What You Need to Know About FODMAPs

Move over gluten, there is a new tummy troubler on the block everybody seems to be talking about.

While gluten has been hogging the spotlight for a quite a while, researches have begun to pinpoint another possible foe in the fight against upset stomachs: FODMAPs.  Occurring in numerous popular foods, FODMAPS do not cause indigestion or IBS in the majority for people but for some, they may be reason your evening meal never seems to sit right.

Formally known as Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols, FODMAP “refers to a group of short chain oligosaccharides (sugars) which have been anecdotally linked to almost any kind of indigestion disorder,” says Harvey Kornfeld a food scientist and research chef with Culinary Food Science LLC of Katonah. “Simply put, FODMAPs are short-chain (simple) carbohydrates which some people cannot digest.  This may result in everything from occasional indigestion and heartburn to chronic diarrhea and constipation, or stomach boating.”

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Kornfeld explains that Foods considered high in FODMAPs may, but not always, cause fermentation and production of hydrogen gas, especially among patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Foods high in FODMAPs include some fruits, such as apples, plums, and pears as well as wheat and rye, and vegetables like onion, asparagus, and garlic.  However, Kornfeld agrees it is important to see a doctor before coming to any conclusions, or cutting any foods out of your diet.

While milk is also considered a high FODMAP there are, luckily, plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other foods that happen to be low in the sugar. These include bananas, oranges, grapes, green beans, tomatoes, almonds, lettuce, melon, meats, and fish. 

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