A Beginner’s Guide to a Low FODMAP Diet
Last week, Tastermonial launched its lineup of June Tasterboxes! Tasterboxes are grocery packages full of premium products produced by small food brands. Each Tasterbox is categorized based on dietary preference and aims to introduce you to new foods that fit your dietary preferences while elevating the platform for these small, local brands. For June, the four Tasterboxes available are centered around products that are gluten-free, low carb, detoxifying, and low FODMAP.
Now, you might be wondering, what does low FODMAP mean?
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols”. While the name is quite a mouthful, this organic compound is a short chain carbohydrate that is actually quite small. Carbohydrates are macronutrients that can be found all across our diet. They are essential for storing energy, and depending on where you are receiving your intake of carbohydrates may be dictating the comfort of your digestive system. This is where short chain carbohydrates, like FODMAPs, come in.
The root of the dietary concerns associated with FODMAPs is the small intestine’s inability to process short chain carbohydrates.The small intestine is where your body absorbs the majority of nutrients that you ingest from your diet. Unfortunately, FODMAPs are unable to be properly absorbed by the body. As a result of their overstayed welcome, intestinal bacteria ferment FODMAPs, amplifying gas production and digestive discomfort.
It is important to note that some FODMAPs are poorly absorbed by some people while others, like lactose and fructose, only cause problems for another subset of people.
In general, people who experience distress from FODMAP consumption may experience symptoms such as:
- Excessive gas (flatulence)
Who might be interested in trying a low FODMAP diet?
The low FODMAP diet has been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. In fact, 1 in 10 individuals in the United States report having IBS. While the exact cause of IBS is unclear, it is widely known that food plays a huge role in triggering or mitigating symptoms.
Following a low FODMAP diet may also be beneficial for those who experience small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This abnormal growth of bacteria in the small intestine results in similar symptoms that those with IBS experience: bloating, flatulence, constipation, and more.
Everyone’s body is different. If you are interested in trying a low FODMAP diet, start out with baby steps to test out what your body loves and what it can not handle. It doesn’t hurt to consult a professional to receive more individualized recommendations before implementing a diet change. It is important to note that the low FODMAP diet is NOT meant to be utilized for weight loss. While weight loss can occur, make sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing drastic changes in your body – this can potentially be dangerous.
How can you reduce FODMAP intake?
If you, a family member, or a friend, are on a low FODMAP diet or considering embarking on one, navigating through the grocery store can be extremely overwhelming.
Here are some foods with high FODMAP content:
- Dairy products (e.g. cow’s milk, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese)
- Sweeteners (e.g. honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar)
- Beans and Lentils
- Wheat and Rye
- Some fruits (e.g. stone fruits, cherries, blackberries)
- Some vegetables (e.g. brussel sprouts, garlic, onions)
Here are some foods with low FODMAP content:
- Lactose-Free Dairy products (e.g. Lactaid Milk, hard cheeses not made with cow’s milk)
- Protein-rich foods (e.g. eggs, chicken, tofu)
- Nuts and seeds
- Some fruits (e.g. bananas, blueberries, melons)
- Some vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, potatoes, bok choy, bamboo)
As a rule of thumb, vegetables that have a higher water content are easier to digest. Fortunately, most vegetables are naturally low in FODMAP content.
Learn more about the different chemical components of FODMAP and what it means for your diet – “Fermentable Foods: Trouble in Your Diet”
How can the low FODMAP Tasterbox help?
The experience of trying new food brands and exploring different snack options shouldn’t be hindered by a restricted diet or health concern. Tastermonial’s low FODMAP Tasterbox brings this fun experience straight to your doorstep, without the burden of wondering if each product falls within your dietary lifestyle. That step has already been completed by our team and by our licensed dietitian. Each month, the Tasterbox products will rotate, allowing you and your family to continue exploring healthy and delicious foods that meet your dietary needs. If you fall in love with a product from a previous box, those are available at our online grocery store, too.
The June low FODMAP Tasterbox is available now! All boxes are available for preorder and will be delivered in June.
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Tastermonial content is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Take necessary precautions when handling information regarding food and nutrition. If you are ever unsure about pursuing a particular diet, make sure to consult a medical professional or licensed dietitian for more individual guidance.