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What the… FODMAPs?

Did you know…

Gut problems are the second most frequent reason people in the UK seek medical help after the common cold! – that’s every 1 in 12 visits to the GP. Around 77% of the British population suffer from constipation.

FODMAPs is an acronym for a bunch of carbohydrates and sugars found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. They stand for:

Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS))
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose)
Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)
When these molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, they travel to the large intestine, where they are digested and fermented by bacteria. This process can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in some people, including abdominal pain and bloating, excess wind, nausea and changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both!).

The low FODMAP diet was founded by Dr Sue Shepherd in 1999 and is increasingly becoming known as an effective treatment for those with IBS and other stomach illnesses – with 86% of patients seeing improvement in their gut symptoms.

The food culprits we are advised to avoid in the diet include; Lactose – milk, unripened cheese, and sadly ice cream! Excess Fructose – found in sweeteners such as honey and agave, and fruits like apples, peaches and mangoes. Fructans – onion and garlic are the main offenders, along with wheat and rye. And Polyols – avocados and plums, legumes, beans and some artificial sweeteners. To name but a few…

It’s all very complex and the research being carried out at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is constantly evolving! Updates are available on their app or website:

I have had a long and pretty tough journey over the last few years working my way around the low-fodmap diet, but some blogs and websites completely saved me from food hell! My favourite recipes and general advice are taken from websites like:

Any questions, email me and I’ll find the answer 🙂

Cat x

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