Different foods trigger different digestive issues. Foods that are high in FODMAPS ferment quickly, causing digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, cramping, gas, and flatulence. The only remedy to this is restricting the consumption of these foods to get relief from digestive symptoms.
What are FODMAPs?
The name FODMAP comes from the first letters of the following words; Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols. FODMAPs are classified as follows;
Oligo-saccharides: Under this category, we have wheat, legumes, and vegetables like onions and garlic.
Disaccharides: This category has milk, yogurt, and cheese
Mono-saccharides: Here, we have fruits like figs, apples, mangoes and sweeteners like honey.
Polyols: Here, we have fruits, vegetables, and low-calorie sweeteners.
How do FODMAPs bring about digestive symptoms?
Digestive symptoms occur as a result of fluids being drawn into the intestine and also through bacterial fermentation. FODMAPs are short chains of sugars that draw water from your body, directing it into your intestines. Causing diarrhea and bloating.
Some bacteria resides in the intestines. When you ingest high FODMAP diets, they are broken into single sugars before absorption via the intestines’ walls. Some of the FODMAPs are left undigested. When they contact intestinal bacteria, they ferment, causing cramps, constipation, or bloating.
What foods constitute high FODMAP diets?
Garlic constitutes very high levels of FODMAPs. Dry garlic has higher levels than fresh ones. Therefore, people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) must refrain from using garlic. Instead of using garlic, IBS patients can go for low FODMAP spices like ginger, turmeric, chili, etc.
Fruits are everyone’s favorite. Some fruits like apples, figs, mangoes, and nectarines carry high levels of fructose. Fructose has high levels of FODMAP. The amount of fructose in fruits differs, with some having more elevated levels. Also, some fruits like bananas, kiwi, or papayas contain glucose, which is necessary for fructose absorption. Fruits that have more glucose can still bring about digestive symptoms if eaten in large quantities.
Legumes cause gas and bloating due to the high level of FODMAD in it. Examples include beans of nearly all types as well as peas. Legumes are rich in proteins that are good for vegetarians. An alternative to this is nuts or eggs. These have low FODMAP levels.
These are among the foods with high levels of FODMAP. They include cheese, milk, yogurt, and cottage. The primary source of FODMAP here is lactose. However, dairy products like cream, feta cheese, etc. have low FODMAP; hence, they are an excellent alternative to the former.
To wrap it up
You cannot avoid FODMAPs entirely because they are present in most foods. However, if you are severely affected by FODMAPs, it is best to start eating a low FODMAP diet. The first step is to restrict yourself from consuming high FODMAP diets. After finding relief you can reintroduce the high-level FODMAPs while choosing the ones you can tolerate. The final step requires you personalize the FODMAPs that you can tolerate.