Now Accepting SAME-DAY DDA appointments for patients experiencing urgent symptoms. Please visit our SAME-DAY DDA page here to learn more.

What Is a Low-FODMAP Diet?

What Is a Low-FODMAP Diet?

FODMAP is a funny name, but it refers to hard-to-digest carbohydrates that can be a major cause of dietary distress in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or functional abdominal pain. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides, and polyols.

FODMAPs can trigger digestive problems like gas, bloating, and stomach pain. They’re found in a surprisingly wide array of foods, many of which you probably eat daily or often. 

A low-FODMAP diet, greatly reduces your intake of these carbohydrates to help ease digestive problems. Research shows that a low-FODMAP diet is especially effective in reducing the flare-ups and intensity of IBS.

At Digestive Disorders Associates — with offices in Gambrills, Chester, and Annapolis, Maryland —we can help you determine if a low-FODMAP diet is right for you.

If so, here’s what to expect with the diet and our guidance in following it. 

Where are FODMAPS found?

FODMAPs are present in varying levels in many common foods. When you start a low-FODMAP diet, we’ll bring awareness to the following four groups:


Fructans and galactans are oligosaccharide carbohydrates that are off-limits on a low-FODMAP diet. Fructans are found in foods like wheat, rye, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and cauliflower. Galactans are present in legumes, beans, and some root vegetables, including onions and garlic.


Lactose is the main carbohydrate in disaccharide-containing dairy foods. This group includes milk, cottage and ricotta cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. 


Honey, agave nectar, figs, and mangoes are just some foods with monosaccharides. Foods with monosaccharides are usually high in the carbohydrate called fructose. This group includes apples, honey, and watermelon. Broccoli, asparagus, and artichokes also contain monosaccharides. 


Polyols are present in certain low-calorie sweeteners (like sorbitol) and certain fruits and vegetables, including blackberries. 

Why are FODMAPs a problem?

FODMAPs aren’t a problem for everyone. Usually, they only affect people with bowel disorders like IBS.

FODMAPs are usually high in fiber or compounds that bring along water when them move from the small intestine to the colon. The increase in water in your digestive tract can make you feel exceptionally full and bloated. The extra water can also lead to diarrhea.

FODMAPs often take longer for your system to digest, so they ferment while in your intestines -- leading to gas. Your gut bacteria has to work extra hard to break down these carbohydrates. In sensitive people, the stomach distension that results triggers the nerves in the area to send pain signals to the brain -- so you end up with a stomachache. 

Creating a low-FODMAP diet

It takes some planning to follow a low-FODMAP diet, but if you struggle with abdominal distress, the work is worth it. Our experts at Digestive Disorder Associates are ready to help, too. We can provide you with a list of foods that are acceptable to eat and even help you with meal planning. 

Sample meals may include:

We can help you ease your digestive distress with dietary changes and other lifestyle and medical treatments. Come see us!

Call any of our offices in Gambrills, Chester, or Annapolis, Maryland, or use the online tool to schedule an appointment. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes extreme inflammation of the colon and subsequent digestive misery. The causes of this disease aren’t fully understood, but here’s what researchers know so far.

The Many Benefits of Hydration Therapy

Hydration therapy is the quickest way to get the fluids, vitamins, and other compounds you need to help you heal. Find out how you can benefit from hydration therapy, especially if you have a digestive disorder or autoimmune disease.

10 Things You Can Have on a Clear Liquid Diet

If you’ve been prescribed a clear liquid diet in advance of specific testing or to ease a digestive problem, figuring out what you can actually consume is challenging. Here are 10 items to choose from during this short-term dietary protocol.

Does an Anal Fissure Heal on Its Own?

An anal fissure is painful but usually heals on its own with diligent care. Here’s what to do if you have an anal fissure and how to know when to see your specialist.

Six Conditions That Lead to Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis is devastating scarring of the liver that causes permanent damage. In early stages, liver disease doesn’t show symptoms, so it’s important to be aware of conditions that put you at risk of cirrhosis. Here are six you should know about.