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FODMAPs, what are they and why are people talking about them?

FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. The term FODMAP is an acronym, derived from "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols".The concept actually started with some researchers at Monash University in Melbourne in 2005.

You can go direct to the Monash Uni website for more science(link below); but the key thing is that these carbs end up being fermented in the lower intestine and producing gas, which can cause discomfort and an irritable bowel.

As humans we are all different! Some of us are affected by some things and not others, while some of us are not affected at all. What might seem like a gluten or lactose intolerance might actually be a response to FODMAPs....so if you have symptoms like lower abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, wind and altered bowel habit then experimenting with a low FODMAP diet might be worth a try.

So what are foods low and high levels of these FODMAPs?

Fruits:

High: apples, pears, mango, nashi pears, watermelon, nectarines, peaches, plums

Low: banana, orange, mandarin, grapes, melon

Vegetables:

High: asparagus, artichokes, all of the onions ie: the leek bulb, garlic, onion and garlic salts..legumes and pulses, sugar snap peas, beetroot, Savoy cabbage, celery, sweet corn

Low: alfalfa, bean sprouts, green beans, bok choy, capsicum, carrot, chives, fresh herbs, choy sum, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, zucchini

Milk and dairy:

High: soft cheeses and conventional dairy products with lactose

Low: hard cheeses and lactose free milk and yoghurts etc

Protein sources:

High: legumes and pulses like chickpeas and lentils

Low: meats, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh

Breads, cereals, baked goods and snacks:

High: Rye, wheat-containing breads, wheat-based cereals with dried fruit, wheat pasta; rye crackers, wheat-based biscuits

Low: Gluten-free bread and sourdough spelt bread, rice bubbles, oats, gluten-free pasta, rice, quinoa; gluten-free biscuits, rice cakes, corn thins

Fortunately we have plenty of low FODMAP options for you here at Lettuce....including specialty Low FODMAP Bread from Naturis. 

Zucchini and Lebanese cucumber have been fantastic...so why not try a Low FODMAP meal this week - tomato, olive and zucchini sauce with Olive Green Organics Quinoa & Rice Pasta; pair it with a lettuce and cucumber salad.

http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/  The Monash team have even developed an app.