What are FODMAPs?

What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates including fructose, fructans, galactose, galactans, lactose, and sugar alcohols e.g. sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and other polyols.

FODMAP is derived from Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols—so you can see why it's shortened to FODMAP.

Dr. Peter Gibson and Dr. Susan Shepherd, from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, developed the low FODMAP diet after a study indicated that FODMAPs were poorly absorbed in the small intestine; a contributing factor in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. The study concluded that adopting a low FODMAP diet could reduce gastrointestinal symptoms in 75% of IBS patients

Typical high FODMAP foods (not exhaustive):

  • Breads & cereals - wheat containing breads and cereals, wheat pasta, rye
  • Cookies - wheat based cookies, rye crackers
  • Fruits - apples, blackberries, mango, nectarines, plums, watermelon
  • Milk & dairy - cow's milk, cream, ice cream, margarine, soft cheese, yogurt
  • Nuts & seeds - cashews, pistachios
  • Protein - legumes
  • Sweeteners - agave, corn syrup, honey, sugar alcohols e.g. isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol
  • Vegetables - asparagus, beetroot, garlic, legumes, onions, sweet corn

Typical low FODMAP alternatives (not exhaustive):

  • Breads & cereals - gluten free breads and pasta, quinoa rice
  • Cookies - gluten free cookies, rice cakes
  • Fruits - bananas, blueberries, grapes, honeydew melon, oranges
  • Milk & dairy - hard cheeses e.g. parmesan, lactose free milk and yogurts
  • Nuts & seeds - almonds (<10), pumpkin seeds
  • Protein - chicken, fish, meats, tofu
  • Sweeteners - glucose, maple syrup, table sugar
  • Vegetables - bean sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes

Searching the internet can also provide a much more comprehensive list of high and low FODMAP foods from a variety of websites.

IMPORTANT: As with all food issues and dietary changes it's essential to seek the expert guidance of a physician and/or a registered dietician/nutritionist, to ensure that any major changes to diet do not leave out essential nutrients for good health.


Last updated: 04/08/2015