Treat the symptom of irritable bowel with the FODMAP diet

The acronym FODMAP refers to a set of short-chain carbohydrate foods. These cause intestinal absorption difficulties and qualify as fermentable. Their digestion causes digestive symptoms that constitute irritable bowel syndrome. To eliminate the effects of this disorder, Australian nutritionist Sue Shepherd prescribes the FODMAP diet. It consists of a temporary deprivation of foods high in FODMAPs.

The different types of FODMAPs

FODMAPs come in a variety of chemical structures. They are contained in many foodstuffs.

The oligosaccharides are divided into fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides. They are found in pulses, onions, chocolate, beets or Jerusalem artichokes.

Lactose is the main disaccharide. It comes mainly from milk of animal origin and some of their derivatives.

The best known monosaccharide is fructose. All fruits contain it, but in different concentrations.

These are sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol. These are present in sugar-free confectionery.

General principles of the scheme

The FODMAP diet more accurately refers to a diet low in FODMAP. It thus excludes foodstuffs containing the sugars mentioned above.

  • The course of a FODMAP diet

Adoption of the diet requires prior medical consultation. The diet begins with a deprivation phase over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. It is based on a radical exclusion of foods high in FODMAPs.

After this second part comes the reintroduction phase. It is a question of gradually reintegrating small quantities of foods containing a significant amount of FODMAPs. This step makes it possible to determine poorly digested foods and to assess the tolerance threshold.

The last part of the diet called maintenance phase is the extension of the second. It consists in selecting the FODMAPs to maintain in the diet and those to exclude definitively.

  • Foods recommended to fill the diet
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To maintain thebalanced diet despite the FODMAP diet, some foods serve to fill the FODMAP exclusion.

Green beans, carrots, lettuce, cucurbits are among the allowed vegetables. Lactose-free milk and yogurt, refined cheeses replace other dairy products. Animal proteins are recommended elements of the diet. As fruits, bananas, melon, grapes, citrus fruits are prescribed. Oats, rice or quinoa are also allowed.

Advantages and disadvantages

the FODMAP diet is an experiment to determine the foods that cause the disorder. It thus helps to prevent the onset of symptoms. But the most important thing is in its results. It has proven efficacy in improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

However, prescribed deprivations also reduce intakes of other nutrients. This can lead to harmful deficiencies. FODMAPs also have health benefits. Total exclusion of these elements is not recommended.


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