The FODMAPs Diet

Last week I shared my search for a nutritionist… today I’d like to share her recommendation for treating my digestive problems. 

My nutritionist suggested I go on a FODMAPs Diet. (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either). She explained that my body was working in over-drive trying to digest foods that contain FODMAPs, which is why I seem to have chronic stomach aches. In case you’re curious, here’s a little information about the diet and how it should help treat my stomach issues….

What in the world are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are components in food that cause discomfort to susceptive individuals, and a FODMAPs diet help disorders such as IBS and IBD. There are five types of FODMAPs that can trigger problems in the digestive system.

There are five categories of food that contain FODMAPs:

At first when my nutritionist told me I needed to go on a diet, I assumed it would be a restrictive list of processed and sugary foods. But I was really surprised after seeing the list how many healthy things are included, such as fruit, beans, and a whole host of vegetables that I would never have thought could cause stomach problems.

My Nutrition Plan for The FODMAPs Diet
My nutritonist recommended I go on a two week FODMAPs Diet, which means I will have to avoid all of the foods / ingredients listed above. It’s essentially a gluten-free, dairy-free, sweetner-free, fun-free diet. (Although I can have chocolate and potatoes, so I’m not complaining too loudly.) Since I met with her right before Thanksgiving, and have a trip coming up this week, closely followed by Christmas, followed by New Year’s… she recommended I start the plan January 2.

So starting in January, I will join the other new years resolutioners and start my 2-week diet from everything listed above. The hope is that I will be feeling 100% better during that time and allow my digestive system to kick-back into shape. After the two weeks, I’ll go back to see her and share my results, and then come up with a plan to slowly add in each of the five groups to pin-point which group was giving me the most problems. Ideally we’ll be able to determine which of the five categories gives me the most problems, and come up with a nutrition strategy moving forward.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted in the new year on the diet and my eating plan, especially for anyone who has suffered with similar symptoms and is interested in trying it!

Had you ever heard of the FODMAPs diet?
Have you noticed any discomfort eating any of the foods on the FODMAPs list? 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I had never heard of FODMAPs – really interesting. It’s wonderful that you have a plan to pinpoint the issue, even if it will be a tough couple weeks. Thanks goodness for chocolate and potatoes!

    I love onions but in the last few years, I have noticed that I get a bad stomachache if I eat something that is too onion-heavy. Fortunately, I can eat onion in moderation; it is more of an issue if someone else prepares the meal and adds a ton of onion.

    Do you think it’s common that people have at least some mild reaction to one of these categories?

  • I went paleo in September after having a series of stomach issues. Apparently I’ve had food allergies my whole life, but my body was able to mask them until a major stress (loss of my dad) wouldn’t let my body handle both. Paleo is pretty similar to FODMAPs, so you can find some really yummy paleo recipes (I have a full pinterest board if you need ideas) that would fit in with fodmaps. I really would recommend picking up “It Starts With Food” or I can lend it to you on kindle if you’d prefer. It really explains why and how eating this way works in your body. It totally blew my mind. Cheese and dairy were just about killing me. Paleo is amazing though, I haven’t had health issues since I started AND I’ve lost 25 lbs! And I love eating this way and I feel great. I’m happy to share more, so email if you have questions. :)

  • i am also starting to focus on revamping my diet because I get stomach issues and heart burn a lot. I am considering paleo, but FODMAPs sounds pretty interesting too.

  • Wow! That sounds like a challenge! But I think it’s a good thing that you start after christmas &new years eve. Just curious. No lactose or no dairy? Because you know you can get lactose free dairy products? Which taste just the same, only you dont get stomach ache from it. Just a suggestion for you:-)

  • Thanks for this information. My husband has IBS and it had recently been flaring up so we will give this a try.

  • A few years back I saw a naturalpath because of some dietary concerns, and she told me to stop eating all fruit, all dairy, and all sugars. But she gave me no guidance beyond that, and no time frame for how long I was supposed to eat essentially, meat and vegetables. Not very professional, in my opinion.

    It seems like your nutritionist has a better sense of what’s realistic, and is doing a better job of giving you the guidance you need to follow it. I think this a great plan, and 2 weeks is totally doable.

    Good luck! (And hope it helps!)

  • Welcome to my world. I lead a twitter chat and we’ll be discussing this again next year. I’m also part of a Facebook group where FODMAPs are the focus of the entire conversation, I should mention the Yahoo group as well but I don’t post on there.

  • Hi, I saw this through the Fructose group on FB. I’ve been following FODMAP’s since being diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and it made a huge difference for me! I’ve written about it on my blog that discusses life with gastroparesis, a digestive disorder, and it is the most viewed post to date. Good luck and will follow up to see how it goes for you :)

  • I have been following a low fodmap diet for over two years with amazing results – it was life changing for me and relatively easy to do – I feel million times better and have no horrible symptoms

  • Yes, I think you may be right! I bet there is a little bit in everyone that reacts differently to certain foods! It’s too bad there’s not an easy way to find out which ones, without trial and error.

  • Wow, that’s really interesting. I’ve heard of Paleo but haven’t really looked into it much. Thanks for the book recommendation and recipe ideas! I will definitely check them out. And congrats on losing 25 lbs!! That is amazing!

  • Just lactose-free… I can have lactose-free dairy products in small quantities, like 1 oz of goat cheese, etc. That will definitely go a long way for me since I looove cheese!

  • Yes, please do and let me know what he thinks! A few others have commented that paleo diets have worked too, so you may want to give that a try as well.

  • Oh wow, that seems very vague and frustrating! Yes, at first I was ready to start the diet and feel better ASAP, but she’s been really realistic and knows that it takes a lot of discipline to start something like that so hopefully the new year will be a good time. Appreciate the support! I’ll let you know if it helps. :)

  • That is great! I will definitely need some recipe ideas from other FODMAPers. :) Let me know when the chat is live in the new year!

  • That is wonderful! I am so happy to hear it’s going well for you, and hopefully I will have similar results soon. Any favorite low-fodmaps recipes? :)

  • I am meeting w/ a nutritionist in Fairfax, VA next weekend to discuss this very topic. I’ve been gluten-free for 4 1/2 years and became lactose intolerant in 2010, but I take a lactase enzyme to help with that. Hummus doesn’t bother me, but blackberries definitely make me gassy, as does Splenda. I avoid HFCS as it gives me canker sores. I’m going to be very sad if I can no longer eat mangoes, my absolute most favorite food on the planet, but I’m willing to try. I hope you are feeling better.

  • Just now finding out about this type of approach to IBS through a piece on NPR. I am so annoyed my gastroenterologist never mentioned it to me. So worth a try for two weeks. Except for the fun free part that is.

  • I am beginning to research the FODMAP diet for my 13 yr old son. He has stomach issues the gastroentologist wants him to give it a try. But, my husband and one of my other children have over 30 food allergies. So, I’m kind of overwhelmed right now. Between the 3 of them I’m starting to think they can only agree on air & water. Anyway, this article was 2012 and for 2014 you’ve spoken of Paleo. What caused your switch and have you found any great results???

  • Hi JoAnn — In general the FODMAPs diet was helpful, but it was still really hard for me to pinpoint which of the five groups was the most hurtful. The most effective diet is actually what I am on now — the Whole30 diet which is basically paleo, except it doesn’t allow for honey or other treat-like foods. Eliminating all foods that are processed, which includes grains, dairy, alcohol and sugar, so everything is homemade with real food and meat.

    I don’t have huge stomach issues, just minor discomfort and irregularity, but so far the diet has helped tremendously. I would recommend reading Practically Paleo, a book that is separated into three parts 1) the science and history behind food, what to eat and why 2) 30-day meal plans based on physical conditions/issues and 3) recipes that go with the meal plans. It is a very strict diet, but just takes a little adjusting from the normal crappy foods you find in packages and I found it extremely helpful. Against All Grain is another good cookbook where she adapts a lot of munchies and kid-loved foods into paleo-friendly recipes.

    I hope that helps… good luck!!