You are what you eat.

I have recently heard lots of casual advice on avoiding high FODMAP foods to prevent digestive discomfort. I am NOT a medical professional, but I am often interested in what they are saying.   FODMAP foods are fermentable carbs which can trigger digestive problems in some people –

Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides and Polyols.  Many of these foods are good for you, but you may want to put some of them on your ‘suspect’ list if you have occasional digestive issues.

A nutritionist explained that ‘FODMAPs’ are complicated and we need them in a healthy diet.  While a low FODMAP diet might be good for all of us occasionally, she advises that many of the FODMAPs are prebiotic foods which feed healthy bacteria in the gut.  If your gut is out of balance, the nutritionist suggests elimination of most FODMAP foods for about three weeks and then adding back foods to figure out which ones you tolerate.  Eventually, you can re-introduce most FODMAP foods.

High FODMAP foods:

Some fruits including figs, mangoes, apples, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums and watermelon, blackberries, and lychee.

Vegetables including asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chicory leaves, globe and Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, mushrooms, snow peas, garlic and onions (oils infused with flavor from onions and garlic are ok).

Sweeteners with fructose including agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and sugar-free mints and chewing gums (with sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol or isomalt).

Legumes including baked beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, butter beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans and split peas.  Canned beans are lower in FODMAP than fresh.

Grains including wheat, amaranth, barley and rye.

Dairy in which lactose is the main carb including cottage cheese, cream cheese, other soft cheeses, milk, ricotta and yogurt.

Beverages including: Chai tea, chamomile tea, coconut water, dessert wine and rum.

Low FODMAP foods:

Fruits including unripe bananas, blueberries, kiwi, limes, mandarins, oranges, papaya, pineapple, rhubarb and strawberries,

Vegetables including bean sprouts, carrots, eggplant, kale, tomato, spinach, zucchini ,and Tofu.

Eggs, nuts and seeds.

Sweeteners including maple syrup, sucrose, sugar and artificial sweeteners with aspartame, saccharin and Stevia.

Grains including brown rice, buckwheat, maize, millet, oats, polenta, quinoa and tapioca.

Dairy including cheddar cheese, cream, feta cheese, lactose-free milk and Parmesan cheese.

Beverages including black tea, coffee, gin, green tea, peppermint tea, vodka, water and white tea.

 Monash University FODMAP diet

This App from Monash University in Melbourne Australia was our expert nutritionist’s recommendation for finding low FODMAP foods even though there are free alternatives.  iOS $7.99, Google Play $9.00


ASE article:  Prebiotic foods and your healthy human gut.

ASE article: The bacteria in your digestive tract may be essential to your health




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