Diet regimens were not created solely as strategies to lose weight or control some metabolic diseases. These have also emerged to control the symptoms of certain conditions such as those of the gastrointestinal tract.

One of these regimes is the low FODMAP diet intended for those who suffer from eating disorders and its function is to improve the annoying effects of these pathologies. 

In this article, we provide you with the information you need to know about which foods are FODMAP and how to build a diet around these types of foods.

What is the low FODMAP diet?

First, what does the word FODMAP mean? This is an acronym for the following words: 

  • F: Fermentable , referring to carbohydrates that are fermented during digestion.
  • O: Oligosaccharides or polymeric compounds of up to 20 monosaccharides, present in foods such as onion , asparagus, garlic or artichoke.
  • D: Disaccharides or carbohydrates that are made up of two monosaccharides, present in foods such as table sugar, lactose or starch.
  • M: Monosaccharides or carbohydrates that do not break down when subjected to a hydrolysis process. They are present in cereal foods such as rice, oats or wheat.
  • A: And
  • Q: Polyols or also called polyalcohols, are sweeteners obtained from simple sugars and are contained in foods such as chocolates, sweets, chewing gum, among others.

In summary, FODMAPs are foods high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. 

Knowing this, then we can say that the low FODMAP diet is that dietary regimen that limits or eliminates the consumption of foods with a high content of fermentable carbohydrates , that is, it is a low FODMAP dietary regimen.

To highlight: This low FODMAPs diet is especially aimed at people with problems of eating disorders and gastrointestinal pathologies.

How do you do the low FODMAP diet?

Next, we will give you some basic indications of how you can build a low FODMAP diet and what you need to do it:

1. Foods allowed on the low FODMAP diet

Here is a tentative list of foods that can be part of a low FODMAPS diet:

  • Allowed drinks: Vegetable milks and almond drinks , rice, oats , hazelnuts , quinoa among others
  • Cheeses: Goat, feta , cheddar, cured, camembert, lactose-free yogurt , among others.
  • Proteins: Lean meats, oily fish and eggs (avoid canned and processed). 
  • Fruits and vegetables: Blueberries, strawberry , raspberry , passion fruit, kiwi , melon, tangerine, among others. You can also include nuts in small daily portions and some seeds.
  • Vegetables: Swiss chard, spinach , broccoli in quantities of less than 100 grams, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber , tomato , carrot , among other varieties.
  • Grains and legumes: Soybeans , rice, corn, millet, rice flour, or pasta made from rice flour.
  • Cereals: Puffed rice, puffed corn among others without any kind of additives.
  • Oils: Oils in any variety are FODMAP free, however olive oil is recommended.
  • Sweeteners and sweeteners: Aspartame, saccharin and sucralose . Moderate consumption sweeteners such as white, brown sugar, maple syrup are also allowed.

Note: This list is more extensive but it is recommended that you consult your specialist doctor, dietitian or nutritionist who will guide you in more detail .

2. Foods to avoid on the low FODMAP diet

Next we are going to describe a tentative list of foods that you should avoid if you decide to follow a low FODMAP diet:

  • Beverages: Milk of animal origin, ice cream, yogurt, dairy desserts, butter, kefir, all alcoholic beverages.
  • Cheeses: Soft cheeses such as ricotta, cottage cheese and spreads. 
  • Proteins: Sausages, charcuterie and processed.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Olives, apricot, avocado, mango, apple, peach, pear, watermelon among other varieties.
  • Vegetables: Garlic, onion, artichokes, aubergines, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli (in quantities greater than 100 grams), olives. Among the nuts are cashews , hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pistachio and dehydrated fruits . 
  • Grains and legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils.
  • Cereals: Cereal bars, pastries, barley, rye, cous cous, wheat flour among others.
  • Sweeteners and sweeteners: Sorbitol, fructose , erythritol , corn syrup, high fructose syrup. (1)

Note: The list of these foods to avoid is more extensive , so we recommend consulting your nutritionist.

3. Sample menu on the low FODMAP diet

There is a variety of recipes already prepared or simply with the previous recommendations, you can give free rein to your imagination and prepare a large number of dishes. Here is a simple example of how you can organize it:


  • Tea, coffee if you wish with any sweetener or allowed sweetener. You can combine it with lactose-free milk.
  • 2 slices of spelled bread with serrano ham.
  • 1 piece of fruit of those allowed (If you prefer, you can reserve it for mid-morning).


  • Rice with vegetables (carrots, zucchini, green beans, spinach).
  • Salmon with salad or chicken breast with rice (Do not use garlic or onion as seasonings).
  • 1 fruit allowed.


  • Cream made with allowed vegetables, without onion or garlic as seasoning.
  • Omelette.
  • 1 fruit allowed.

Important: The FODMAP diet, like most dietary regimens, should not be prolonged for a long time, because there is a risk of having deficiencies in some nutrients necessary for the body.

What are the benefits of the low FODMAP diet?

For those people who suffer from annoying symptoms due to gastrointestinal disorders, this diet can help mitigate and correct them 

Below we present the most common pathologies where the diet of foods with low FODMAP content is effective:

1. Improves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the large intestine. The cause is not yet clear, but it is commonly attributed to alterations in motility and/or digestive sensitivity, influenced by psychological factors.

The symptoms that manifest in this pathology are: abdominal pain, abdominal rhythm disturbances, incomplete evacuation, mucus in the stool. 

To mitigate the annoying manifestations of this pathology in patients, fermentable carbohydrates must be restricted and for this it is recommended to resort to the FODMAP diet. (two)

Important: Because irritable bowel disease has been attributed to psychological factors, it is advisable to lead a quiet life accompanied by a healthy lifestyle.

2. Improves the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory disorders caused mainly by two pathologies: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease . It affects different portions of the digestive tract but mainly the small intestine.

Gastrointestinal signs common to both diseases are: diarrhea, bloating, decreased appetite, involuntary weight loss, blood in the stool. 

You should know: Studies indicate that reducing FODMAP intake offers an effective strategy for IBD patients. (3)

3. Alleviates food intolerances

Food intolerance comprises a set of adverse reactions of the organism towards foods that cannot be partially or completely digested, metabolized or assimilated. (4)

Among the most common foods that can cause food intolerance are dairy products with a high lactose content, grains such as wheat, rye and barley that contain gluten or galacto-oligosaccharides, present in whole legumes, broccoli stems and vegetables. cruciferous among others, compounds present in foods rich in FODMAP .

The most common gastrointestinal symptoms of food intolerance are: belching, flatulence, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal swelling, and constipation. 

In principle, and under medical supervision , following a low FODMAP diet can help you mitigate the problems caused by this eating disorder and also identify the intolerance problem you suffer from. (5)

Important: If you have a diagnosed food intolerance, it is not necessary to follow such a restrictive low FODMAP diet. In this case it is important to follow medical recommendations.

What are the risks of the low FODMAP diet?

This type of food or nutrient restrictive diet leads to weighing some risks if some factors are not taken into account and if it is not supervised by a medical professional.

For example, the restriction of nutrients cannot be extended beyond the prescribed time (established between 2 to 3 weeks or at least until the bad symptoms disappear), since it can cause a deficiency of vitamins, minerals and, above all, carbohydrates.

This can lead to metabolism disorders due to lack of nutrients, as in the case of cereals classified as glucans rich in starch or fructans such as garlic, onion or asparagus rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Likewise, the low contribution of fibers with a prebiotic effect could have consequences on the microbiota , affecting the health of the digestive system.

Notable: Studies emphasize that clinical expertise is required to use the low FODMAP diet. (6)

Key Findings

  • The low FODMAP diet limits the consumption of fermentable carbohydrates.
  • The low FODMAP diet is aimed at people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders.
  • The low FODMAP diet does not cure gastrointestinal disorders , it helps to mitigate their symptoms. 
  • This diet should not exceed the established application time or until bothersome symptoms improve, as it can cause nutrient deficiency.
  • The supervision of a specialist doctor or nutritionist is necessary in the initial stage of this diet.

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