FED UP WITH BEING BLOATED? YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND 'FODMAPS'

Many people get bloated after consuming beans, beer, bread and pasta. But there are a range of other foods that will also trigger bloating for some people. The bloating I experience is totally body changing and makes me look 6 months pregnant. It can be really frustrating, but here's how I deal with it.



In 2017, I did a lot of research investigating diet and IBS symptoms and found tons of information about a group of sugars called FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-sacharides, mono-saccharides, and polyols) that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and fermented by bacteria to produce gas and bloating. For me this explained why, despite avoiding the foods I was intolerant to such as dairy and gluten, I still suffered from bloating. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but when you've had to radically change your lifestyle and eating habits to accommodate food intolerances and still have issues such as bloating, this can be very depressing and hard to deal with.


These sugars (FODMAPS) are found in a wide group of foods and include:

  • fructose - found in certain fruits and honey

  • lactose - found in milk products

  • sugar polyols - sorbitol and mannitol - found in artificial sweeteners often found in chewing gum

  • fructans - found in wheat, rye, onions and garlic

  • galacto-oligosacharides (GOS) - found in legumes such as baked beans

Not everyone reacts to all of these, but knowing which ones you personally have a low tolerance to can be life changing in a positive way because you can identify the causes and therefore control your symptoms.


This video sums everything up brilliantly:


To help you to identify which foods to avoid you can use an app developed by Kings College and Guy's hospitals called 'FODMAP by Food Maestro' which helps you to test your own individual sensitivities and then identify which foods you should stay away from. Click here for the FODMAP app for people with IBS. This is a brilliant app that takes you through a personalised plan to find out what you are sensitive to. Once you have your results, there's a barcode scanner on the app to help you choose foods in the supermarket too. The filters will automatically tell you what foods are suitable and what foods you should avoid.


It is possible to tolerate certain foods that cause problems if you are careful not to consume too much of them in one sitting and allow your body time to deal with the carbohydrates/sugars.


Everyone is different, but here are some common foods that will cause a reaction for me:


Fruits - fresh and dried:

  • Apricot - limit portion size to 56g (1 apricot)

  • Grapefruit - avoid

  • Peach - avoid

  • Plum - limit portion size to 1/2 plum

  • Pomegranate - avoid

  • Watermelon - avoid

  • Dried apricots - avoid

  • Dried cranberries - limit portion size to 1 tbsp

  • Currants - avoid

  • Dates - avoid

  • Figs - avoid

  • Dried goji berreis - limit portion size to 1 tbsp

  • Dried mango - avoid

  • Prunes - limit portion size to 16g - 2 prunes

Vegetables:

  • Beetroot - limit portion size to 20g - 2 slices

  • Butternut squash - limit portion size to 30g - 1/4 cup

  • Savoy cabbage - limit portion size to 35g - 1/2 cup (red cabbage and common cabbage fine)

  • Sweetcorn - limit portion size to 43g - 1/2 cob

  • Leek - avoid

  • Mange tout avoid

  • Button mushroom - limit portion size to 37g - 1/2 cup

  • Butternut squash - limit portion size to 30g - 1/4 cup

  • Peas - avoid

Nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds - limit portion size to 12g - 10 nuts

  • Cashews - avoid

  • Flasx seeds / linseeds - limit portion size to 15g - 1 tbsp

  • Hazelnuts - limit portion size to 15g - 10 nuts

  • Macademia - limit portion size to 40g - 20 nuts

  • Brazil nuts limit portion size to 40g - 10 nuts

  • Pecan nuts - limit portion size to 20g - 10 nuts

  • Pine nuts - limit portion size to - 1 tbsp

  • Pistachio nuts - avoid

  • Caraway seeds - limit portion size to 10g - 2 tsp

  • Chia seeds - limit portion size to 24g - 2 tbsp

  • Poppt seeds - limit portion size to 24g - 2 tbsp

  • Pumpkin seeds - limit portion size to 23g - 2 tbsp

  • Sesame seeds limit portion size to 11g - 1 tbsp

  • Sunflower seeds - limit portion size to 6g - 2 tspn

Pulses/legumes:

  • Baked beans - avoid

  • Adzuki beans - avoid

  • Kidney beans - avoid

  • Black beans - avoid

  • Borlotti beans - avoid

  • Broad beans - limit portion size to 87g - 1/2 cup

  • Butter beans - limit portion size to 35g - 1/4 cup

  • Chickpeas - limit portion size to 42g - 1/4 cup

  • Red kidney beans - avoid

Dairy free milk:

Coconut milk - limit portion size to 125ml

Soya milk - avoid


I hope you find this post helpful. There are also quick fixes to bloating that I tried but you need proper long term strategies to cope. If you want to quickly do something about a bloated tummy though, try Optibac one week flat or I find that Pau D'Arco tea helps, though it doesnt taste great! :)


To summarise, you do not have to go on a full low FODMAP diet for the rest of your life...you only need to understand what you are sensitive to and what makes you bloated. To find that out you do need to follow an elimination diet for a while which is a real pain, but worth it in the end. The app I mention earlier in this post will take you through how to do this. But I think that the the list of foods that I've outlined above would help in most cases as a reaction to 'oligos' is what most people struggle with such as beans (the windy food), beer and bread.


Happy flat tummy!!


#bloating #lowfodmap #fodmapdiet #ibs #beattheblaot



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