Approximately 10% of the European population suffers from intestinal complaints to a greater or lesser extent. These complaints are usually grouped under the name of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PDS). Unfortunately, I’m also a part of the unfortunate. However, following the Low FODMAP diet has significantly reduced my intestinal cramps and loose stools. Because of this I have realized how important food is for your body. The FODMAP diet ensures that my sensitive intestines can remain in balance. That sounds very vague, but it is scientifically proven. Therefore, first a short explanation about the diet itself:
The FODMAP diet is a diet that has been developed relatively recently by scientists at Monash University in Australia. The diet is specifically aimed at people suffering from PDS or similar (bowel) complaints. It is the only scientifically proven diet in the world that demonstrably reduces complaints related to the gastrointestinal tract. In the scientific literature, there is no discussion anymore: The FODMAP diet works and reduces intestinal complaints! But how does it work? The FODMAP diet is based on the degree of degradability of ingested food in the intestines. Various groups of carbohydrates (especially sugar chains) do poorly or not break down in the small intestine. The intake of food with such carbohydrates causes the accumulation of more fluid in the small intestine. After all, the small intestine does not get these carbohydrate chains broken down, so it wants to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Subsequently, the FODMAPs in the colon are fermented (fermented). Gas bubbles are formed during this fermentation. The fermentation and the attraction of moisture together provide abdominal pain, flatulence and abnormal stools. The following video from Monash University explains how FODMAPs affect the intestinal system.
With the FODMAP diet you limit the intake of the so-called FODMAPs as much as possible, to minimize the symptoms. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:
Fermentable – Substances that are fermented by bacteria in the colon
Oligosaccharides – Fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (eg. wheat, onion, garlic and beans)
Disaccharides – Lactose (including Milk, Yoghurt)
Monosaccharides – Fructose (many fruits, such as apple and pear)
Polyols – Sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and mannitol (mushrooms, chewing gum, light products)
Usually the first time dealing with the diet starts with your doctor or a dietitian. You get a list and begin with the elimination phase of the diet in good spirits. Often you get some leaflet with a list of what you can and should not have while following the diet. When you first go through the list of products that contain many FODMAPs, it seems like there is nothing left for you to eat. I also had to swallow when I saw the amount of “red” products, that were no longer allowed. But after a small period of getting used to the diet, it turned out to be quite easy. For many things it’s possible to find a good replacement. That is what I want to show you with this blog, in the “Replacements” section. Furthermore, one of the most important tips in following this diet is to directly purchase the official app of the FODMAP diet that the Monash University has made. Here you can immediately see what you can and can not eat with a traffic light system. All you have to do is enter the name of a product and the app indicates whether or not you can have it.
Ultimately, during the course of the diet, if you are free of symptoms for a while, you may also be able to re-introduce a number of the groups from the FODMAP acronym if your body does not react negatively to them. That, of course, makes life a lot easier. I still follow the basic diet myself, and I like that. The advantages that it provides for me far outweigh the disadvantages for me. I have to say for the sake of “full disclosure” that I am not a dietitian myself. I have been following the diet with great satisfaction for several years now and I have also read many of the (Scientific) literature behind the FODMAP diet. So I know a lot about it, but I’m not a professional. Before you start this diet, it is always important to do this together with a dietitian. Together with a dietitian you can assess whether you get all the nutrients you need. My blog is only intended to share recipes that are as Low in FODMAPs as possible and to give tips to live with the FODMAP diet.
If you have questions about the FODMAP diet or the recipes on this page, please contact me via the link “Contact” at the top of the page.