FODMAP and IBS: What to Eat and What to Avoid on FODMAP Diet.

 What is FODMAP 

What exactly is FODMAP? The term FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo, Di, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. In simple words, these can be defined as short chain carbohydrates. A considerable percentage of the world population is not in a position to digest these short chain carbohydrates. If these carbohydrates are not digested, they would reach to the end of the intestine where the bacteria lives. The bacteria in the gut would then start using carbohydrates as a source of fuel. This process has the ability to produce hydrogen gas, which can give life to all sorts of digestive symptoms, including IBS. 

Unhealthy food habits of people have contributed a lot towards the Irritable bowel syndrome. If you are looking for a convenient method to stay away from these digestive issues, following a FODMAP diet would be the best option available out there to consider about. 

Most of the food items that we consume, especially the ones that are made out of beans and wheat have tiny carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are responsible for delivering a variety of negative health effects related to the digestive system, including constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating and gas. 

FODMAPs also have the ability to attract liquids into your intestine. This has the ability to lead you towards diarrhea. It is important to keep in mind that every person who lives out there in the world is not sensitive to the FODMAPs. This health condition is prominent among individuals who are affected with irritable bowel syndrome. From the recent studies, it has been identified that above 14% of the people are affected with irritable bowel syndrome. In order to stay away from the negative health effects that are associated with FODMAPs. Fructose can be considered as the most common FODMAP that you can find. This is a simple sugar, which can be found in most of the sugars, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, Lactose can also be recognized as a widely consumed FODMAP. This is a carbohydrate, which you can find in dairy products such as milk. 

The other common FODMAPs include galactans, which is found in legumes, fructans in barley, rye, spelt and wheat and polyols in sugar alcohols such as mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. Polyols can also be found in some vegetables and fruits, which are commonly being used as sweeteners. Therefore, you will have to take necessary steps in order to stay away from these food items as much as possible to avoid getting the above-mentioned health conditions. 

Being constipated can be quite painful and the longer it lasts, the higher are the chances of you developing piles which is, of course, another very painful problem. Imagine not being able to eat your favorite food just because it is difficult to digest.  With proper consultation, an experienced Dietician can guide IBS patient a good balanced low-FODMAP diet. 

Make sure you know what you are eating in order to keep your digestive system healthy or these minor symptoms can turn into chronic ailments. Here is what you need to know about IBS and how to avoid it: 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 

IBS is a very common disorder of the large intestine that can be caused by unhealthy eating, eating too much at one time or due to some infection. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome may end up with bloating, gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal cramps, constipation or diarrhea. 

Experiencing a different pattern of stool may indicate towards IBS. Going to the washroom more or less than the usual and having loose or hard stool can be an early sign of this problem. Usually, it lasts up to 2 to 4 days and can be cured easily through consulting a doctor and taking medicines. But there are severe cases where people have to get hospitalized for better treatment. 

The two types of IBS 

Mostly people think that suffering from diarrhea means that they have developed irritable bowel syndrome which is incorrect. IBS can be largely divided into two categories: 


People suffering from this condition experience loose motions, abdominal cramping, backache, discomfort and a frequent trip to the loo makes them weak. 


This is also considered as IBS and people suffering from constipation usually find it hard to go the washroom. They have fewer bowel movements and even if the pass a stool, it is hard and painful. They may also feel bloated accompanied with flatulence. 

Diarrhea and constipation 

Some people may face both of these problems at the same time but alternatively. At one time they may go to the washroom and pass loose stool while at the other time they might find it hard to pass it at all. 

Both of these problems come under the irritable bowel syndrome, these usually are treatable but if it takes the symptoms much more time to go away, then it is advisable to visit a practitioner for better consultation and get treated accordingly. 

7 IBS Signs and Symptoms 

Just like other health problems, irritable bowel syndrome can be easily caught by the early signs and symptoms. Here are 7 most common signs that may lead up to IBS: 

  1. Abdominal cramps- One of the most common signs of pain in your tummy which may give you an urge to go to the washroom and becomes better after passing stool. 
  2. Bloating and swelling- People suffering from IBS may also experience swelling and bloating of their stomach. It can be quite discomforting. 
  3. Gas- The excessive passing of wind is another symptom of IBS which can be embarrassing at times. 
  4. Loss of appetite- You may end up losing your hunger and be unable to digest it well. 
  5. Different bowel movements The patient may pass a different form of stool like hard or very thin like liquid depending upon their condition. 
  6. Urge to go to the toilet- Even after a visit to the washroom, the patient may have the urge to go again and feel as if they have not emptied their bowel completely. 
  7. Mucous- In some cases, the patients may pass mucous while passing stool. 

These are the few major and most visible sign of irritable bowel syndrome that may last up to a few days. The symptoms may worsen after having a meal. If along with these symptoms your end up feeling lethargic, low on energy, have pain in legs, fever, backache and other problems that you should immediately visit a doctor to get it treated.  

Women and IBS 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can affect both men and women and be equally problematic for both the genders. Due to their hectic routines and untimely eating, females may end up falling for IBS. They may either suffer from diarrhea or constipation depending upon the symptoms. The three most common symptoms that women face during an IBS: 

  1. Pain and cramps- One of the most common symptoms of this problem is pain and cramps which sometimes they can confuse with their lady problem as well. When suffering from IBS, women may face abdominal cramping which may lead to an urge to go to the toilet. 
  1. Loss of appetite- Another common sign of IBS is the loss of appetite and nausea. When women are in pain and uncomfortable position, they may end up feeling less hungry. In fact, a small bowl of food may lead to nausea and worsen the condition for them. 
  1. Different bowel movements– If suffering from diarrhea, the women will feel the urge to go again and again and pass stool which is liquid in from. On the other hand, constipation may lead to an urge of going to the loo as well but either they will not be able to pass the stool or passing it in the hard form will be very painful. 

The symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea are very similar and women suffering from either one or both of them should consult a doctor if accompanied by fever, lethargy or a backache. 

Men and IBS 

Eating junk and lack of physical activity is what make the digestive system of men weaker. You never know what kind of condition the food was prepared in and by using what kind of spices and oil. One may even end up with food poisoning if they eat food made un-hygienically. The most important thing is to keep an eye on what you eat and follow if with some sort of physical activity so that your digestive system can easily break down the complex chains contained in your meal and provide you with energy. 

But sometimes men fall for IBS and the most common symptoms that they may face are: 

  1. Flatulence- Overeating and sitting at a desk for a whole day can be one of the biggest reasons for excess gas. Junk food and spending their entire day in front of their computers, the food becomes hard to digest and leads to excess gas and flatulence. 
  1. Bloating and swelling- Another major symptom of IBS is bloating. When a person’s digestive tract is unable to digest the food properly, they may end up feel bloated. Their tummies may feel hard and swelled. 
  1. Pain and difference in bowel movement- Irritable bowel syndrome is immediately followed by pain, cramps and discomfort. If constipated, the person may feel difficult to pass stool and in diarrhea, they may feel the urge to go to the toilet again and again. 

For both males and females the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may not be very different but the severity of these varies from a person to person. For some, the symptoms may worsen after a meal and for others, they may lose their appetite completely. In both the cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor to avoid any complications. 

How can IBS be treated 

Once your doctor is able to diagnose your problem through visible symptoms, they will then use different approaches to curing the problem. Some of the most common methods of treatment include: 

Changing the diet

Your physician may advise you to bring a few changes in your diet or provide you with a complete diet plan depending on the severity of the case. 


There are pills and supplements available in the market to cure IBS that will be prescribed to you by your doctor. 


It has been observed that people facing the issue of IBS also suffer from stress and anxiety so your doctor may also suggest you to opt for counseling. 

Curing Irritable Bowel Syndrome naturally 

Avoiding certain foods and including a few in your diet along with proper eating manners can help you cure IBS naturally. Here are a few items that should be made a major part of your diet: 


Drinking 5 to 6 liters of water every day will not only improve your digestion but give a flawless skin as well. Increasing the intake of water is a great way of improving your lifestyle. 


Including foods rich in fiber like whole grains, oats, quinoa and other things assist in digestion and make it easy for people suffering constipation in passing out the stool. 

Chew your food

Chewing food for a longer time and swallowing it in smaller chunks is a great way to aid digestion and control your weight. The smaller the chunks of food you swallow, the easier it is for your system to break it down and absorb it. 


Taking a tablespoon with each meal helps in better digestion and the probiotics in it keep your tract healthy. 


Foods to Avoid on a Low FODMAP diet 


CauliflowerSplit peasArtichoke
FalafelSpring OnionsAsparagus
CabbageMung beansBaked beans
Haricot beansCeleryBeetroot
Kidney beansButter beansBlack beans
Lima beansChokoShallots
Soy Beans garlic saltsBroad beans
Mixed vegetablesPeas, sugar snapCho cho
MushroomsPickled vegetablesCassava
Black -Eyed peasRed kidney beansLeek bulb


Nashi pearsWatermelonApricots

Poultry and Meat

SausagesChorizoProcessed meat

Breads, Nuts, Cakes and cereal

Wheat breadsWheat cerealsWheat bran
RyeWheat pastaCereals with dried fruit
PastriesWheatgermUdon noodles
Crumpetschocolate chip biscuitsCroissants
Almond mealEinkorn flourSpelt flour
Muesli cerealMuesli barFreekeh
Rye crispbreadSemolinaGranola bar


Excessive BeerCordialCoconut water
Carbonated JuicesHerbal TeasSodas
Soy milkBlack, Chai, Dandelion TeaWine

Dairy and Poultry

Cheese, creamCow milkCustard
Cheese, HalmoumiYoghurtIce cream
Cheese, ricottaGelatoGoat milk
Evaporated milkSheep’s milkSour cream

Foods to Eat on a Low FODMAP Diet


Bamboo shootsAlfalfaBeans sprouts
Green BeansZucchiniLettuce
CarrotChoy SumCucumber
ChivesButternut squashEgg plant
OkraFresh herbsKale
Baby SpinachSun-dried tomatoesPumpklin
SwedeParsnipSweet potato


Guava, ripeHoneydew and Galia melonsKiwifruit
Dragon fruitTamarindPapaya
Paw pawRaspberryPassion fruit

Poultry and Meat

CrabCanned tunaTrout

Bread, Nuts, Cakes and cereal

Sourdough spelt breadGluten-Free BiscuitsOats
Wheat free breadsSeeds:Oatcakes
Gluten-free breadChia seedsPeanuts
gluten-free pastaEgusi seedsMacadamia nuts
Rice CakesPoppy seedsCrispbread
Corn ThinsPumpkin seedsPolenta
BuckwheatSesame seedsPopcorn
Plain Potato ChipsSunflower seedsCoconut
Brown riceBuckwheat noodlesPotato flour


Drinking chocolate powderEspresso coffeeAlchohol – limited
Fruit juice in low quantityInstant coffeeEgg protein
Sugar-free fizzy drinksWhey protein isolateRice protein

Dairy and Poultry

Lactose-free milkButterMargarine
Lactose-free YoghurtsHard CheeseSorbet
Swiss cheeseBrieSoy protein
Whipped creamCamembertTofu
FetaCheddarYoghurt, lactose-free
CottageGoat / chevreParmesan
MozzarellaRicotta Cheese



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