FODMAPs

An introduction to FODMAPs

10 (2 reviews) Rate this page


Alison Cullen
Nutritional Practitioner, BA (Hons), DN, DNT (Distinction)
@AVogelUK
Ask Ali

What does FODMAP stand for?

FODMAP is an abbreviation standing for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are classes of simple, short-chain carbohydrates that are not well broken down in your body and therefore are unable to be absorbed properly in your small intestine.

The small intestine is the major site for absorption of the many nutrients your body requires. If not absorbed in the small intestine, food will continue along the digestive tract until it arrives at your large intestine.

Absorption of nutrients is limited in the large intestine, although water is readily absorbed here. Instead, waste arriving in the large intestine undergoes a process called fermentation where the waste material is digested and converted into gas and short-chain fatty acids by yeast and bacteria that naturally live there.

Where are FODMAPs found?

The four categories of FODMAPs: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polyols are elements of carbohydrate, therefore they are less commonly found in protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry and fish or fats and oils.

FODMAPs are mainly found within a wide range of carbohydrate-rich foods including certain fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and sweeteners. In our section High FODMAP foods we separate the different classes of FODMAP and consider what foods to look out for in each category.

How do FODMAPs affect us?

You should be able to digest everything you eat or it isn’t healthy, right? Not necessarily. Generally recommended as part of a healthy diet you are expected to include a vast range of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes in your diet, but actually your body can’t fully digest some of them. This component of food is called dietary fibre.

Instead, they continue through the digestive tract partially undigested and then act as a source of food for the microbiota or bacteria that live in your gut. For most people this is a natural process, which causes no issues, fermentation actually produces small-chain fatty acids that have been linked to several health benefits and a reduced risk of disease.

However, the fermentation of FODMAPS in people with IBS or other functional gastrointestinal disorders may result in a flare up of troublesome symptoms. Refer to our page of High FODMAP foods to see if you can identify any common triggers.

Silicol®gel – For IBS

200ml

£ 8.29

find your local stockist

Silicol gel - Colloidal silicic acid gel treatment for IBS and indigestion. 200ml and 500ml …
More info

What's being asked

Are there herbal remedies to help IBS?

Yes, but it depends what your symptoms are as to what remedy would best suit you. The herb ...
Read more >

I have IBS and was wondering will Tormentil help?

Tormentil helps with diarrhoea, but many people with IBS experience diarrhoea as part of a pattern ...
Read more >

What can I eat to help avoid IBS?

It’s often not what you eat but how you eat it that is the issue. Eating on the run or when ...
Read more >

Wondering if you have IBS?

Take our simple, 9 question test to find out.

Take the IBS test

Here’s what I recommend

As the A.Vogel Digestion advisor, I recommend Silicol® Gel and Molkosan® Original, to help with your IBS symptoms.

Learn more

Did you know?

How you eat rather than what you eat can also trigger your IBS. From not chewing your food enough to even how you sit while you eat can all impact affect your IBS!

7 simple eating habits to help ease IBS

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Download our FREE allergies e-book now!