About the Low FODMAP diet
The Low-FODMAP diet was created by researchers at Monash University in Australia to help people suffering from common digestive illnesses. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable (rapidly digested by bacteria in the intestines),
Oligosaccharides (fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides), Disaccarides (lactose),
Monosaccharides (fructose), And Polyols (sugar alchohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol). Seventy-five percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have greatly improved symptoms when they remove the FODMAP foods from their diet. Some people cannot eat any of the problem sugars, while others only have trouble with a few of the types.
If you’re interested in more information about the Low-FODMAP diet, I recommend these books:
The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders, by Dr. Sue Shepherd and Dr. Peter Gibson. Two of the leading researchers on fructose, lactose, and wheat intolerances, they were instrumental in developing the low-FODMAP diet. This is the North American edition of “Food Intolerance Management Plan”, with minor additions and new layout. Published on August 6, 2013.
IBS-Free at Last! Second Edition. Change Your Carbs, Change Your Life with the FODMAP Elimination Diet, by Patsy Catsos, a registered, licensed dietitian who specializes in treating patients with fructose malabsorption and IBS. Click here for a review of the book. Here’s a link to her very helpful website, IBS-Free at Last!
iPhone low FODMAP app, or the Android app, developed by Monash University to provide accurate information about foods that trigger IBS symptoms. It has many helpful features including a food guide, a shopping guide and a 1 week low FODMAP trial. Designed to be automatically updated as new information is published. Proceeds help fund low FODMAP research.
The Low FODMAP diet, reducing poorly absorbed sugars to control gastrointestinal symptoms, 4th ed., is a helpful booklet published by Monash University. It contains the latest information on foods that have been tested, and it can be ordered online now. Proceeds help fund low FODMAP research.
The information below is compiled from these sources as well as published research. This list is not definitive, as researchers continue to test other foods. Please consult a dietician for up-to-date information, including how to manage this condition properly.
Foods allowed on a Low-FODMAP diet
FRUITS – bold = limit to Indicated Amount or less
Avocado (1/8), bananas – common, bananas – sugar (1/2 medium), blueberries, cantaloupe (rockmelon), carambola, cherries (3), durian, dragon fruit, grapefruit (1/2 medium), grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, longon (10), lychee (5), mandarins, oranges, papaya (paw paw), passionfruit, pineapple, prickly pear, pomegranate (1/4 cup seeds or 1/2 small), rambutan (3), raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tangelos
Vegetables – bold = limit to 1/2 cup or less if indicated
Artichoke hearts (1/4 cup), arugula (rocket), alfalfa, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, beets (4 slices), bok choy, broccoli (1/4 cup), Brussels sprouts (1/2 cup), bell peppers (capsicum), cabbage – common, cabbage – Savoy (1 cup), carrots, celery (1/2 stick), chives, choko, choy sum, corn (1/2 cob), cucumber, eggplant (aubergine), endive, fennel bulb (1/2 cup), ginger, green beans, green onions (green part only), lettuce (butter, iceberg, red coral, radicchio), okra (3 pods), olives, parsnip, peas – green (1/4 cup), potato, seaweed – nori, snow peas (5), squash, squash – Butternut (1/4 cup), Swiss chard (silverbeet), spinach, radish, rutabaga (swede), sweet potato (1/2 cup), taro, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts, witlof (a variety of endive), zucchini
Lactose-free milk, rice milk; ‘hard’ cheeses, including Brie and Camembert; lactose-free yogurt; butter and margarine
Sugar (sucrose), brown sugar, glucose (also known as dextrose in powdered form), stevia, artificial sweeteners not ending in -ol (such as aspartame), maple syrup, golden syrup
Allspice, asafoetida, basil, bay leaves, caraway, cardamom, cayenne pepper, celery seeds, chervil, chilli, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, dill seeds, elderflower, fenugreek, galangal, garlic-infused oil, ginger, juniper berries, kaffir lime leaves, lavender, lemon basil, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, lemon thyme, licorice, mace, marjoram, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, peppermint, spearmint, star anise, sumac, Szechuan pepper, vanilla
Other – Bold = limit to less than a handful per sitting
Alcohol (except beer, cider and dessert, sweet or fortified wines), baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, chia seeds, chocolate drinking powder (see chocolate update at bottom of page), coconut (all parts), coffee (including espresso), flax, gelatin, nuts in limited amounts (no cashews or pistachios), seeds, oat bran, psyllium, rice bran, tea (peppermint, green, white and black are okay: no camomile, dandelion, fennel or oolong tea), soy sauce, tamari, tofu, vinegar, xanthan gum. Red meat, fish, poultry and bacon are allowed.
Additional foods that may be tolerated by some fructose malabsorbers
Vegetables- avoid these if you are sensitive to polyols
Avocados (1/8 or less is generally tolerated), cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas (most people tolerate 5 or less)
All milk products are allowed if you are not lactose intolerant. If you are lactose intolerant, limit yourself to less than one gram of lactose per serving or use lactose-free dairy products.
Hands down, the foods that cause the most trouble are high fructose sweeteners, apples, honey, wheat, barley, rye, onions and garlic. Not only do they cause symptoms, they’re hard to avoid because they’re in lots of processed food. A gluten-free food won’t have wheat, barley or rye in it, but it may still be off-limits because it has one of the other problem foods such as honey, high fructose corn syrup, onions or garlic.
Update on Chocolate:
June 7, 2013: Cocoa powder recently tested moderately high in FODMAPs at the Monash University lab, which means food containing higher amounts of cocoa powder may no longer be considered suitable for a low-FODMAP diet. Here’s a link to what dietician Patsy Catsos has to say on the topic: http://www.ibsfree.net/ibsfree_at_last/2013/06/cocoa-powder-moderately-high-in-fodmaps-what-about-chocolate.html
Here’s a link to the update page on the Monash University website, with the most recent information on hot beverages, including hot chocolate: http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/research/updates.html