"FODMAP" is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in foods naturally or as food additives, and they include fructose, lactose, fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotics, and sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol and mannitol).
Foods that are low FODMAPs are those that are low in fructose, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols and suitable for those following a low FODMAPs diet. This way of eating restricts intake of prebiotic fibers that can cause discomfort for those with an irritable bowel and has been scientifically shown to help manage these symptoms. It is a beneficial tool to use to help identify triggers of certain symptoms.
If eaten, the FODMAPs make their way to the large intestine where they undergo fermentation by the naturally occurring bowel bacteria. This fermentation causes discomfort, bloating and flatulence commonly experienced by those suffering with irritable bowel syndrome. Examples of foods containing FODMAPs are onions, garlic, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, apples. Apricots. Raisins, watermelon to name a few.
There are however many fruits and vegetables that can be well tolerated such as bananas, courgettes, pumpkin, carrots, cabbage.
Supplements can also contain FODMAPs, particularly those with fibre, fruits, and vegetables.