The FODMAP diet, or fermentable, short-chain fatty acid diets, is becoming more popular as individuals attempt to lose weight and prevent potential future weight gain. These diets are formulated to lower glucose levels in the body. If a person has high blood sugar levels, or has a condition like diabetes, it is very likely that the diet will result in weight loss and possibly a decrease in symptoms as well. If you are considering the diet, it is best to familiarize yourself with the facts before beginning.
What exactly are “fodmaps”? FODMAPS or unprocessed fats, monosaccharides, ferments, and polyols are typically short chain fatty acids which are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and tend to ferment in the large intestine. As a result of fermentation, these substances have an odor, which can be unpleasant. Foods such as alcohol, garlic, onions, white bread, dried beans, processed meats, sweets, cakes, vinegar, coffee, soda, dried fruit, peanut butter, mayonnaise, jams, peanut butter, steak, tuna, and sweetbreads are some of the foods often associated with a low fodmap diet. Although not all of these foods are considered to be bad for people who are dieting, it is best to avoid them altogether while on the diet.
Can a low-fodmap diet be safe for everyone? It is possible that a person could experience symptoms if they have a food allergy or celiac disease. However, as long as the person is not experiencing serious side effects, the fodmap diet is generally safe for the majority of people.
The main reason that fodmap diets are so controversial is that they usually require the person to completely avoid all of the carbohydrates and other high-protein foods that they normally eat. This means that most people find it difficult to follow a no-carb diet. However, some people find that limiting the amount of sugar, fat, and cholesterol they consume helps them get through the day without feeling hungry or lacking the energy they need to get through the day.
Low Fodmap Diet
The low-fodmap diet is also known for having several health benefits. People on this type of diet tend to have fewer digestive symptoms, which include bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, gas, irritability, nausea, and heartburn. These symptoms are caused by the body not being able to break down and absorb nutrients properly. When the body does not receive enough of the nutrients it needs, it sends the message that there is an imbalance, and digestive symptoms begin.
While there are still some gastrointestinal symptoms that can occur after the six weeks of the diet, many people find that the symptoms they experience are very mild or even disappear entirely. One of the main reasons why you may experience relief from digestive symptoms is because your body is now processing all of the foods you eat at a much more efficient rate. This is beneficial to your overall digestive health as well. Your body is now able to digest food quicker and absorb nutrients more efficiently. It is not uncommon for elimination symptoms to disappear completely after a week of eliminating all of the foods you were previously eating.
Another of the benefits of a low fodmap diet is that you will notice a decrease in your overall gas and belly tenderness. Many people who suffer from IBS symptoms report a significant improvement in their symptoms after going on a diet such as this. Some people notice that they are able to sleep better, and do so without snoring. Because it eliminates all of the “sticky” foods that contribute to intestinal gas and stomach discomfort, you will be able to rest easier at night, thus improving your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night.
In the End
There are a few things you need to consider when going on this diet. First, if you are currently lactose intolerant you should avoid any product that contains milk products, which is most of them. Second, you must also avoid any high-fructose corn syrup products or foods that use this ingredient. Many people experience significant relief from symptoms by simply cutting out these foods and replacing them with a more natural sweetener such as honey.