Don’t be overwhelmed by the term FODMAP. Better referred to as Fermentable Oligosachharides, Diasaccharides, Monosachharides and Polyols—these are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, which are found in the foods we eat.
FODMAPs are sugars that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and reach the large intestine where they produce gas and attract water, resulting in abdominal pain, digestive distress and bloating. This can affect individuals who are sensitive to such foods, emotionally and mentally lowering the productivity and performance in daily life.
FODMAPs are found in everyday foods including specific dairy products, wheat and other grains, fruits and vegetables.
Individuals who are diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) are usually put on a low FODMAP diet along with other supplements and medication if any. But if you are prone to digestive issues like bloating, stomach pain, and flatulence, restricting high FODMAP foods can help.
A strict FODMAP diet is commonly followed for at least 6 weeks (which is more restrictive) and then depending on the patient response is slowly graduated to a less restrictive one. Remember the concept of bio-individuality is very essential here and these foods are not usually the cause of the said conditions but managing them in the diet provides relief of the symptoms and can help heal the body faster.
Foods to eat
Cereals: White rice, rice atta (as bhakri, roti, dosa), rice sevai, white poha, kurmura (as bhel/chivda); red rice, brown rice, red poha (as poha chivda); corn (as boiled corn/cornflakes); sabudana; idli; and dosa (made of rice and urad dal).
Pulses (in small quantity): mung dal, tur dal, urad dal
In limited quantity: Nachni (ragi), jowar, bajra, rajgira, quinoa, oats (e.g. white oats, homemade masala oats, or oats chilla/dosa)
Foods to avoid
Cereals: Wheat and wheat products (e.g. chapatti, dalia, bread, wheat flakes, muesli); maida products (e.g. pasta, noodles, biscuits, crackers & baked foods); semolina/rava (e.g. rava upma/idli/dosa), barley, and rye.
Pulses: Whole pulses (rajma, mung, matki, chole, chavli, chana); sprouts (mung, matki, masoor, chana); dals/lentils (tur dal, urad dal, mung dal, chana dal) and flour (e.g. besan, sattu powder); chilla (made from besan or mixed pulses); soya and soya products (soya chunks, soya granules, tofu, soya milk); hummus, baked beans.
Foods to eat: Orange, mosambi, kiwi, grapes, grapefruit, banana, pineapple, berries, lime/lemon
Foods to avoid: Apples, pears, guava, papaya, lychee, mango, watermelon, custard apple, apricots, cherries, avocado, peaches, plums, prunes, and blackberries; dates; figs; and all fruit juices (since they are concentrated in sugar e.g. fructose)
Foods to eat: A mix of green vegetables and starchy vegetables, like:
Foods to avoid: Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, Brussels sprouts, mushroom, bhindi, green beans (e.g. French beans), leeks, artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, fennel, peas, onion/shallot, white part of spring onion.
Foods to eat: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, flaxseeds or flaxseed powder
Occasional: Almond butter, almond milk, peanut butter (without sugar)
Less quantity: Pine nuts, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds
Foods to avoid: Coconut, Coconut milk, Pistachios, Cashew
Foods to eat: Vinegar; balsamic vinegar; apple cider vinegar; tomato ketchup; mustard sauce; most spices and herbs; salt; pepper; coriander; mint; sugar; maple syrup without high fructose corn syrup (HFCS); stevia and other sweeteners without sugar alcohols.
In limited quantity: Soya sauce and jaggery
Foods to avoid: Honey, jams, jellies; pickles; chutneys with coconut, garlic, onion; marinara sauce (containing tomato, garlic, onion & herbs); any food product containing HFCS or molasses; sugar alcohols (e.g. sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt) found in sweeteners; chewing gums; cough drops; mints; no high-fat foods.
Foods to eat: Depending on individual tolerance; limited quantity of foods with low/minimal lactose content; Paneer/cottage cheese (ideally zero-fat); curd (yoghurt); buttermilk/chaas
Foods to avoid: Tea; coffee or any caffeine containing foods; milk, flavoured milk/lassi; custard; milk powder; certain cheeses (e.g. soft unripened cheeses); whipped cream; sour cream; ice cream; chocolates; sweets/desserts containing milk; sauces/dressings with milk/yoghurt/cream/cheese