A diet low in carbohydrates called fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs), which are associated with diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating in some people. Dietary FODMAPs include fructose (found in fruits, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup), lactose (in dairy), fructans (components of wheat, garlic, and onion), galactans (in legumes), and polyols (in sweeteners such as isomalt, mannitol, and sorbitol and stone fruits such as avocados, cherries, peaches, and plums). FODMAPs absorb water from the intestinal tract, are poorly digested and absorbed, and tend to undergo fermentation in the intestine, all of which can promote uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.
Low-FODMAP diets are often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome, who tend to have distressing GI symptoms. People on low-FODMAP diets are instructed to replace high-FODMAP foods with the following.
- Vegetables. Bamboo shoots, bell peppers, bok choy, carrots, corn, eggplant, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, and zucchini.
- Fruits. Bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, orange, passion fruit, pineapples, raspberries, and rhubarb.
- Lactose-free or low-lactose diary products.
- Protein. Beef, chicken, canned tuna, eggs, fish, lamb, pork, shellfish, turkey, and nuts.
- Grains. Wheat-free grains and flour and products made from them, corn flakes, grits, oats, rice, and quinoa.
Often, restricting high-FODMAP foods alleviates gastrointestinal problems, and then they can be reintroduced one at a time to see which foods are tolerated.