Low FODMAP Foods to Temporarily Include in Your Diet

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You might have heard of the FODMAP diet somewhere, but don't quite know everything included in it. Learn more about the FODMAP diet and low FODMAP foods for those new to the diet.

What is the FODMAP Diet?

FODMAP stands for "Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols." The items in this list are fermentable short-chain carbohydrates that do not absorb well in the small intestine.1 Higher FODMAP foods increase levels of fluid in the bowels and can create more gas than lower FODMAP foods. High FODMAP foods are more easily fermented by bacteria in the colon, which then can leads to increased fluid levels and gas, creating bloating and changes in how fast you digest. All of these changes may cause unpleasant or uncomfortable GI disturbances such as gas.1

The Low FODMAP food diet is meant to help reduce intestinal distress and help people find out which foods are problematic and which foods are well tolerated. The low FODMAP diet is meant to be a short-term diet to discover which foods are problematic for you. It is not meant to be a long-term diet.2

The goal of the diet is to find out which foods cause you digestive upset like cramping, occasional diarrhea, occasional constipation, stomach bloating, and/or gas. The low FODMAP diet goes in phases referred to as the elimination phase, reintroduction phase and then personalization. First, you stop eating certain high FODMAP foods and only eat low FODMAP foods. After a period of time of eliminating high FODMAP foods, people then slowly reintroduce certain high FODMAP foods to see which cause digestive upset. Thirdly, once you know which foods cause issues, you can work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to personalize your diet and determine which foods are tolerable and fit into your day-to-day lifestyle.2

What are some low FODMAP foods?

You can find specific detailed lists of all the low FODMAP foods, but we'll outline some basic low FODMAP foods as well as high FODMAP foods to avoid. Remember, everyone's body is different and not all foods will trigger everyone the same way. Some foods may trigger symptoms in you but not in others.

Five low FODMAP foods you can include in your diet:2

  1. Eggs and Meat
  2. Cheese
  3. Almond Milk
  4. Grains like Rice, Quinoa & Oats
  5. Low-sugar Fruits like Grapes, Oranges, Pineapples
  6. Potatoes

While the foods above are low FODMAP foods, there are some high FODMAP foods you want to avoid if you're following the diet. High FODMAP foods that can potentially aggravate your gut include:2

  1. Garlic and Onions
  2. Wheat-based Products
  3. Beans
  4. Dairy-based Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream
  5. High Sugar Fruits like Apples, Cherries, Peaches & Pears

These food categories are just a start and you can get a full list of FODMAP foods from your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist. The goal of FODMAP is to limit the problematic foods in a category and gradually add them back into your diet.2 It's also important to have a doctor or specialized registered dietitian’s supervision while following this diet, to make sure you're getting enough nutrition while following a restrictive diet like this one.

Who Should Follow the Low FODMAP Diet?

The FODMAP diet can be a useful tool for people dealing with digestive upset triggered by food. It can help identify which foods are problematic and don't agree with your digestive system. This way, you can avoid trigger foods and hopefully experience less digestive upset symptoms like bloating, cramps, occasional diarrhea, and gas. It’s important to work with a doctor because anyone who is underweight shouldn’t try this on their own.2 Make sure to talk with a doctor or dietitian before trying the FODMAP diet and see if it can help.

Show ReferencesHide References

  1. Try a FODMAPs diet to manage irritable bowel syndrome. Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/a-new-diet-to-manage-irritable-bowel-syndrome/ Accessed 2/22/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in the source PDF.
  2. FODMAP diet: what you need to know. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fodmap-diet-what-you-need-to-know/ Accessed 2/22/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in the source PDF.

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