FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-saccharides, disaccharides, mono-saccharides, and polyols. These are types of short chain carbohydrates–sugars, starches, and fiber–found in a variety of foods that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and absorb water and ferment in the colon.
The following types of carbohydrates are FODMAPS:
Fructans – found in garlic, onions, and wheat
Fructose – found in fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup
Galactans – found in beans and legumes
Lactose – found in dairy
Polyols – found in fruits with pits, such as apples, avocados, or cherries and in sugar alcohols
Most people can eat high-FODMAP foods without any problem. In fact, many of these foods can encourage good bacteria to grow in the intestines. However, people with IBS may tend to be more sensitive to foods high in FODMAPs.
FODMAPS are not easily absorbed in the small intestine. They move through slowly, and take on water. In the bowel, bacteria rapidly ferment the FODMAPs, causing gas. The excess gas and water can cause bloating, pain, and diarrhea in people with IBS. The low-FODMAP diet can help identify which foods trigger your IBS symptoms. Avoiding these foods may help you manage your condition.