado (sorbitol)
Phase 3: Personalization
After identifying your triggers, the goal of this final phase is to adopt a long-term FODMAP diet plan that suits you. This means avoiding foods that caused digestive issues during the reintroductions phase and continuing to reintroduce foods from categories that are well tolerated.
We highly recommend working with a FODMAP-trained dietitian to help you plan and execute each phase.
FODMAP Diet Impact on IBS & Other Health Issues
In addition to IBS, some evidence suggests that the FODMAP Diet can help patients with overlapping IBS symptoms and Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (3).
If you suffer from IBS or IBD and have just started the FODMAP Diet, we highly recommend joining our Facebook Support Group in addition to downloading the Spoonful and Monash Apps.