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What are FODMAPs?

This article is part of the FODMAP toolkit: Your complete guide to going low-FODMAP. A full print ready version available for purchase, details here.

FODMAPs are part of the food group, carbohydrates (starchy food).  They’re the favourite food for bacteria that live naturally in the digestive system.

The word ‘FODMAP’ stands for

Fermentable: Eaten by bacteria to produce gases and heat

Oligosaccharides: Complex carbohydrates (fibres)

Disaccharides: Milk sugars

Monosaccharide: Simple sugars

And Polyols: Another food bacteria like

Foods high in FODMAP carbohydrates can cause the bowel to swell by drawing in more fluid and producing excess gas when they are fermented by the bacteria found in the digestive system.  This causes the symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain and change in bowel habits.