Hearing that FODMAP is an acronym for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides And Polyols.” might well not make it any clearer to the average person what a FODMAP is, and whether we should be seeking them out in our diet or avoiding them.
The straightforward answer is that it might help to avoid them. A diet low in FODMAPs has been proved to help some people with irritable bowel syndrome. FODMAPS are basically types of sugar which, when consumed, aren’t absorbed by the small intestine but rather pass through to the large intestine. There, they ferment, producing gas and also are osmotic – they attract water into the large intestine. Both of these actions trigger symptoms such as excess wind, abdominal bloating and pain, and diarrhoea, constipation or both.
This handy infographic below (click to enlarge) is a quick way to determine what are the low FODMAP foods and ingredients that can be eaten without triggering a response, so if you have suffered from IBS, this might be a way of controlling your symptoms.