Education, Nutrition
Did you know one in seven adults suffers from irritable bowel syndrome? Lower abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, altered bowel movement, and gastrointestinal upset sometimes characterize this condition. Research conducted at Monash University has suggested the best way to alleviate the symptoms associated with IBS may be to limit a group of small chain carbohydrates (such as sugars and fibers) that are commonly malabsorbed in the small intestine. This group of carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs, are well tolerated by most, and in fact, they feed healthy gut bacteria. But for those individuals who do not fully absorb these molecules in the small intestine, they enter the large intestine where fermentation causes undesirable symptoms. The low-FODMAP diet has gained popularity for its usefulness in reducing symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). So what exactly are FODMAPs? FODMAP is an acronym that stands for: F ermentableO ligosaccharides (legumes)D isaccharides (lactose, milk sugar)M onosaccharide (excess fructose)A ndP olyols (sugar alcohols) Some common foods high in FODMAPs include apples, peaches, pears, onions, garlic, wheat, barley, rye, mushrooms, and more.  Even chewing gum can trigger IBS-related symptoms, as sugar alcohols, like erythritol, are high-FODMAP. A low-FODMAP diet The low-FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet rather than a lifetime prescription.  The first phase involves the elimination of all high- FODMAP foods from the diet, followed by the gradual reintroduction of these foods. Adhering to a low-FODMAP diet for a period of time can be difficult but there are a variety of resources that may be useful. A low-FODMAP meal plan used in conjunction with the Monash University app can help give individuals guidance.   The elimination phase is about 2-6 weeks.  It is important to work through the reintroduction period with a registered dietitian for guidance on how to appropriately reintroduce foods and how to accurately assess tolerance.  The objective of this method is to identify which foods trigger symptoms.  Not every high-FODMAP food causes symptoms in everyone so the slow re-introduction of higher FODMAP foods back into the diet may be important in pinpointing which foods trigger individual symptoms and in what quantities.  Low-FODMAP recipes Looking for some low-FODMAP Recipes? Give this Asian Kale Salad With Nut Butter Dressing & Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie a try, or follow our low-FODMAP Pinterest board for other ideas.