Kripalu Nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN, shares her wisdom on all things food-related in this series focusing on nutrition and healthy digestion.
FODMAPs sounds like it might be the latest automobile GPS navigation system or weather radar detection unit. Instead, FODMAPS is a therapeutic eating plan that has been gaining ground as an effective protocol to help people who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The quirky name FODMAPs stands for
These are a family of carbohydrates and short-chain sugars that are more easily fermented in the digestive tract and most likely to contribute to gas, bloating, pain, and other frustrating gut symptoms. Digestive detectives have known for many decades that some foods may be more problematic than others if you have IBS. But more recently, scientists from Australia and the United States have been on the trail of tracking down FODMAPs as instigators of IBS. Total elimination of FODMAPs may not be necessary or realistic, but lessening the FODMAPs load may spell IBS relief.
Begin by experimenting with a lighter load of the highest FODMAPs foods if you suffer from IBS. Keep a food journal to figure out if this is indeed comfort food for your digestive tract!
HIGH FODMAPs FOODS
Fruits: Apples, apricots, avocado, cherries, mango, pears, nectarines, peaches, plums and prunes, watermelon, canned fruit, dried fruit, or fruit juice
Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, radiccio, scallions, shallots, sugar snap peas, snow peas
Grains: Wheat, rye
Legumes: Lentils and beans, including chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, etc.
Dairy: Milk (cow, goat, sheep), yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese
Sweeteners: Fructose, high fructose corn syrup, isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol (Be sure to check labels of packaged foods and avoid these ingredients!)
Do you have IBS or other stomach trouble? What are some of the ways you’ve learned to spell relief?