How does a Low FODMAP diet work?

The Low FODMAP diet is a proven method for relieving digestive symptoms. It requires avoiding certain food groups such as lactose, fructose, sugar substitutes and certain polysaccharides. The goal of this diet is to identify the individual triggers of discomfort. The procedure for the FODMAP diet is essentially the same as an elimination diet. The goal is to find out which of the FODMAP foods the affected person reacts to with their individual complaints.

fodmap diet

For digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea or constipation, the FODMAP diet is a promising option. The diet begins with a strict Elimination Phase in which all FODMAP-rich foods are avoided. In the subsequent Reintroduction Phase, individual FODMAP-rich foods are gradually reintroduced into the diet to determine which ones are individually tolerated.

For many people, apples can be a source of digestive discomfort. This is due to their high content of fructose and sorbitol, both known as FODMAPs. For sensitive digestive tracts, small amounts are often enough to trigger unpleasant symptoms.

Table of contents

When is a Low FODMAP diet the appropriate diet?

The Low FODMAP diet can be beneficial for people with various digestive problems. In particular, for those who suffer from bloating or diarrhea in combination with abdominal pain or cramps, this diet can provide relief. People with irritable bowel syndrome, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, or sorbitol intolerance may also benefit from the Low FODMAP diet.

A Low FODMAP diet requires careful monitoring by a qualified physician or dietitian.  Professional support is therefore essential to ensure that the body receives all the necessary nutrients and that the diet can be successfully implemented.

Conscientious diet planning begins with ruling out conditions that may cause similar symptoms. These include, for example, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, as well as other carbohydrate intolerances and pancreatic dysfunctions. Careful diagnosis before starting the diet ensures optimal treatment.

The Low FODMAP Diet in three successive phases.

The Low FODMAP diet should be divided into three phases:

  1. The first phase, also called the Elimination Phase, involves abstaining from FODMAP-rich foods for four to six weeks. This phase allows the body to regenerate and relieve symptoms. Abstaining from these foods can lead to a significant improvement in symptoms.
  2. In the second phase of the FODMAP diet, there is a gradual reintroduction of individual foods to find out what amount is tolerated. It is recommended to select one food per week and consume it twice in a normal portion. In doing so, it is important to closely observe whether any complaints arise again. This is the only way to identify the specific FODMAP foods that act as triggers on the digestive tract.
  3. In the third phase of the diet plan, a low FODMAP diet is developed that involves as few restrictions as possible while still ensuring a balanced diet.

Positive effects of the FODMAP diet are reported by people with irritable bowel syndrome as well as people with lactose and/or fructose intolerance, who found that eliminating lactose and/or fructose-containing foods alone did not bring any improvement. People with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease have also had good experiences with the low FODMAP diet.

Why is the duration of four to six weeks in the Elimination Period so important?

The dietary change to a low FODMAP diet may also impose restrictions that can increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies if it is carried out for too long. It is important to emphasize that the Elimination Period should only be implemented for four to six weeks. If there is improvement in symptoms after this time, eliminated foods should be slowly reintroduced. However, if there is no improvement in symptoms, then it is likely that the FODMAPs were not the cause of the symptoms. In this case, other nutrients, nutrient groups, and food groups that may be triggering the symptoms need to be investigated.

How does the low FODMAP diet affect the microbiome?

A healthy gut flora is of great importance for irritable bowel patients. A gut-healthy diet can help alleviate symptoms. Although the Low Fodmap Diet is very effective in relieving symptoms, it can also affect the microbiome. That's why it's important to make sure your diet continues to include adequate fiber and probiotics during and after a Low Fodmap Diet to promote healthy gut flora. Fiber stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and probiotics support the natural balance of the microbiome. This helps maintain a long-term balanced diet and diversity in the microbiome.

Frusano places great value on transparency and health. That's why you'll find a detailed nutritional table with all our products. Foods high in fiber include, in particular, whole grain products, seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Since in the abstinence phase after the diagnosis of fructose intolerance the intestine is often still very sensitive, it is recommended to start slowly with fiber and to increase the amount little by little.

Complementary practices to effectively support your digestion

  • To avoid unnecessary exposure to artificial additives, choose foods that are as natural as possible.
  • Raw food in the evening can strain the intestines, so it is recommended to resort to steamed vegetables or a light soup.
  • Healthy digestion begins in the mouth, so food should be chewed well.
  • Regular exercise such as yoga, walking or strolling not only promotes health, but also intestinal activity.
  • Stress and anger should be avoided to support digestion. Relaxation exercises and meditation can help.
  • Hydration is also important and should be ensured with half a gallon of water or herbal tea per day.

The disadvantages of ready made food on a FODMAP diet

When following a FODMAP diet, be sure to avoid ready made food. These often contain artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol (E420), isomalt and xylitol, which can cause diarrhea and bloating in many people with IBS or other digestive problems. Fructose, glucose-fructose and corn syrup, as well as honey, invert sugar and agave syrup, are also commonly found in ready made food and sweets and should be avoided on a FODMAP diet.

If you cook from scratch and pay attention to seasonal and regional ingredients, you are on the safe side and have full control over which ingredients are included in your meals. Nevertheless, if you ever decide to use a ready-made product, you should read the label carefully so you can avoid any unwanted ingredients.

At Frusano we offer you products that only contain suitable ingredients and fit perfectly into your diet plan. Our products are free of fructose, sorbitol and other sugar substitutes, making them perfect for a FODMAP diet. Try our products and experience how delicious a diet can be.

Frusano Products support the Low FODMAP Diet

We hope that with this article we were able to give you a good overview of the three phases of the Low FODMAP Diet, among other things. But as always: every body is different and it can take a while until you find the right diet for you. We therefore recommend that you seek the support of a registered dietitian to get the most out of the treatment.

Frusano was founded in 2006 with the aim of helping those who suffer from fructose intolerance. When Ulf Herrmann, CEO of Frusano, was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption in February 2005, he found that there were hardly any fructose-free food for sale.

Since there didn't seem to be anyone making fructose-free food, he took matters into his own hands and founded the company Frusano. The next step was to develop his own products. All Frusano products are sweetened with a fructose-free glucose syrup, which not only tastes better due to the maltose content, but is also healthier than pure glucose.

Our products are made as naturally as possible. They are free of fructose and lactose, free of sugar substitutes and free of indigestible polysaccharides. They therefore meet the requirements for a low FODMAP diet. In terms of their sugar values and ingredients, Frusano brand products are far below the Low FODMAP limits and thus exceed the Low Fodmap standards by far, especially with regard to sucrose and fructose.

Follow us on our social media channels and stay in touch with us:

facebook  Instagram