In the 90’s, Dr. Sue Shepherd developed a form of fructose malabsorption diet. Subsequently a team at Monash University, led by Professor Peter Gibson and including Dr Shepherd and others, developed the low FODMAP diet.
Through their research, they found that limiting dietary FODMAPs can be an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS. Other researchers and Registered Dietitians across the world have also been able to prove the effectiveness of this diet. Aside from IBS (which I suffer from) there are other gastrointestinal, and inflammatory disorders and diseases that can also be treated naturally whilst sticking to a low-FODMAP diet. The facts below are what I have learned from Dr. Shepherd, Monash University and several other FODMAPs experts.
1) FODMAPs are…
- Fermentable – rapidly broken down by bacteria in the bowel
- Oligosaccharides – fructans and galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
- Disaccharides – lactose
- Monosaccharides – fructose and…
- Polyols – sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol, polydextrose, and isomalt
3) Multiple types of FODMAPs are usually present in most meals.
4) Fructans are most likely the most common FODMAP to cause symptoms of IBS (Dr. Sue Shepherd).
5) If your symptoms improve after following the Low-FODMAP diet for 2-6 weeks, it is recommended to slowly rechallenge one FODMAP group at a time to understand your “FODMAP threshold”. You will challenge a total of 10 FODMAPs, and once you know your FODMAP triggers and threshold, you will move on to reintroducing FODMAPs into your diet for a modified low-FODMAP diet.
6) On the Low-FODMAP diet, wheat is only a problem ingredient when consumed as a wheat-based carbohydrate food like cereal, breads, or pasta.
7) A low-FODMAP diet is not a gluten-free diet. When you are on the low-FODMAP diet you can have oats and small amounts of wheat, barley and rye.
8) A fructan is a polymer of fructose molecules. Fructans with a short chain length are known as fructooligosaccharides. Fructans can be found in foods such as agave, artichokes, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions (including spring onions), yacon, jícama, and wheat.
9) When bacteria in the large intestine receive molecules not absorbed in the small bowel, they break these molecules down quickly. This produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane gases – otherwise known as unpleasant times for people like us!
10) A lactose-free diet is not a dairy-free diet. Lactose is present in most dairy products. The Low-FODMAP diet can benefit those who suffer from lactose intolerance by helping them to reduce lactose intake.
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