Did you know that Bownesian Grocer carries a variety of FODY products; from pasta sauces to marinades and salad dressings.

FODY- what a cute simple name for a line of low FODMAP products. FODY products do not include high FODMAP foods as part of their ingredients.

What is FODMAP anyway? FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. That is a mouthful!  All of the these are specific sugars found in certain foods. In some people they are known to cause symptoms of bloating, indigestion, flatulence a lot of digestive discomfort and even mysterious abdominal pain.

The cause of these uncomfortable symptoms are very hard to identify, therefore, it is often swept under the umbrella of IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome- so familiar to many of us. But there is something you can do to manage those symptoms.

So what can you do about it?

FODMAP 101

By Julia MacPhee C.H.N.C., Pn1

FitNutrition Consulting

www.fitnutrition.ca

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. That is a mouthful!

These short-chain carbohydrates found in many healthy foods can cause a variety of digestive upsets in sensitive individuals. In some people they are known to cause symptoms of bloating, indigestion, flatulence a lot of digestive discomfort and even mysterious abdominal pain.

WHY FODMAPs CAUSE PROBLEMS IN SOME PEOPLE?

Because everyone is biochemically unique, not everyone is actually sensitive to FODMAPs.

Here is how it works:

FODMAP carbohydrates are resistant to digestion. Instead of being broken down in your gut and absorbed into your bloodstream, they reach the far end of your intestine where most of your gut bacteria reside. It is a good thing! Your gut bacteria- the ”good guys”  use these carbs for fuel in order to be able to do their very important job such as fighting the “bad guys”, producing certain vitamins and supporting a healthy gut flora.

Although, this is a natural healthy process, it often causes a lot of discomfort in sensitive individuals, such as gas, bloating, stomach cramps, pain, diarrhea or constipation.

Instead of being properly absorbed, FODMAPs travel through the gastrointestinal tract, drawing excess fluid into the small intestine and generating gas when they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine.
The fluid and gas build-up caused by undigested FODMAPs pushes on the walls of the intestines, causing uncomfortable symptoms and altered bowel habits in susceptible individuals.

Many of these symptoms cause the distention of the gut, which can also make your stomach look bigger.

Does this sound like you??

If yes, I have good news for you! Researches identified a list of foods that trigger gastrointestinal problems according to the type of carbohydrate they contain and came up with a term “Low FODMAP diet”.

Low FODMAP diet is a diet that recommends removing foods that are high in those specific carbohydrates.

Common high FODMAP foods include, but not limited to:

  • Fruits: Apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, cherries, canned fruit, dates, figs, pears, peaches, watermelon
  • Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol-listed on packaging of foods.
  • Dairy products: Milk (from cows, goats and sheep), ice cream, most yogurts, sour cream, soft and fresh cheeses (cottage, ricotta, etc) and whey protein supplements
  • Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, leeks, mushrooms, onions, peas, shallots
  • Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
  • Wheat: Bread, pasta, most breakfast cereals, tortillas, waffles, pancakes, crackers, biscuits
  • Other grains: Barley and rye
  • Beverages: Beer, fortified wines, soft drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, milk, soy milk, fruit juices

What can you do?

There is one very effective thing you can do to identify the root cause of your digestive discomfort. It may require some time and patience, but it will give you and your nutritional professional a very important information about the next steps in helping you feel better.

Implementing an elimination diet by temporary removing high FODMAP foods, listed above, from your diet. This process may result in:

  • Less gas
  • Less bloating
  • Less diarrhea
  • Less constipation
  • Less stomach pain

Because this diet can be very restrictive and strips your body of many beneficial nutrients, it is very important that you work with a qualified nutritional consultant to properly implement the low FODMAP diet. This will ensure proper nourishment of your body and gradual, safe re-introduction of these foods back into your diet.