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 diaet

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.

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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. Eliminating 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 grace period should only be implemented for four to six weeks. If there is improvement in symptoms after this time, proven foods should be slowly reintroduced. However, if no improvement in symptoms is seen, 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 fibre and probiotics during and after a Low Fodmap Diet to promote healthy gut flora. fibre 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. Our Crispy Crackers with buckwheat, rice & quinoa are particularly high in fibre and therefore an ideal addition to a balanced diet. Foods high in fibre 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 fibre and to increase the amount individually little by little.

Strengthen the intestinal microbiome following the FODMAP diet

We hope that these tips will help to ensure that previous symptoms do not reappear after the FODMAP diet. To continue strengthening the gut microbiome, we recommend trying our probiotic shots. As the first organic probiotic drink in Germany, Frusano's Fructo-Biotic contains 400 million lactic acid bacteria that support healthy intestinal flora and a strengthened immune system.

The drink is low FODMAP friendly, sugar-free and without inulin. Especially for fructose intolerance and irritable bowel patients, the probiotic bacteria cultures in Fructo-Biotic can play an important role in natural digestion and support the body's defense systems. One package contains 6 vials for daily intake. We recommend taking for several weeks to allow the bacteria to settle in the intestines over time. If you would like to learn more about our probiotic shots, please feel free to visit our Frusano store. We wish you all the best for your healthy gut flora!

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 two litres of still water or herbal teas per day.

The disadvantages of convenience foods on a FODMAP diet

When following a FODMAP diet, be sure to avoid convenience foods. 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 convenience foods 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 always recommend that you seek the support of a nutritionist or dietician 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, the 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.

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Are low FODMAP foods good for IBS?

One of the most common questions people with IBS have is whether low FODMAP foods are actually good for their symptoms or not. The answer is yes, generally low FODMAP foods can help to relieve the symptoms of IBS. It is important to understand that the FODMAP content in foods indicates the amount of fermentable carbohydrates that can cause digestive discomfort in the gut. By eliminating foods with a high FODMAP content and switching to foods with a low FODMAP content instead, you can significantly reduce your symptoms. However, there are some important things to bear in mind. Firstly, it is advisable to see a professional nutritionist who can help you make the switch to a low FODMAP diet. Secondly, it is important to note that not all low FODMAP foods are suitable for all people with IBS. Everybody reacts individually to different foods. It is important to take note of your own triggers and cater to your specific needs. Finally, it is important that you do not view a strict low FODMAP diet as a permanent solution. It is a short-term diet to relieve your symptoms and gradually reintroduce other foods after a period of time to keep your diet varied and balanced.

Is oatmeal low FODMAP?

People who suffer from IBS or other digestive problems can breathe a sigh of relief: oatmeal is definitely low FODMAP and can be included in your diet without hesitation. It contains lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals that not only promote healthy digestion, but can also support your intestines and help with diarrhea. Be cautious if you are gluten intolerant. Monash University recommends half a cup or using gluten-free oatmeal, depending on tolerance. In our products, we sometimes use oats as an ingredient because it is considered safe and meets low FODMAP standards.

Which foods are particularly high in FODMAPs?

To give you insight into the different food groups, we would like to give you a few FODMAP-rich examples.
Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, cauliflower, garlic
Fruits: apples, apple juice, cherries, dried fruits.
Dairy products: Cow's milk, ready-made custards, ice cream, condensed milk.
Sugar & sweeteners: High fructose corn syrup, sugar, honey.
Nuts & Seeds: Cashews, pistachios
We have alternatives for some conventional fodmap-rich foods. These alternatives are low in FODMAPs, such as our ice cream powder or our different custard products.

What are you allowed to eat on the FODMAP diet?

The following vegetables are recommended for a low FODMAP diet: aubergine, green beans*, pak choy, cucumber, lettuce, potato and courgette.
When it comes to fruits; blueberries, tangerine, orange, and pineapple are good choices.
When it comes to dairy products, almond milk, brie/camembert cheese, feta cheese, hard cheese, and lactose-free milk are recommended.
If you're looking for protein-rich options, you can turn to eggs, firm tofu, simply cooked meats, poultry, seafood, and tempeh.

*When it comes to cooking beans (legumes), it is important that they are prepared correctly. Legumes contain indigestible carbohydrates. However, these can be reduced by special cooking and rinsing methods. This allows you to continue to benefit from valuable nutrients such as protein and iron without having to give up legumes. Use the Monash University app to find low FODMAP certified products!