The FODMAP diet is a diet that targets intestinal problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The inventors of the diet claim that a 'low' FODMAP diet helps battle the symptoms of intestinal problems.
On the homepage you can compare this diet with other diets.
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FODMAP stands for 'Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides and Polyols'. Fermentable means they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the colon. Oligosaccharides are carbohydrates that consist of a small amount (oligo stands for 'little') of sugars (think of glucose and fructose). Disaccharides consist of two (di) sugars and monosaccharides of one (mono) sugar. Polyols refer to organic compounds containing two or more alcohol groups (-OH). Examples are mannitol and lactitol.
The carbohydrates covered by FODMAPs are all 'small' or 'short' carbohydrates that will ferment in your small intestine. This is a normal process that causes gas to form and can lead to bloating.
An important aspect of the diet is to find out what type of FODMAPs you may be sensitive to. It is important to note here that the FODMAPs are not directly the cause of any bowel problems, but reducing (certain types of) FODMAPs should help with the symptoms, according to the inventors.
You could find out which FODMAPs you should reduce by doing a test: first you stop eating FODMAPs completely (first phase) and then (in the second phase of the diet) you reintroduce FODMAP groups into your diet one by one to find out which FODMAP you are (possibly) sensitive to.
It is important not to follow the FODMAP diet for too long. This is because you will not get all the nutrients you need. It is also best, if you want to follow the diet, to do so under the guidance of a dietician or doctor.
In the first phase of the FODMAP diet you eat no FODMAPs at all. This phase lasts from 3 to 8 weeks, depending on how you react to the diet.
In the second phase you reintroduce FODMAPs into your diet one by one to find out which FODMAPs you are (possibly) sensitive to. For example, you reintroduce glucose into your diet for a few days. If you do not notice anything, you add another group of FODMAPs to your diet.
If you have discovered that you are sensitive to one or more FODMAP groups, you can have your personal diet drawn up. With this knowledge you can try to reduce your intestinal problems.
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The phases focus on reducing one or more groups of FODMAPs. However, a FODMAP diet can also focus on eating a little less of all groups to try and reduce the symptoms of intestinal problems.
Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any) diet. Only follow this diet under the guidance of a dietician. Following the FODMAP diet for too long is dangerous.
Several books have been published on this diet. Below a short list of examples”
Find more information about other low-carb diets here.
This page has been checked, and warnings have been added by, Jolande, dietician. Read more here.
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As you see fit
The FODMaP diet is not something you do 'in between': It requires preparation, reading up and planning. The better you can apply the diet, the faster you will notice its effects. I am still amazed at how quickly people recover when they start the diet. Two years of chronic complaints have not only disappeared within 3 months but the real culprits have been uncovered. So do you want to control your PDS symptoms instead of the other way around? Then go to a dietician who is familiar with the diet for an optimal result.
The FODMAP diet combines a number of product groups which can cause symptoms if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. By omitting all these products for a few weeks you can see to what extent the symptoms lessen. After that it is important to try out the various product groups again to see which ones cause the symptoms. It is rare for someone to have symptoms from all products, so it is certainly not the intention to follow the FODMAP diet for life. A good dietician can help during the omission phase by suggesting alternatives and showing which products can still be used to eat well and with variety. And helps in the trial phase to find out which products cause YOU symptoms and how you can replace them afterwards. So please do not do this on your own!
A FODMAP diet requires a lot of knowledge about food. It is therefore important to always have guidance when you want to start this diet. In my experience a FODMAP diet can often help people with their symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This is only true when the different phases (elimination - reintroduction - personalised diet) are carried out properly.
If you are considering a low FODMAP diet because of PDS or persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, always consult your doctor or dietician first. Expert guidance and support is essential for success in following the FODMAP diet, as it is difficult to know which foods to eat and which to avoid. It is also important to get information from the right source. A dietitian who has experience with the low FODMAP diet can help you avoid certain foods unnecessarily and the dietitian can help you eat a varied and nutritious low FODMAP diet.