What is a FODMAP?
It's an acronym for all the foods that irritate your bowels: Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. Yeah... we had no idea what that meant either, but basically they're sugars that draw water into your gut, aren't properly digested, and then become a feast for the bacteria in your colon. When those littel buggers are overactive, they produce A LOT of gas (you are familiar, we're sure). So in somewhat layman's terms, spelled out in a New York Times wellness blog, these are the carb-y categories to avoid:
* Fructose: a sugar found in some fruits, all dried fruits, some sweet veggies, honey, agave, jams, and drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup (shocker).
* Lactose: the sugar found in dairy products and remains highly present in soft cheeses, milk, and ice cream (sorry).
* Fructans (not to be confused with fructose): soluble fibers found in bananas, garlic, onions, wheat, rye, beets, asparagus, leeks, and artichokes.
* Galactans: complex sugars present in soy products and green veggies like Brussel sprouts and green beans.
* Polyols: sweeteners found in pitted fruits like, avocado (NOOO!), cherries, apricots, peaches, and plums.
...but you can just as easily refer to the chart below.
We admit, it Looks Bad...
Hint: that discomfort is not just from holiday splurging.
Why torture yourself?
In 2011, Australian gastroenterologist, Dr. Peter Gibson, and co. studied 34 people who had a sensitivity to gluten but DID NOT have Celiac (an autoimmune disease that you probably don't have, but ask your doctor because if you do gluten actually destroys your small intestine and you probably don't have IBS). After eating a diet low in those special FODMAP carbs, their symptoms improved, thus was born the Low FODMAP diet. Moral of the story is: if you think you have IBS, this diet is like pressing a reset button on your gut. Take out all of the irritants, and voila, you have a fresh gut and now you can start adding these things back in and see what causes you to experience your symptoms again. Good ol' trial and error!
You know your symptoms, but if you haven't talked to a doctor yet, here are some typical tell-tales:
* abdominal pain and cramping
* bloating and gas
* diarrhea and/or constipation (irregularity)
* mucus in stool
So this isn't you after every meal, that's why.
There's even an app...
...because, if you're being honest with yourself, you're not actually going to carry that list around (same, tbh).