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What you should know before starting the low FODMAP diet that can help treat GI issues like bloating and diarr – Business Insider India

Dec 26th, 2020

People with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often have trouble digesting certain kinds of carbohydrates, which causes a lot of uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

In the early 2000s, researchers began looking for ways to describe these carbohydrates: Enter FODMAPs, short for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, and monosaccharides, and polyols.

"A low FODMAP diet is really only something that needs to be tried if someone has gastrointestinal symptoms," says Jesse Houghton, MD, senior medical director of gastroenterology at SOMC Gastroenterology Associates. "Or if someone has IBS, celiac, food allergies. If a person is not experiencing any frequent bloating, flatulence, diarrhea or discomfort, a low FODMAP diet is not necessary.

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After that, they start slowly reintroducing foods back into their diet one at a time. That way, they can identify which foods trigger their GI symptoms so that they can avoid those foods in the future.

Below are the main FODMAP carbs to avoid:

Fructose: Foods high in fructose include many processed foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup including sodas and candies. But you can also find relatively high amounts of fructose in certain fruits like apples, watermelon, dried fruits, and more.

Lactose: Lactose is a sugar that you can find in most dairy products including milk, cheese (though older, harder cheeses contain little lactose), yogurt, and ice cream. However, it can also turn up in unexpected places including bread, donuts, cookies, processed meats, salad dressings, and more. Check the nutrition label to be sure.

Mannitol: Mannitol occurs naturally in pumpkin, seaweed, celery and mushrooms. But many liquid medications like liquid gel capsules and cough medicines can also contain it.

Galactooligosaccharides: Beans, lentils and other legumes can contain high levels of galactooligosaccharides.

With all of these restrictions, it's hard to figure out what you should eat.

That's because eliminating high FODMAP foods from your diet comes with some risk. Turns out, your body needs these fermentable carbs to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Eliminating all FODMAP-containing foods could starve those bacteria, explains Shawn Talbott, a nutrition and biochemistry expert.

"When those bacteria are at suboptimal levels, we see increases in inflammation, stress, depression and other problems," Talbott says.

The low FODMAP diet "is a short-term elimination diet," says Pierce. "This is not a sustainable long-term diet."

If, however, you find that you need to eliminate the bulk of high FODMAP foods, you should consult a registered dietitian about any key nutrients you might be missing and how to balance your diet so you're still getting enough nutrients.

Consult your physician before starting this diet to make sure it'll work for your personal health needs.

Read more:
What you should know before starting the low FODMAP diet that can help treat GI issues like bloating and diarr - Business Insider India

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