What effect do different foods have on you? Well, until you eat you cannot tell how you really feel. Some foods are known for their tendency to ferment as a result of intestinal bacteria. These foods are known as FODMAPs.
To understand FODMAPs, it is vital to demystify the word itself. It comes from the first letters of the words; Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols. These foods do not digest easily, as a result, they are hard to absorb into the bloodstream.
When they get to the part of your small intestines where most gut bacteria stays, the bacteria causes fermentation, hence stomach upsets. The stomach upsets that come with FODMAPs include Diarrhea, Constipation, Bloating, Cramping, and Lots of gas and Flatulence.
What foods constitutes a FODMAP diet?
Oligo-saccharides: Under this category of FODMAPs, we have wheat, legumes, and vegetables like onions, garlic, and rye.
Disaccharides: Here, we have milk, yogurt, and cheese. Lactose is the main element of these foods that fails to get digested.
Mono-saccharides: Here, we have fruits like figs and mangoes. We also have sweeteners like honey. Under this category, fructose is the main element that can’t digest quickly.
Polyols: Here, we have fruits, vegetables, and low-calorie sweeteners.
What are the benefits of eating low FODMAP diets?
Foods that have no FODMAP are hard to come by. However, one may opt for low FODMAP diets.
Here are the benefits.
Reduces digestive symptoms
Stomach aches are the worst. For people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), digestive symptoms are usually severe, bloating is one of them. The good news is that with low FODMAP foods bloating decreases.
Improved quality of life
Quality of life is mainly associated with joy, peace of mind, health, or even wealth. For most people being healthy must come first in the list. With digestive symptoms, one can hardly enjoy life. Hence low-quality life. Research shows that low FODMAP diets increase the quality of life as they increase the energy levels of IBS patients.
What are the steps to following a low FODMAP diet?
Digestive symptoms are not an experience you would want to have daily. Understanding the do and don’ts come in handy.
- Total avoidance
Always make a conscious effort to do away with High FODMAP diets such as wheat and garlic. You can only move to the second stage when you experience relief from your digestive symptoms. Usually, it takes about 4 to 8 weeks.
After relief from the digestive symptoms, you can slowly reintroduce the high FODMAP diets. Also, ensure to keep track of the FODMAP that causes you find difficult to tolerate.
At stage two, you identified the FODMAP you can tolerate and ditched the rest. Make sure to stick to what works for you. This final stage enables you to increase your diet variety and flexibility.
To sum up
Unless you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you do not have to go for Low FODMAP diets.