Among all artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes, the term Fodmap has sure gained popularity in the nutrition, diet and food trends circle. Part of it stems from how mysterious the name sounds. Almost like gluten – most of us are still confused about what exactly gluten is. But worry not, Fodmap isn't all that confusing.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. And in simpler terms, these are the sugars that are poorly absorbed by the body. They also trigger symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which gives rise to pain and bloating.
Wheat, legumes, garlic, onion, dairy, honey, some nuts, some fruits and vegetables and artificial sweeteners have scored a place in the Fodmap list. And a diet low in Fodmap means a diet low in these food items – something that benefits people suffering from IBS mostly.
A major drawback of the Fodmap diet is how restrictive it is, making it not so viable for long-term nutritional needs. But there's a key to tackling this too!
Writing BodyandSoul.com, Melissa Meier, a Sydney-based Accredited Practicing Dietitian said: "The protocol of this diet allows you to follow a strict Fodmapdiet for two to six weeks, challenge each Fodmap group one by one and then liberalize your diet based on your findings. It can be pretty tricky, so it's important to only do this under the supervision of a dietitian."
So let's round up a list of food items that could offer as low Fodmap replacements, as per Meier.
1. Stay off the regular bread and pasta – known carbs that are not so beneficial to the system. Replace them with their gluten free versions which are plain and an equally delicious alternative.
2. Quinoa and brown rice are also great options available on the healthy carbs list that are low Fodmap. Mix it up with the several recipes available online for a yummy meal.
3. For those missing dairy milk but suffering from symptoms of IBS, calcium-fortified almond milk can offer a healthy alternative for the time being.
4. Use flavours like ginger and chili as replacements for garlic and onion in your savoury dishes. You might have to say a sad goodbye to vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower and peas. But eggplant, spinach and capsicum along with bok choy, cucumber and tomato are all allowed!
5. In terms of fruits, stack up on blueberries, grapes, oranges, strawberries, pineapple and rockmelon as all of these are low Fodmap.