FODMAPs—Everything You Need to Know
FODMAPS are types of carbohydrates and sugar-alcohols, specifically fructans, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are highly fermentable in the gut and can, therefore, create problems for people who are sensitive to them. FODMAP sensitive individuals can experience gas, cramping, pain, and bloating from FODMAP containing foods. Read on to learn what you need to know about FODMAPs.
The term FODMAP itself, is an acronym for Fructans, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. They occur naturally in the diet and can, for many, be tolerated well and some can even help to feed good bacteria in the gut. But many people can also be sensitive to the effects of FODMAPs and these can cause gas, cramping, pain, and bloating from FODMAP containing foods.
For this reason, FODMAP restricted diets are clinically proven to reduce symptoms in the short-term for those with IBS.¹
However, a modified approach has also been demonstrated to be as effective as a low-FODMAP diet,² consisting of the following guidelines:
Regularly eat three meals and three snacks a day
Never eat too much or too little each time
Never be hungry or too full
Eat in peace and quiet and chew thoroughly
Reduce intake of fatty or spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, onions, cabbage, and beans
Avoid soft drinks and carbonated beverages, chewing gums, and sweeteners that ends with -ol
Increase fiber intake
There are also concerns over the long-term impact of a low-FODMAP diet on the microbiome as Bifidobacteria have been shown to be reduced by a low-FODMAP diet³ but, suffice to say, a low FODMAP diet is extremely useful as a treatment to reduce the symptoms of IBS, especially in the short-term.
Protein Supplements and FODMAPs
Many protein powders and bars can contain sugar-alcohols as sweeteners or other FODMAP carbohydrates as fillers, or as naturally occurring or added sugars and fibers, making them incompatible with a low FODMAP diet.
High-protein, premium golden pea protein isolates like that in Nuzest Clean Lean Protein have virtually no FODMAPs due to the isolation process which results in an extremely high protein product (up to 90% protein [dry weight]) with no sugar, extremely low carbohydrate in total (less than 1 g of total carbohydrate per serving in the Smooth Vanilla flavor!) and practically no “antinutrients” that are commonly found in plant-based proteins. Clean Lean Protein is a great option for protein supplementation for those following a low-FODMAP diet.
Rao SSC, Yu S, Fedewa A. Systematic review: dietary fibre and FODMAP-restricted diet in the management of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2015;41(12):1256-70.
Böhn L, Störsrud S, Liljebo T, Collin L, Lindfors P, Törnblom H, et al. Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as Well as Traditional Dietary Advice: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology. 2015;149(6):1399-407.e2.
Staudacher H, Lomer MC, Anderson JL, Barrett JS, Muir JG, Irving PM, et al. OC-054 Impact of a fermentable carbohydrate restricted diet on luminal microbiota, fermentation, symptoms and nutrient intake in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2012;61(Suppl 2):A24.