What does FODMAP stand for?
FODMAP stands for: Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.
But what do those terms mean, exactly? FODMAPs are groups of sugar carbohydrates naturally found in food that aren’t properly digested or absorbed in the stomach, triggering symptoms of IBS (for 1 in 7 people globally).
Fermentable refers to the process by which gut bacteria ferments any undigested carbohydrates, which produces gases in the stomach.
Oligosaccharides are fructans and GOS (galactose sugars that form gluctose) generally found in glutens such as wheat and rhye, as well as garlic, onions, and legumes.
Disaccharides are lactose sugars found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as sucrose, a sugar typically used for baking or sweetening.
Monosaccharides are simple sugars known as fructose, and are generally found in certain fruits,vegetables, and honey. Particularly in sweetened products and calory-reduced foods that have high-fructose corn syrup, the amount of monosaccharides tends to be high.
Polyols are sugar alcohols known as sorbitol and mannitol, found in some fruits and vegetables and commonly used in diet products or artificial sweeteners.
All of these carbohydrates (FODMAPs) should be processed in the small intestine. However, the small intestine is not always able to ingest all the carbohydrates and turn them into nutrients for the body.
However, the mechanism is the same: instead of being processed by the small intestine, the carbohydrates end up in the large intestine, where they are broken down and fermented by bacteria. Gases are formed during fermentation which, can cause gas and bloating.
Polyols also aren’t metabolized but fermented in the large intestine, too. In addition, residues formed during the FODMAPs fermentation sometimes absorb and store water, causing not only watery stools but constipation. These symptoms are very similar to that of people experiencing food intolerances.
Low FODMAP - what are the right eating habits?
What can affected patients do? A change of diet is generally the recommended path forward. The concept of FODMAP is based on the experiences of patients with lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption, as well as patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A person following a low-FODMAP diet avoids lactose, fructose, sugar substitutes, and various polysaccharides.
What do you need to look out for when changing to a low-FODMAP diet?
The most important thing to do is rule out other diseases which can cause similar symptoms in the digestive tract. Appropriate measures should also be taken for food intolerances or allergies, i.e patients should first and foremost avoid foods that trigger symptoms.
Note that a strict change to a low-FODMAP diet can alter your intestinal flora. In the worst case scenario, it can actually exacerbate your symptoms. It is even more important that when shifting your diet, you consult a medical professional to ensure the transition is made properly.
IBS patients generally report positive results after following a FODMAP diet, and the same applies to people with lactose or fructose intolerances who didn’t initially see any improvements from simply avoiding lactose and fructose. Even patients with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease have had positive experiences with low-FODMAP diets.
Frusano’s low-FODMAP products are lactose and fructose free, and don’t contain any sugar substitutes or indigestible polysaccharides. Therefore, they’re free from high-FODMAP foods, as Frusano's products are far below the low-FODMAP standards, with respect to the sucrose and fructose-free nature of our foods. If you have any questions about out low-FODMAP products, please don’t hesitate to contact us!