The Amazing Benefits of the FODMAP Diet

The FODMAP diet and its avoidance of vegetables that are high in fermentable short-chain carbohydrates, make it a great option for those who have digestive issues.
The Amazing Benefits of the FODMAP Diet
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Have you ever heard of the FODMAP diet? Do you have any issues with your large intestine such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea? If you have any of these conditions, then continue reading because this diet could be the solution.

What’s the FODMAP diet?

FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. It involves eliminating vegetables with high amounts of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates from your diet.

Although some individuals love them, not everybody can synthesize them without having any problems. This diet is especially great for those who have issues with:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Unlike many extreme diets that don’t really take your health into consideration and only focus on having you immediately and indiscriminately loss weight, this diet is well planned out.

Likewise, it’s not meant to have you shed pounds, but prevent discomfort over short and long periods of time.

What foods are avoided in the FODMAP diet?

Some dairy products on a table.

You should avoid the following foods that have FODMAP characteristics:

  • Foods high in galacto-oligosaccharides: legumes
  • Foods in high fructooligosaccharides: garlic, rye, wheat, and onion
  • Products high in sorbitol, xylitol, ad mannitol: sweeteners and low-calorie products
  • Natural sweeteners due to their fructose content: syrups, honey, jams
  • Foods with lactose: milk and dairy products

Benefits of the FODMAP diet

At first sight, FODMAP diets certainly seem to be very restrictive. However, before you begin, you should know how beneficial it is for you.

1. Calms the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by almost 76%

A person feeling the benefits of the FODMAP diet.

According to a study in Nutrients magazine, a large number of people who follow this diet can eliminate gas, bloating, and stomach pains.

Therefore, it’s important to consider that many foods should be removed from your diet, because they ferment inside your intestines. Therefore, you should carefully select foods that are high in fiber, which improve bowel movements.

For example, you can make brown rice or quinoa versions of commercial whole wheat bread.

2. Reduces discomfort in people who have Crohn’s disease

A study of people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease published in the magazine JGH Open showed that the FODMAP diet positively changed their amount and quality of prebiotics.

If you don’t want to be on this very restrictive diet all of your life, follow it for a few weeks and gradually include small amounts of foods. Repeat once a month to let your body rest.

Just remember to be consistent. Controlling or avoiding a food group one day doesn’t mean you’ll be able to eat whatever you want another; this could be even more painful.

3. Reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue

So, are you always tired no matter how much you eat? The FODMAP diet has been proven to reduce fatigue. This is because your body is no longer receiving foods that don’t take that much energy to digest, which is especially true with sweeteners.

Of course, you’ll still eat sugar since fruit is allowed. However, those are natural sugars that cause less fermentation than honey or artificial sweeteners.

Remember that the best sugar is the one you find in a fruit. This is because fruit contains fiber, which reduces fermentation and an increase in blood sugar.

Foods allowed in the FODMAP diet

A bowl of nuts on a table.
The presence of linoleic acid in nuts is abundant, and they represent the best source of linoleic acid.

The FODMAP diet isn’t only about restrictions. Some of the foods you can eat include:

  • Natural oils
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Herbs, spices, and natural condiments
  • Natural nuts and seeds free of preservatives and sweeteners
  • Whole grains: natural corn, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, sorghum, and tapioca
  • Any meat and meat-byproducts, as long as they’re free of fructose and sweeteners
  • Fruits, not just juice: bananas, berries, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, melons, tangerines, and limes

Remember that not all diets are for losing weight. Furthermore, some are simply simply meant for you to live a healthier life, free of pain and discomfort. Therefore, the FODMAP diet will be advantageous in alleviating the symptomatology of inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Altobelli E., Del Negro V., Angeletti PM., Latella G., Low FODMAP diet improves irritable bowel síndrome symptoms: a meta analysis. Nutrients, 2017. 9 (9): 940.
  • Elhusseiny MH., Amine AK., Salem OE., Tayel DI., et al., Low FODMAP diet in egyptian patients with crohn’s disease in remission phase with functional gastrointestinal symptoms. JGH Open, 2018. 2(1): 15-20.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.