We take a closer look at FODMAPs

June 30, 2017 10:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Have you heard of FODMAPs? It’s a handy acronym for the following list of short-chain carbohydrates: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols – not a phrase that trips easily off the tongue! FODMAPs ferment rapidly in the gut, producing gas. These carbohydrates are also highly ‘osmotic’ – that is, they draw water into the large bowel. Foods containing these carbohydrates seem to cause intestinal problems for certain people. The ‘FODMAPs diet’ aims to help these people, who have often been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, other bowel problems or functional gastrointestinal disorders.

We take a look at FODMAPs.

So: what’s all this about FODMAPs?

FODMAPs isn’t a new fad. The diet was developed back in 1999, by Drs Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson, who noticed that by limiting specific foods, their patients’ symptoms could be controlled and reduced. The FODMAPs diet, if followed strictly, involves fairly major dietary restrictions and shouldn’t be undertaken without medical advice. Great care is needed when following the diet to ensure that a balanced, nutritious intake of food is maintained.

What are FODMAP foods?

There are many, many FODMAP foods and the list is being refined all the time. For an up-to-date list, try this link: IBS Diets.

Some foods, such as wheat, beans, cabbage and onions, may seem fairly obvious contenders for the list: others, like pears and cashews, are more unexpected. If you search for FODMAP foods, you’re likely to find a ‘High’ and a ‘Low’ list of foodstuffs. Essentially, the ‘High’ list is foods that are high in FODMAPs, and the ‘Low’ list contains foods that are perfectly safe for sufferers to eat. You’ll be relieved to know that there’s still plenty on the Low list!

Lentils are a low FODMAP food - like chickpeas.

Are lentils OK?

For people with occasional intestinal problems, it might be worth having a look at both lists – perhaps cutting down on certain ‘high’ foods could help you? Meanwhile, the following selection, from the ‘Low’ list, are certainly great to eat:

FODMAPS and Naturally Good Food

We stock an extensive range of tummy-friendly foods, from Orgran.

Tummy-friendly pancake mix, from Orgran.

We’re not advocating a particular set of FODMAP diet foods at Naturally Good Food – but we are beginning to see increasing interest in foods that are ‘tummy-friendly’ or suitable for FODMAP patients. For example, our Orgran range now includes a ‘tummy friendly’ logo on foods that are compliant with this diet. We stock the full gluten-free food range from Orgran, an Australian company. Around half of their products now sport this logo, including pasta, pancake mix, flours, breakfast cereals, crispbreads, custard and cake mix.

You can see the Tummy Friendly Orgran range here.

Like to find out more?

The following links might be useful to help you find out more about FODMAPs.

Monash University (Australia): FODMAP research.

Sue Shepherd: ideas and recipes from the original researcher.

Living Happy with IBS: an American blog, with lots of practical information and lists.

Practical Gastroenterology Article 2012: a reasonably complex article.

Orgran Tummy Friendly: the Australian website for Orgran.



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This post was written by Yzanne

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