The term FODMAP is an acronym coined by a group of researchers at Monash University in Australia as a way to refer to these particular carbohydrates:
Oligosaccharides (comprised of fructans and galactans)
Disaccharides (milk sugar lactose)
Polyols (sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol
FODMAPs are a collection of molecules, more specifically short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, found in foods naturally or as food additives. FODMAPs include fructose (when in excess of glucose), fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), lactose and polyols (eg. Sorbitol and mannitol). A detailed description of each of these, including the foods they are found in, is provided below.
A diet low in FODMAPs (“a Low FODMAP Diet”) is scientifically proven1, and is now used internationally, as the most effective dietary therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and symptoms of an irritable bowel. Such symptoms include excessive wind (flatus), abdominal pain, bloating and distension, nausea and changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea and/or constipation). A Low FODMAP Diet has also been proven, with solid scientific research2, to reduce symptoms of fatigue, lethargy and poor concentration.
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:
Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel
Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain
Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule
Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single sugar molecule
Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however, they don’t lead to intoxication!)