The Low FODMAP Diet

The FODMAP Diet

Embarrassing digestive problems like bloating, wind, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation are common symptoms if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They affects as many as one in five of us on a daily basis. Learn about the FODMAP Diet or commonly mistaken as FOODMAP.

The Low FODMAP Diet

A diet called the Low FODMAP diet might be able to help you. Researchers have found that some foods contain a group of fermentable carbohydrates. These cause symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or nausea in IBS patients. The term FODMAP stands for;
diet fodmap

  • Fermentable
  • Oligo-saccharides
  • Di-saccharides
  • Mono-saccharides
  • And
  • Polyols

Examples of culprit foods include onion, garlic, beans, pulses, honey and plums.

A scientifically researched diet with good results

Research has shown that 3 out of 4 IBS sufferers benefit from following the Low FODMAP diet. The diet was developed by researchers at Monash University, Australia, and has since become available in the UK, Efodmap diet south africaurope, the United States and Asia. In the last 18 months FODMAP accredited dietitians have launched the concept in South Africa. The diet is not a fad diet and has been well researched over the last decade. It is fast becoming a key treatment strategy for anyone suffering from IBS.

 

FODMAP Diet: Not a diet for life

The diet involves a strict elimination of these fermentable carbohydrates for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. This is followed by a gradual reintroduction of key high FODMAP foods. Reintroduction is an essential part of the diet to work out what your key trigger foods are and how much of these you can consume without symptoms. Everyone is different and trigger foods do vary between individuals so it helps to do the reintroduction in a precise and thorough manner.

 

It’s best to seek guidance from a FODMAP dietitian

For the best results research has shown that the diet should be done under the supervision of a FODMAP trained dietitian. Unfortunately, much of the FODMAP information found on the internet is inaccurate. People who do not seek properly qualified FODMAP specialists or those who try to do it themselves often do not get the outcome they expect from the diet. The diet is also complex and nutritionally important foods are eliminated. A FODMAP specialist dietitian can tailor the diet to meet your individual nutritional needs, suggest suitable low FODMAP alternatives and provide the support needed to ensure the elimination and reintroduction phases are done correctly.

Please see a doctor if you have possible IBS

If you suspect you may have IBS, please visit a GP or gastroenterologist for a diagnosis. Many of the symptoms overlap with other gastrointestinal conditions such as coeliac disease so it is important that these conditions are excluded before you try the low FODMAP diet

For more information about the low FODMAP diet, please contact EatFit Dietitians.

The New IBS Diet – The low FODMAP Diet

Irritable Bowel Syndrome FODMAP

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you may have stumbled across the term FODMAP or Low FODMAP Diet but don’t worry if you haven’t until now. This new IBS diet is relatively new to South Africa – but it’s backed by a decade of evidence from many international research centers. In this blog post we explain more about FODMAPs and the science behind this exciting elimination diet to help IBS sufferers.

FODMAP, FOODMAP…fodmapwhat are these things?

FODMAPs are a group of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods and researchers have discovered that these worsen symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea in individuals suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What the term FODMAP stands for

  • Fermentable – they are fermented by the bacteria in your gut
  • Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of a few sugars joined together in a chain. Fructans are a type of oligosaccharide and is a type of fibre found in wheat, onions and garlic.
  • Di-saccharides – “di” means two so there are two sugars in this molecule. Lactose (the sugar found in milk) is a disaccharide.
  • Mono-saccharides – “mono” means single and so this is a single-sugar molecule. An example is fructose (a sugar commonly found in fruit and fruit juice)
  • And
  • Polyols – these are sugar alcohols commonly used as sweeteners in diet products.  Also found naturally in some fruits and vegetables e.g. Xylitol.

Australian researchers, Susan Shepherd and Peter Gibson at Monash University, coined the term.

The low FODMAP diet and IBS

An IBS FODMAP diet is fast becoming a key treatment strategy worldwide.  This diet has been scientifically proven as effective dietary therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 50-80% Of patients following the diet reporting an improvement in their symptoms. Excessive wind, abdominal pain, bloating, abdominal distension, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue ( all symptoms of IBS) were reduced.

How FODMAPs work to worsen IBS symptoms

After high FODMAP foods are eaten FODMAPs enter the small intestine where they are poorly absorbed and have an osmotic affect. There is a large movement of water across the intestinal wall into the lumen, increases the volume of fluid in your intestine, and this affects the speed at which your bowels move and expansion of your intestinal walls. When FODMAPs pass into the large bowel they are readily fermented by bacteria in the large bowel, contributing to the production of gas. These two processes trigger symptoms such as increased wind, abdominal bloating and distension, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, or a combination of both. The only way to reduce the effects of FODMAPs is reduce your consumption of them by following an elimination diet.

Seeing a Dietician

Elimination diets are difficult to follow. FODMAPs are found in a range of different foods which makes the low FODMAP diet complicated. The guidelines and research recommend that anyone wanting to do the Low FODMAP Diet does so with help from a specialized dietitian. A dietician can ensure that you have correctly eliminated all the fodmap dietFODMAPs from your diet but that your diet still remains balanced. Incorrectly following this diet has been shown to lead to certain nutritional deficiencies.  It can also negatively affect your digestive health by reducing some populations of good bacteria found in your large intestine. Please be careful following lists of high and low foods you find online as this are often incorrect.

Low FODMAP Diet in South Africa

Not many dietitians have been trained in the Low FODMAP Diet in South Africa. For the best results get in touch with EatFit so we can put you in touch with FODMAP dietitians or gut health dietitians. An Irritable Bowel Syndrome Dietitian can guide you through the full elimination and re-challenge process.

 

FODMAP South Africa: Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban

EatFit can connect you with IBS dieticians in all of these areas of South Africa so please get in touch.

If you’re a dietitian, we also have programmes available to teach you how to assist your IBS suffering clients. Be sure to have a look!

Fact Vs Fiction: The Low FODMAP Diet

FODMAP FACT vs FICTION

Happy 2018! Ready to get on top of your health and digestive problems this year? Then the Low FODMAP diet may be for you. Everybody is talking about this revolutionary new diet for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Research has found that 3 out of 4 of patients see an improvement in their IBS symptoms if they are careful around eating certain high FODMAP foods. FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that lead to your gut filling with fluid and gas which causes digestive symptoms.

THE WORD FODMAP STANDS FOR;

F ermentable
O ligo-saccharides
D isaccharides
M ono-saccharides
A nd
P olyols
The Low FODMAP Diet was specifically to manage IBS symptoms but has also been shown to be effective in other conditions. The diet can be very effective if followed correctly and used by the right person. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about the diet flying round on the internet. We have developed an infographic to help dispel some common mistruths of the diet. Hope it helps you start your FODMAP journey safely and correctly.

fodmap-south-africa

 

 

Looking for a FODMAP Dietitian?

Over the last 5 years EatFit has been training dietitians across South Africa so they are up-to-date with the latest Low FODMAP Diet research. We are excited to announce that there are now many EatFit trained FODMAP Dietitians working in most parts of South Africa.
We support them and they support each other through the EatFit network so we are never working alone and always have another expert to confer with.

What is an EatFit Approved Dietitian?

All EatFit approved dietitians have followed an intense 15 hours training based on a similar course run by King’s College in London (the UK centre for excellence for the low FODMAP diet). That means all of the EatFit Approved Dietitians are evidence based and on top of the latest research in the area of FODMAPs. All the dietitians have a specialist interest in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, digestive concerns and gut health but they also cover a range of other health areas.

Why do you want to see a FODMAP Dietitian?

International guidelines advise that anyone considering following the Low FODMAP Diet does so under the supervision of a ‘FODMAP trained dietitian’. The low FODMAP diet is more complicated compared to some other elimination diets as FODMAPs are found across a lot of different foods. There is a risk that you might compromise your nutritional status and gut health if you follow the diet incorrectly.

Contact an EatFit Approved Dietitian in your area

Please complete our contact form and let us know what area you are in and we will put you in touch with your nearest EatFit Approved Dietitian.