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What exactly are FODMAPs?

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols! They are a group of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in various foods. Sound confusing? Let’s elaborate.

These compounds are not fully absorbed in the small intestine and instead travel to the large intestine, where they can cause trouble for sensitive tummies, leading to those unwelcome digestive symptoms [1]. 

Let's meet the members of the different FODMAP groups and common foods which fall within these groups:

Oligosaccharides: These include fructans and GOS (Galacto-Oligosaccharides) and are commonly found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic, and legumes [1].

Disaccharides: Lactose, the sugar present in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, falls into this category. 

For those with lactose intolerance, consuming these foods can lead to unpleasant symptoms, commonly loose bowel movements [1].

Monosaccharides: Fructose, the natural sugar found in fruits, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup, is part of this group. 

While fruits are healthy options, some individuals may experience gut symptoms after eating certain high-fructose fruits [1].

Polyols: These are sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol, which can be found in sugar-free gum, stone fruits, and certain artificial sweeteners [1]. 

These could be the sneaky additions to your diet that contribute to your symptoms of bloating!

What is the low FODMAP diet approach?

Let's discuss the low FODMAP diet approach. 

A common myth is that the low FODMAP diet is something you must maintain or stick to in order to maintain your symptoms. This is totally incorrect!

The low FODMAP diet is a 3-step process, not a life-long diet. It's not about banning all FODMAPs forever, because this would actually be terrible for your gut health long-term.

Although they can be problematic to sensitive tummies, These FODMAPs actually provide an essential food source to the healthy bacteria living in your gut, so cutting them out for long periods of time can actually do more harm than good! 

Rather we use this low FODMAP diet approach to eliminate these FODMAPs temporarily and then re-introduce each of them to identify your personal food triggers in order to expand your diet again. It involves reducing high FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks, followed by systematically reintroducing them to determine your triggers and tolerance levels [2]. 

Remember, it's a 3-step approach, and you don't have to face it alone. Consulting with a registered FODMAP Dietitian can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.

Following a low FODMAP diet doesn't mean giving up on delicious meals. 

It's all about making smart swaps and exploring FODMAP-friendly options. Seeing your registered FODMAP Dietitian can make the process a lot smoother by providing FODMAP-friendly recipes and meal plans. 

Here are some quick tips on what foods to choose on the low FODMAP diet, phase 1:

Please note, this is just a very small glimpse of what you can consume on the low FODMAP diet and you should always consult your local doctor or FODMAP Dietitian before starting the low FODMAP diet.

Reducing your symptoms beyond the Low FODMAP Diet

Remember, taking care of your gut health and overall well-being goes beyond the food you eat. 

Managing stress, practising relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active can all contribute to a healthier gut [4]. So, pamper yourself, find activities that bring you joy, and let your inner glow shine.

Remember, the low FODMAP diet should never be undertaken without guidance from a trained professional. For more questions and direction around FODMAPs and the low FODMAP diet, see your doctor or registered FODMAP Dietitian!


[1] Monash University. (n.d.). About FODMAPs. Retrieved from

[2] Gibson, P. R., & Shepherd, S. J. (2010). Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 25(2), 252-258. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x

[3] Monash University. (n.d.). Vegetables, Proteins, Grains, Fruits, Sweeteners. Retrieved from

[4] Halmos, E. P., Power, V. A., Shepherd, S. J., Gibson, P. R., & Muir, J. G. (2014). A diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and a probiotic restores Bifidobacterium species: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology, 146(1), 67-75. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.09.046

8 low FODMAP diet swaps for your every day cooking.

Swap some of those high FODMAP foods to a low FODMAP alternative to reduce symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, excessive gas, and irregular bowel movements.

1. Garlic

Garlic chives and garlic-infused oil are the most obvious swaps for a low FODMAP alternative.

The FODMAPs in garlic are actually water-based, therefore they will not contaminate the oil when infused in the liquid so it is safe to consume this as a low FODMAP flavour. 

Cobram Estate offer a range of infused oils to help flavour your meals without the use of garlic and onion.

2. Yogurt

Lactose and products high in lactose are considered high FODMAP, therefore regular yogurt fits in this category.

Choosing preferably a dairy-free yogurt is a great alternative as it has more nutritional value than coconut yogurt. However, coconut yogurt is still a low FODMAP alternative to yogurt.

3. Wholegrain Bread

Wholegrains are extremely beneficial for our health, so we should be careful about which ones we limit on a low FODMAP diet.

Unfortunately, wheat contains fructans which can be problematic on a low FODMAP diet. Instead of choosing regular bread, gluten-free varieties are better tolerated for the short period of time you are on the low FODMAP diet. 

Alternatively, some people tolerate rye sourdough much better than regular bread so this is also worth a try.

4. Savoury Crackers

One of the hardest things to cut out on a low FODMAP diet can be those snack foods, chips, biscuits, dips. But – you don’t actually have to!

There are many low FODMAP biscuit and cracker varieties on the market now days, such as:


SAKATA Rice crackers

Corn Thins

For more low FODMAP snacks, check out our 50 low FODMAP snack recipes.

5. Onion

Similar to the onion-infused oil as listed above, there are low FODMAP alternatives to choose from. Onion can be substituted with things such as chives, thyme and other herbs, and the green portion of spring onion. For more flavour options for cooking, visit FodShop

6. Regular Pasta

Regular pasta is referring to white or wholemeal pasta varieties. Pasta is considered a high FODMAP food due to the fructans in the wheat which forms the pasta. Low FODMAP pasta varieties are available, we just have to look for those that are not made from wheat or other grain alternatives.

Low FODMAP pasta options include gluten-free pasta varieties, vermicelli noodles and soba noodles. 

Be careful when choosing ‘gluten free’ pasta options, and avoid options that are made out of the following:

All other gluten free options should be suitable on a low FODMAP diet. If ever unsure, please contact us.

7. Soft Drinks

Soft drinks and other carbonated drinks such as energy drinks, diet sodas, even soda water can contribute to symptoms of bloating, excessive gas and pain in IBS.

When we consume carbonated drinks, the air within these drinks cannot be reabsorbed in the body, therefore it travels through our system to our large intestine where it can be trapped as gas, contribute to bloating or pass as flatulence. 

Avoid all carbonated drinks and soft drinks on the low FODMAP diet.

Instead, try small amounts of regular cordial as a sweet low FODMAP alternative.

8. Wine & Beer

A lot of people with IBS suffer from symptoms of bloating, gas and diarrhoea when consuming excess amounts of wine and beer. This is a normal reaction for those with IBS.

To reduce the effect of alcohol on IBS, we can choose different alcoholic options.

Obviously, minimising alcohol is going to benefit symptoms of IBS, but we can also choose other varieties of alcohol that are less symptom-causing.

Spirits are a less symptom-causing alcoholic choice if you have IBS. Be mindful, the mixer paired with the alcohol can also contribute to symptoms, so if you are pairing a carbonated drink such as coke or soda water this can still be problematic for your IBS.

Gluten-free beer options may also be less symptom-causing on IBS symptoms. 

Follow @theibsprogram on Instagram for recipes and more food swaps.

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Want more low FODMAP food options?

For more Low FODMAP recipes, download our FREE Low FODMAP Meal Plan.

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