Does your stomach feel like it's in a knot after eating certain foods? The feeling may be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which impacts how the gut moves and digests food. IBS is a common GI issue affecting roughly 25-45 million people in the United States. Certain foods can cause can IBS symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. To help alleviate these GI symptoms, you may have heard about the FODMAP diet.
FODMAP stands for fermentable short-chain carbohydrates oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols. These are carbohydrates found in many foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes, and sugar alcohols. Bacteria ferment carbohydrates during digestion. Some individuals may have a difficult time absorbing these carbohydrates, which can cause excess gas and fluid to develop, leading to abdominal discomfort, pain, and changes in bowel habits.
FODMAP is a short-term elimination diet that can help identify the foods that contain these types of carbohydrates that may trigger digestive issues. During the elimination process, high-FODMAP foods should be avoided for approximately six to eight weeks then slowly reintroduced. People should track their food and symptoms to help identify problematic foods. Certain FODMAP foods may not impact people with IBS symptoms. People are encouraged to work closely with a physician and a registered dietitian. For help in the aisles, reach out to an in-store nutritionist.
What’s the research say?
A FODMAP eating plan has been shown to reduce symptoms in individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, but may also plus improve mood and quality of life. However, other studies have shown inconclusive results. More extensive FODMAP studies are needed to assess the diet’s long-term efficacy.
FODMAP Foods in the Aisle
Manufacturers are answering the requests of consumers and now offering low-FODMAP products that do not contain onions, garlic, lactose, or gluten that may trigger IBS symptoms. Available products range from soups, baking mixes, cookies, and protein bites. There are two voluntary certifications for low-FODMAP food products are available from Monash University and FODMAP Friendly.
Find gut-friendly foods at Giant!
- Enjoy Life Foods® makes allergy-friendly products that are free from gluten and 14 common allergens, has introduced low-FODMAP products such as cookies and protein bites.
- FODY™ makes a variety of low fodmap products, including chocolate, sauces, salad dressings, and seasonings.
- Rao’s Homemade® Sensitive Marinara Sauce doesn’t contain onions or garlic.
Are you interested in gut health? Check out our blog on probiotics and Love Your Gut podcast.
High FODMAP carbohydrate sources: Yogurt (lactose), asparagus (monosaccharides), watermelon (fructans), legumes (galacto-oligosaccharides), and blackberries (polyols).