FODMAPs: the new gluten?

Carbohydrates just got a lot wordier.

If you’re new to FODMAPs (fermentable-oligosaccharides-disaccharides-monosaccharides-AND-polyols), they’re a group of short-chain carb molecules that are often poorly absorbed in the small intestine.

While gluten is the culprit behind many GI sensitivities, it’s not the only substance that could be triggering tummy troubles.

chickpea salad

Chickpea bowl…not low FODMAP-friendly (but full of yummy nutrients)

When FODMAPs pass through the small intestine, they cruise along the digestive tract and act as a food source to the bacteria chilling out in our large intestine (ie. fermentation). Here in the colon, they can produce gaseous ‘wind’, abdominal cramping, bloating and other uncomfortable by-products.

For people with IBS, celiac or Crohn’s/colitis, symptoms could get worse from consuming these foods on the daily.

Here’s a short breakdown of FODMAP sources:

HIGH

Beans & legumes
Dairy
Apples
Watermelon
Mango
Natural sweeteners: honey, agave, xylitol
Barley
Wheat
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Asparagus
Garlic
Onions
Cashews

LOW

Bok choy
Spinach & kale
Bean sprouts
Tomatoes
Firm tofu (yet it contains other gassy anti-nutrients like saponins, phytates and lectins)
Coconut
Ripe bananas
Berries
Lemon
Lime
Maple syrup
Almonds
Walnuts
Gluten-free grains: brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat

Surprisingly, I came across a few low FODMAP charts listing table sugar and aspartame, which are ironically gluten-free. And Oreos are vegan. So being free of an allergen or animal product doesn’t always shout nutritious…

In any case, it’s interesting to observe how you feel after eating some of these high FODMAP foods, and whether your body reacts adversely or not. Gassing your partner out of bed or off the couch would be a good indicator.

Happy digesting! 🙂

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