Do you suffer from excessive belching or bloating? How about belly pain, diarrhea or constipation? Maybe you’ve tried a gluten-free diet, but to no avail, and you’re still struggling with these Sx’s? The low FODMAP diet might be the answer for you.

What is FODMAP?

  • It was developed a decade ago in Australia.
  • FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharide and polyols.” In short, it is a collection of short-chained carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in certain foods that can cause abdominal troubles.
  • FODMAPS are “osmotic”, meaning they pull water into the intestines and so they’re not completely absorbed by the gut and are then fermented by bacteria making gasses such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen which brings on these uncomfortable symptoms: pain, bloating, abdominal distention and change in bowel habits.
  • This elimination diet is meant to be separated into two phases
    • Phase 1: Remove all FODMAPs for two weeks
    • Phase 2: Reintroduce foods one at a time to identify problematic foods and determine how much of them the gut can comfortably tolerate.

Should you try this diet?

  • Anyone who is having the following symptoms can benefit from this.
    • Diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and/or cramping.

What foods to avoid that contain FODMAPs?

  • Fructose= fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc.
  • Lactose= Dairy
  • Fructans= Wheat, garlic, onion, inulin etc.
  • Galactans= Legumes i.e. beans, lentils, soybeans, etc.
  • Polyols= sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plumes, etc.

What are foods that are allowed on low FODMAP diet?

  • Eggs, Meats, Poultry, Fish= Beef, chicken, deli slices, eggs, fish, lamb, fork, shellfish, turkey
  • Dairy=lactose free dairy, soft cheeses, greek yogurt, sherbet, whipped cream
  • Meat, non-dairy alternatives= Milk alternatives (almond, coconut, rice, soy), nuts, nut butter, tofu
  • Grains= Gluten free
  • Fruits= Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, grapes, etc.
  • Vegetables: Bell peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkin, potatoes, etc.

Tips for low FODMAP Diet

  • Low FODMAP diet has high success rate when taught by Registered Dietician(RD)
  • Patients who try this diet on their own find it too restrictive talk to your doctor for further instruction and guidance before you start the diet. 

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Article by: Jenese Silva, PA-S

Photo: Andrew Schiller, OMS3


Wisely, R. (2018, February 26). The Low FODMAP Diet: A ‘Liberating’ Route to IBS Relief. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from
University of Medicine Michigan. (2015, November). Low FODMAP Diet Introduction. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from
Watto, Matthew. 20 Feb 2018. The Curbsiders. Conquer Irritable Bowel Syndrome.