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July Is FODMAP Month!

"Keep Calm and Eat Low FODMAP."


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Seasonal Fare...Is Not Always Fair

Summer is one of my favorite seasons for filling my plate with fresh fruits and vegetables. Those homegrown and farmers market juicy tomatoes, summer squash, corn on the cob mixed with berries, cherries, peaches and more seem to inundate my fridge shelves and kitchen countertop. As the temperatures rise by the official start of summer, I always notice a shift in how a lot of people prefer to eat, which consists of lighter fare.

There are a lot of people however, who unfortunately do not look at all fruits and vegetables the same way as I do. They may love them just as much but certain types of each can leave them feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

People that suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or (IBS) are not able to absorb and digest FODMAPS very well. This gastrointestinal disorder affects approximately 1 out of 7 people in the U.S., so this is a wide-ranging condition.


What In The World Is A FODMAP?

I’m glad you asked! FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. I know, it’s a mouthful. These are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that are not absorbed well in the small intestine. If you suffer from IBS, foods high in FODMAPS can cause bloating, and gas, which in turn can lead to diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. There is a way to combat and/or reduce certain symptoms by following a diet but like most dietary shifts it does require time, attention and patience.

What Is The FODMAP Diet?

This is part of an elimination diet that is designed so that people can tell what particular foods that are high in FODMAPS that cause stress on their system, and appropriately reduce or cut them out so intestinal pain and discomfort is not the end result.

Part 1: Reduce high FODMAP foods from your diet for 4 to 6 weeks.

Part 2: Slowly reintroduce these foods back into your diet one at a time to identify which foods are causing you pain.

A Word of Advice: It is recommended to allow one high FODMAP food back into your diet every three days to allow your body time to adjust without overloading it. This will also help you better determine the food culprits.

This is not a quick fix and frankly, it can be a bit of a hassle but research has shown that this method can relieve symptoms in up to 86% of people. If you are underweight or find this method too restrictive, please visit a Registered Dietitian to help you.

Below is a breakdown that was provided by Harvard Health Publications. It may seem daunting but it is actually a more conservative list to start the FODMAP process.

It’s important to remember that this is not to try to stop you from eating the foods below or any others that are not on the list that you may love. Nor is it an excuse to not eat high quality fruits, veggies and grains. They all have nutritional value and are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Below are just suggestions of where you can start, especially if you are reading about FODMAPS for the first time.

Eat Less Of These Foods

Dairy: Cow's milk, yogurt, pudding, custard, ice cream, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and mascarpone

Fruits: Apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, mangoes, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, and watermelon

Sweeteners: Agave nectar, honey and products with high fructose corn syrup. Sugar substitutes such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol found in sugar-free gum and mints, and cough medicines and drops

Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beetroot, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions and snow peas

Grains: Wheat and rye as well as added fiber, such as inulin

Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and soy products

Eat More Of These Foods

Dairy: Lactose-free milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, lactose-free yogurt; hard cheeses such as feta and brie

Fruit: Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, oranges and strawberries

Vegetables: Bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bok choy, carrots, chives, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger, lettuce, olives, parsnips, potatoes, spring onions and turnips

Protein: Beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs and tofu

Nuts/seeds (limit to 10-15 each): Almonds, macadamia, peanuts, pine nuts and walnuts

Grain: Oat, oat bran, rice bran, gluten-free pasta, such as rice, corn, quinoa, white rice, corn flour and quinoa


"Try a FODMAPs diet to manage irritable bowel syndrome.

(Harvard Health. 2019, September 17)."


Additional Helpful Resources For FODMAP Info and Diet:


The concept with FODMAPS is to identify foods that work well with your system, and which ones are best for you to limit. Everyone is different and will have a unique experience with elimination and reintroduction. Just take things slowly as you’ve heard me say repeatedly in my posts and if you get overwhelmed, it’s ok to take a step back and try again later. There are no set timelines, just what works best for you. And Remember….Health starts from the inside out….but also from the ground up!


To discuss more detailed information regarding the topics within this blog, or to inquire about customized nutrition plans, please reach out to Cathleen Winter at cathleen@wellnesswithincw.com


A Little About Me

My name is Mary DeBlasio, and I live in Silver Spring, MD. I am currently a student studying Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of the District of Columbia. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in May of 2021. I am very interested in mindful eating, and foods that correlate with the seasons. My goal after graduation is to pursue a dietetic internship with a focus on clinical dietetics. I would like to concentrate on patients suffering from gastrointestinal issues. All my information is backed by credible sources cited within the blog.


Sources

DiNicolantonio, J. J., & Lucan, S. C. (2015). Is fructose malabsorption a cause of irritable bowel syndrome? Medical Hypotheses, 85(3), 295–297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2015.05.019

FODMAP Food List. IBS Diets. (n.d.). https://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/.

Team, D. H. (2020, September 15). The Best and Worst Foods for IBS. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/take-control-of-ibs-with-low-fodmap-diet/.

P Diet. Low FODMAP Diet | IBS Research at Monash University - Monash Fodmap. (n.d.). https://www.monashfodmap.com/.

Veloso, H. G. (n.d.). FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fodmap-diet-what-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Dairy%2Dbased%20milk%2C%20yogurt%20and,artichokes%2C%20asparagus%2C%20onions%20and%20garlic.



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