FODMAPs is an acronym, coined by two Australian researchers, Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson, that refers to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. In short, FODMAPs are small chain sugars and fibers that are poorly digested and can contribute to gas, bloating and other digestive woes. FODMAPs are fast food for gut bacteria. When the bacteria consume the FODMAPs, they produce gas—ouch! FODMAPs are common in our diet. Food and beverages such as milk, ice cream, apples, pears, mango, honey, agave syrup, watermelon, onion, garlic, wheat, barley, peaches, apricots, blackberries and common fiber additives known as inulin or chicory root extract are sources of FODMAPs. The low FODMAP diet was designed to help minimize symptoms in individuals that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Following a low FODMAP diet can be a challenge without the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian. As with any diet change, be sure to discuss whether the low FODMAP diet is appropriate for you with your health practitioner.