what is the low FODMAP diet?
Laura Manning MPH, RDN, CDN | lauramanningrd.com
Laura Manning, MPH, RDN, CDN
The Low FODMAP diet is getting some well-deserved attention these days.
Finally people who suffer from belly issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can get some relief with this scientifically founded elimination diet. IBS is a condition that causes abdominal pain, gas, bloating and altered bowel habits. It affects 1 in 7 people and is a large reason for missed work days and avoiding social plans.
There are several reasons why someone may have IBS including stress, diet, genetics and changes in their intestinal bacteria (microbiome). The Low FODMAP, which was developed by a team of researchers at Monash University in Australia, noticed that when they took diet recalls of people suffering from IBS- they found some food commonalities. The team complied the data and created lists of foods according to carbohydrate structure and were able to create a diet that helps to decrease gas, bloating and belly pain. The diet has since been evaluated by scientists and numerous studies have been conducted to show its beneficial effects when used in the treatment of IBS. It is now a scientifically sound tool that people can use to identify trigger foods to allow for easier digestion.
the low FODMAP stands for low fermentable oligo-saccharides, di- saccharides, mono-saccharides, And polyols.
These are carbohydrates that are found in foods we eat everyday, but can cause havoc on the digestive tract when consumed. FODMAPs are commonly found in foods such as garlic, onions, wheat (Fructans), honey (Fructose), beans (Fructans/GOS), milk (Lactose) and peaches (Polyols) to name a few. They are also found in packaged foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as well as natural produce and grains. When eaten, they ferment in our large intestine giving off gas that adds pain and pressure that can leave you bloated or doubled over in pain. FODMAPs can also pull water into the digestive tract causing loose stools and make you run to the nearest restroom if you are sensitive to them. The Low FODMAP diet can help you to identify which of these foods actually causes these symptoms to occur by taking them out for 2-6 weeks (Elimination Phase) and then slowly adding one back in at a time to challenge them (Reintroduction Phase) and see if they bring those symptoms back or not.
It can be really empowering to learn what foods make our bodies function in odd ways...
...so we can make decisions when ordering from a menu, when out at a party or just cooking at home. It also can help us to identify triggers when reading labels and can make us more saavy in the supermarket. FODMAPS are in so many foods that we don’t even realize, like chewing gum, condiments and medications. Even additives such as inulin and chicory root often seen in sports drinks and bars can contain high amounts of FODMAPs, Maybe that is why you are getting bloated after drinking a shake or using a oral rehydration solution after a long workout. However, FODMAPs are generally not found in fats and proteins. This is because they do not contain carbohydrates, unless it is a plant-based protein such as soy products and beans (Fructans/GOS). Certain beans can be consumed in small amounts on the elimination diet like chick peas and lentils. This is good to know for vegetarians and vegans who are suffering from gastrointestinal distress as well.
And this brings me to OWYN being a plant based shake. OWYN has been certified as a Low FODMAP food! There is a special certification process given to food products that have been vigorously tested and qualify as being a Low FODMAP food by Monash University, where it all began. This helps to show people who suffer from IBS that OWYN will not cause unpleasant side effects. Drink up and be free of gas and bloating, another great quality of OWYN.