FODMAPs are a group of natural chemicals found in some foods that seem to irritate the gut of some people and are avoided to help with irritable bowl syndrome. Avoidance is also helpful for people with other intestinal issues such as celiac disease, gluten allergy and non celiac gluten sensitivity.
What Are FODMAPs?
The non-technical description of FODMAPs is that they are various types of chemicals, specifically a range of carbohydrates such as complex sugars, that are found to cause irritation and inflamation in the intestines.
The term FODMAP is an acronym, derived from “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. This includes short chain oligo-saccharide polymers of fructose (fructans) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS, stachyose, raffinose), disaccharides (lactose), monosaccharides (fructose), and sugar alcohols (polyols), such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol.
This is a bit of a mouthful and looks like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to some, but notice a few terms you might recognize, such as lactose, a complex sugar found in milk that many adults cannot digest, fructose, a type of simple sugar, and various types of sugar substitues such as sorbitol.
None of them are absorbed well by the intestine.
What Foods Contain FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are not one thing, but a range of chemical types. This list is divided by the specific chemical
Sources of Fructans
- Wheat (some strains such as spelt have less)
- Jerusalem and globe artichoke
- Dandelion leaves
- The white part of spring onion
- Brussels sprouts
- Fennel and prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (fos)
Sources of Palactans
Palactans are mostly found in pulses and beans. Some of these food types such asgreen beans, tofu and tempeh contain less than most other pulses and beans.
Sources of Polyols
Polyols are found in some fruits including:
Polyols are also found in some vegetables including:
- mange-tout peas
The following artificial sweetners are types of polyols:
Sources of Fructose
Fructose is found in fruits to some degree, some fruits more than others; and high-fructose sugar which mostly comes from corn. There are many sources of fructose, this is a sample list and is incomplete:
- Dried fruits including raisins, dates and figs
- Fortified wines such as sherry and port
- Honeydew melon
- Nashi pear
- Star fruit
Also watch out for foods with added sugars such as agave nectar, some corn syrups, and fruit juice concentrates.
Sources of Lactose
Lactose is found in milk. The problem with lactose intolerance is a lack of lactase, the enzyme required to split this sugar into less complex and more digestible sugars. Some milk products, such as aged cheeses and yogurt, have little to no lactose do to bacterial action on the lactose. Lactose-free milk is made by adding lactase to milk.