the FODMAP diet-A way to cope with IBS

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Spicy meatballs and Butternut Squash Spaghetti

Exploring the FODMAP diet concept

As a food consultant working across Leicester and the whole of the United Kingdom, I am always interested in staying at the fore of all things new and exciting, especially in regards to any developments in the food industry.

Recently I’ve heard more and more about the FODMAP diet as a way of helping to control IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and I thought it would be a good idea to explore this concept in a little more detail and share my findings with you.

But first things first, what exactly does FODMAP stand for?

In recent times, research has shown that certain carbohydrates can contribute to symptoms of IBS sufferers and these carbohydrates are:

Fermentable – sources include the obvious sugary treats including cookies, cakes, and soft drinks, but they also include less obvious food such as bread, crackers and breakfast cereals.

Oligo-saccharides- sources include wheat, beans, peas and pulses, some vegetables- particularly onion and sweeteners including processed food additives

Di-saccharides- animal milk such as cow and goats milk

Mono-saccharides- sources include apples, honey, sugar snap peas and fructose

Polyols- sources include peaches, plums, mushrooms, cauliflower and sugar free sweets.

As you may or may not already be aware of, carbohydrates can be present in different forms in foods, ranging from long-chain carbohydrates (such as starch) to simple sugars (such as glucose) that are well-digested and absorbed to produce energy. Resistant starch and fibre are long-chain carbohydrates resistant to digestion and are essential in normal bowel function.

Through extensive research an Australian group have produced fantastic evidence to demonstrate that a group of short-chain carbohydrates, named FODMAPs are problematic to those suffering with IBS. These short chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. It is the production of gas by these bacteria which is a major contributor to the array of unpleasant symptoms.

Ask anyone suffering with IBS and the majority will confirm that their symptoms are related to the consumption of certain foods. With this in mind, adopting a low FODMAP diet may well help sufferers to reduce the severity of their symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life all round.

How can FODMAP help IBS sufferers?

IBS is a debilitating condition that can reduce the quality of life due to an array of unpleasant symptoms including abdominal pain, intestinal gas, bloating and altered bowel habits spanning all extremes, and so eating yourself well is a important aspect of living with the condition.

In recent times, a wide range of therapies have been tried and tested to control the unpleasant symptoms of IBS including bulking agents, laxatives and various medications, as well as a myriad of lifestyle changes. But rather than popping oodles of pills, day in, day out it seems that following a low FODMAP could be a fantastic alternative.

Tailoring the diet to meet your individual lifestyle and preferences, the low FODMAP diet allows for successful drug-free management of symptoms through diet in many patients but will unfortunately not cure IBS entirely. That said, adopting this diet has been proven to improve the symptoms of IBS amongst sufferers which can only be a positive thing and isn’t restricted to just this condition.

Other clinical studies have confirmed that the application of the low FODMAP diet has also improved gut symptoms in more than 50% of people with inflammatory bowel disease and has also helped those with no colon whatsoever.

Here to help

So, the verdict is out, the low FODMAP diet seems to be a no brainer when it comes to tackling the symptoms of IBS. If you would like to discuss your own individual requirements, get in touch- I’ll be happy to discuss how I can help you in your quest to live with the condition.

As a personal and private chef, I am available throughout Leicester and the wider surrounding areas (as well as across the United Kingdom) to develop diet plans, bespoke meals and also come into your home to cook for you in line with your requirements to ensure you feel fighting fit from here on in!

Why not check out this delicious low FODMAP meal and discover how following such concepts could help control the symptoms of this condition for you.