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What are FODMAPs?

William Dierenfeldt, MD
Gastroenterology
FODMAP is an acronym used to categorize the types of sugars that are naturally found in the foods we eat. The letters in FODMAP stand for:

F= Fermentable
O= Oligosaccharides
D= Disaccharides
M= Monosaccharides
a = and
P = Polyols

Different foods have been categorized as having low fermentable sugar content (friendly) or high fermentable sugar content (not friendly). Those foods that are considered NOT friendly should be avoided when following a Low FODMAP diet. 

Examples of some foods that contain high FODMAPs and are considered not friendly include:

Oligosaccharides
  • Fructans are present in wheat, onions, and garlic
  • The sugar that is present in legumes (baked beans, chickpeas, etc.)
Disaccharides
  • Lactose, the natural sugar found in milk
Monosaccharides
  • Fructose, the sugar found in  honey and some fruits and high fructose corn syrup
Polyols
  • Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol
The Low FODMAP IBS Diet is a comprehensive plan that combines Low FODMAP dietary modification with key lifestyle changes to improve IBS symptoms.
Patsy Catsos
Nutrition & Dietetics

If you've never heard the term FODMAPs before, you're not alone! FODMAPs is the name of for a certain group of sugars and fibers in your food. FODMAPs have a reputation for causing bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and/or constipation for some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

FODMAPs carbohydrates include:

  • lactose (a type of sugar found in milk)
  • fructose (a type of sugar found in fruit, honey, and high fructose corn syrup)
  • polyols (also known as sugar alcohols, found in certain fruits and vegetables, and as a sweetener in some sugar-free candies and gum)
  • fructans (a type of fiber found in wheat, onions and garlic)
  • galactans (a type of fiber found in beans)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.