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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 29, 2013

A Primal Primer: FODMAPs

By Mark Sisson
162 Comments

FODMAPsYou could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where everything discussed is familiar. You hear things like “carbs” and “medium chain triglycerides” and “fructose” and “macros” and “gluten” and “PUFAs,” thinking nothing of it. Like I said, routine. Then someone mentions FODMAPs. Huh? What the heck is that? Quite possibly one of the strangest, seemingly contrived acronyms in existence, FODMAPs represents a collection of foods to which a surprisingly large number of people are highly sensitive. To them, paying attention to the FODMAPs in their diets is very real and very serious if they hope to avoid debilitating, embarrassing, and painful digestive issues.

To begin, what exactly are FODMAPs?

As I said, it’s an acronym:

F is for Fermentable – Fermentable carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are fermented by bacteria instead of broken down by our digestive enzymes. In most people, some fermentable carbohydrates are healthy sources of food for the (helpful) bacteria that ferment them; these can include the prebiotics I’ve championed in the past and can actually improve digestive and overall health. In people with FODMAPs intolerance, certain carbohydrates can become too fermentable, resulting in gas, bloating, pain, and poor digestion, as well as proliferation of unwanted pathogenic bacteria.

O is for Oligosaccharides – Oligosaccharides are short-chain carbohydrates, including fructans (fructooligosaccharides, or FOS, and inulin) and galactans (raffinose and stachyose). Fructans are chains of fructose with a glucose molecule at the end; galactans are chains of galactose with a fructose molecule.

D is for Disaccharides – These are pairs of sugar molecules, with the most problematic being the milk sugar lactose (a galactose molecule with a glucose molecule).

M is for Monosaccharides – This describes a single sugar molecule. Free fructose is the monosaccharide to watch out for with FODMAPs intolerance.

A is for And – Every list needs a good conjunction.

P is for Polyols – Polyols include sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, or maltitol. For an idea as to their effects, type one of them into Google and note the autofill choice (hint: it’s usually “diarrhea” or “constipation” or “gas”). Since large amounts of polyols rarely occur in nature, lots of people have trouble with them.

Most people probably don’t need to worry about these categories. Most people enjoy pristine, effortless trips to the toilet that happen like clockwork and finish in under a minute. Heck, as I understand it, most people don’t even use toilet paper these days; they are that efficient and clean. Yes, it’s true: digestion worldwide has never been better!

The reality, of course, is that digestive difficulties are widespread, particularly in the industrialized world. If it’s not constipation, it’s diarrhea. Or bloating. Or gas. Or hemorrhoids. Or IBS. Or all of the above. These complaints are sadly very common (even more common than those stats would suggest, since many people are too embarrassed to admit they have an issue). For many of these people, FODMAPs may be exacerbating their symptoms.

Normal carbohydrate digestion takes place in the small intestine, where polysaccharides are broken up into glucose, fructose, and galactose and transporters like GLUT2 and GLUT5 absorb them for the body to use as nutrients. Sometimes those sugar molecules make it past the small intestine into the large intestine where colonic bacteria – the gut flora we (sorta) know and love – gobbles it up via fermentation, potentially causing gas and painful bloating. The presence of too many sugars in the colon can also cause an influx of fluid, which could lead to diarrhea. Constipation is another common symptom, though it’s not clear exactly how FODMAPs cause it. And some polysaccharides, like the oligosaccharides, make it through to the colonic bacteria as a rule because they resist digestion in everyone (in healthy people, these have a useful prebiotic effect).

You might be thinking, “Cool, so I can just avoid those weird sounding sugars and be fine, right?” Probably not. FODMAPs are very prevalent in the food supply. Even if you avoid free fructose, don’t drink milk, and ditch processed food containing sugar alcohols, you’ll still run into them in many fruits and vegetables.

FODMAP-containing vegetables include:

Asparagus (fructose, fructans), artichoke (fructose), beets (fructans), broccoli (fructans), Brussels sprouts (fructans), butternut squash (fructans), cabbage (fructans), celery (polyols), cauliflower (polyols), eggplant, fennel (fructans), garlic (fructans), leek (fructans), mushroom (polyol), okra (fructans), onion (fructans), shallots (fructans), sweet corn (fructose), radicchio (fructans), sweet potato (polyol)

FODMAP-containing fruits:

Apples (fructose, polyol), apricots (polyol), avocados (polyol), blackberries (polyol), cherries (fructose, polyol), plums (polyol), pluots (polyol), lychees (polyol), nectarines (polyol), peaches (polyol), pears (fructose, polyol), persimmons (polyol), grapes (fructose), mango (fructose), watermelon (polyol, fructose), dried fruit (fructose), juice (fructose)

Plus sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, maltitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. And any dairy that contains significant amounts of lactose, like milk or soft cheeses. Depending on your sensitivity, cream or butter can even do the trick.

So it covers quite a few otherwise healthy Primal foods (and some non-Primal ones, like wheat and rye and the aforementioned refined sweeteners).

Let me reiterate before I go on, because I don’t want to scare everyone away from berries and broccoli: not everyone has problems with FODMAPs. Most people probably don’t. If you’re eating all that stuff without issue, continue doing so and consider this post merely an academic curiosity.

Who might benefit from limiting FODMAPs?

Anyone with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Normally, the small intestine has relatively low numbers of gut flora residents. In SIBO, it’s got tons that aren’t supposed to be there. They interfere with nutrient absorption, digestion, and just generally muck everything up. SIBO has been shown to correlate quite strongly with lactase deficiency. Without enough lactase, you won’t be able to digest lactose (one of the premier FODMAPs) and your colonic bacteria will have to do the job. Another, earlier study found that patients with SIBO also show malabsorption of fructose and sorbitol in addition to lactose; all three are FODMAPs.

Anyone with IBS.

Low-FODMAP diets beat the pants off conventional dietary advice for people with IBS. One study found that while healthy subjects had increased flatulence on a high-FODMAP diet, subjects with IBS had increased flatulence in addition to lethargy and adverse GI symptoms. This could indicate that both groups were feeding FODMAPs to their gut bugs (which produce the flatulence through fermentation), but only the IBS patients had enough pathogenic gut flora to produce adverse symptoms.

Anyone suffering from chronic stress.

Stress is a well-known disruptor of digestive function as anyone who’s gotten queasy, lost their appetite, or had explosive diarrhea before the big interview could tell you. There’s evidence that stress might be causing FODMAP-intolerance, too. First, stress inhibits the action of GLUT2, a transporter responsible for the small intestinal absorption of glucose, fructose, and galactose in the gut. If you’re unable to adequately absorb the sugar molecules in the small intestine, they end up making it to your large intestine for fermentation by colonic bacteria. Second, stress has an immediate impact on the composition and function of your gut flora, rendering your populations less diverse and allowing certain pathogenic species to overpopulate.

Anyone with otherwise unexplained digestive problems.

Maybe you haven’t had a diagnosis. Maybe you just don’t feel right after eating almost anything. Maybe you’re chronically constipated (or the opposite). Trying a low-FODMAP diet can help you narrow your focus and start to identify some culprits.

If you decide to embark on a low-FODMAP diet, consider keeping a diet journal to log your food and track your reactions to individual FODMAPs. Some people might really react poorly to fructose while having no issues with lactose. Point being: different FODMAPs affect different people differently. You can tolerate some and not others.

Dosage matters, too. A gram of inulin might be fine, while five grams could cause distress. Individual tolerance must be determined by, well, seeing what and how much you tolerate.

If you’re interested in healing your gut, whether from SIBO or IBS or anything else that might be predisposing you to FODMAP intolerance, well-established protocol like GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet or SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) may help and are worth looking into. 

If you have no digestive issues, I would caution against trying a low-FODMAP diet “just because.” You’ll be missing out on some very nutritious, important foods, probably unnecessarily, while adding a bunch of unnecessary stress to your eating. FODMAP-related digestive issues are very noticeable. You’ll know it if you have it.

Well, that about sums it up. I hope this basic Primal Primer was helpful for you.

Now that we’re done, what about you? Do you have any sensitivities to FODMAPs? Has looking at that list of FODMAP foods made lightbulbs go off? Let me know below!

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162 Comments on "A Primal Primer: FODMAPs"

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Steph
Steph
2 years 10 months ago
A while back I started eating quite a bit of beetroot because I’d heard it was really good for you, particularly in terms of sports performance and recovery. Having never really had fresh beetroot before, I reacted quite badly to it; stomach cramps, bloating, stools that leaked purple liquid when they hit the water in the bowl… Nice! Since starting the PB, I’ve found that I hardly ever have flatulence any more (which I put down to no more grains and all that superfluous fibre), except when I eat cabbage. Could it be because both cabbage and beets contain fructans?… Read more »
JennyLee
JennyLee
2 years 9 months ago
Cabbage – a fabulous way to solve this problem is to cut the cabbage quite finely, into a bowl, salt it quite well, stir it about to ensure it’s all salty [or do it in layers when your fingers learn how much salt to use] and then place another bowl on top and a really heavy rock [or something quite weighty] on it. Leave it a minimum of 3 hours, and when you remove the weight, drain the cabbage – quite a lot of liquid should come out, along with whatever it is that causes bloating. You can also take… Read more »
Matt
2 years 10 months ago

I think I may have some problem with apples – if I eat them for a prolonged period of time I will get canker sores.

Funny you mentioned sorbitol in food. We give that in the hospital to relieve symptoms of constipation sometimes. The amount of sorbitol found in these fruits is pretty insignificant though.

Ashley
Ashley
1 year 6 months ago
I know this is old, but what you said about sorbitol kind-of irked me. For someone with a severe sorbitol intolerance you would probably have to literally hose down the room after giving them sorbitol for constipation. The fact that they can react to a small amount of sorbitol indicates more severe intolerance. Personally, I can barely look at a piece of sugar free gum without a severe reaction. Just like some lactose intolerant people can eat hard cheeses and some can’t even though there are only tiny amounts of lactose. Perhaps you don’t see sorbitol intolerant people for constipation… Read more »
Matt
1 year 2 months ago

Don’t let it irk you – it’s a general statement. If people have allergies to any kind of medication obviously it isn’t given. And as a patient it is a right to refuse any medicaiton offered to you

trackback
2 years 10 months ago

[…] You could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where everything discussed is familiar. You hear things …read more […]

Kait
Kait
2 years 10 months ago

I went Paleo in January 2013 and felt great for 4-5 months before starting to get sick daily (messy bathroom issues) in May. I basically have IBS symptoms, even while eating paleo. I recently have tried avoiding FODMAPs which is fairly difficult given broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc were staples on my paleo meals. It has helped a little. Might have to get tested for SIBO – been tested for everything else (all normal).

Trish
2 years 10 months ago

This is a little off subject because of the food cause, but I had the same issue: 4-5 great months starting the PB, then all of a sudden daily and sudden MBI (messy bathroom issues–I love this phrase!) I started experimenting by eliminating foods one at a time, and found the cause seems to be egg yolks. This stinks (no pun intended…) because I love eggs, and they are such a nutritional powerhouse. I’ve got it now to no more than two egg yolks and unlimited egg whites. Anyone else found this??

Karen
Karen
2 years 10 months ago

Eggs are the most common allergen as well as garlic. I discovered my intolerence to many foods including eggs when going paleo.I think because i upped my intake of certain foods like eggs and my body reacted in severe out breaks of eczema. I did however discover quail eggs! They are funny little speckled eggs that taste just like real eggs .many people with an egg alergen can eat these eggs. I found them in the superstore grocery store which is canadian but i am sure you could hunt them down. 6 quail eggs equal 1 regular egg.

Elena
Elena
2 years 10 months ago

I´ll eat your yolks and you can get my whites. I have the exact opposite reaction: yolks yum, whites produce stinky issues in the back end of digestion tract. Ehrm.
🙂

CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

I am in the same boat! No egg whites for me – they also sometimes cause headaches as well as constipation. But the egg yolks are generally ok.

Irene Terrill
Irene Terrill
9 months 7 days ago

Yes, I have a problem with eggs and love them…..once I ate far too many for 3 months I have been having stomach digesting issues since. Dried eggs you know, military rations don’t seem as bad ??

maria
maria
2 years 10 months ago

Same exact problem !!! 6 months after paleo, definitely try avoiding egg yolks, oh and for some reason root veggies help like carrots, beets, sweet potatos and less kale and excess greens worked for me

Groktimus Primal
2 years 10 months ago

Beans… beans… the musical fruit… 🙂

Bjjcaveman
2 years 10 months ago

+1

tess
tess
2 years 10 months ago

i find that an “overdose” of FODMAPS causes an increase in hypothyroid symptoms, too! anything that puts extra strain on the body signals the thyroid to slow down.

trackback

[…] Daily Apple / Posted on: January 01, 1970Mark’s Daily Apple – You could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where […]

VillageSchlager
VillageSchlager
2 years 10 months ago

Mark,

What are the effects on FODMAPs as you cook the above mentioned fruits/vegetables?
Since you are altering some of the properties when you introduce heat through cooking, would these food become easier to digest and not cause some or all of those symptoms?

Missy
Missy
2 years 10 months ago

Context matters, including prep technique (cooking makes them easier to digest). So does stress levels as well as how you are eating your meals (sitting at a table, chewing food, etc). Some may find one food doesn’t bother them on vacation but it horribly upsetting to the GI tract in a typical day.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago

The “no wiper”- an elusive, baffling, odd source of pride with a side of astonishing disbelief; regardless, it still requires an extra insurance wipe.

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 10 months ago

That has to be considered for quote of the week.

Laura
Laura
2 years 10 months ago

love this guy

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you, although I am constantly referring to myself as a no wiper so as witty as my comment may have sounded, I was simply being me.

Ulises
Ulises
2 years 10 months ago

I would say better ignore that FOMAPs list, otherwise you’ll be avoiding a lot of good, healthy food. With one of those disorders, better follow your doctor’s recommendation first (it might end up being to limit some of these foods) rather than directly avoiding things like fresh onion, garlic(!), artichoke (!!), brocoli (!!!),…, and almost every fruit (!!!!)

Missy
Missy
2 years 10 months ago

It is not meant to be a “forever” thing,,, A temporary elimination diet while you heal your gut.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago

I heard Amy Kubal state something similar about supplements:

“Supplements are temporary, not permaments”.

Shary
Shary
2 years 10 months ago

As the article indicates, not everyone will be bothered by all FODMAP foods. I don’t do well on onions, fresh garlic (granulated is okay), or beans. That means Mexican food, which I love, is best limited or avoided. I can eat the other foods listed with no problem. Instead of writing off all FODMAPs, try to pinpoint and avoid the ones that are troublesome.

CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

If you can find a doctor that understand nutrition and proper digestion, hang on to that doctor! They don’t study nutrition in Med School (only a few hours in total throughout their entire Med School program), but some go on to study Integrative Medicine which is where they would learn more about preventative medicine as it relates to nutrition.

McSack
McSack
2 years 10 months ago

I could be wrong, but I thought that unlike other foods that need to be avoided, people who had problems with FODMAPs could eventually reintroduce them after a certain amount of time. Is it that people have a natural intolerance for them, or do FODMAPs just exacerbate an existing problem?

maria
maria
2 years 10 months ago

What I’ve heard is after much jerking of the gut you can try to introduce in small amounts to see your “limit”

maria
maria
2 years 10 months ago

Healing*** sorry autocorrect

Melissa
Melissa
1 year 10 months ago

Lol, I thought ‘jerking’ was pretty appropriate…

Lauren
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, you can reintroduce each group one by one to see how you react. For most people, they can tolerate fodmaps again. The total fodmap load in the meal matters as well – most people will bloat if they have a lot of fodmaps at once (like fruit salad for example).

JennyLee
JennyLee
2 years 9 months ago
One side of our family has the same heigtened sensitivies to the same FODMAPS foods. That would seem to imply ‘natural intolerance’. However, after much experimentation, I personally found that the same fodmaps that caused me terrible complications when cooked, caused none when raw [other than a group of fructans that I can’t eat any which way]. I have NO idea what the science is behind this, and it would seem to be counterintuitive since “the science” claims cooked is easier to digest. Could it be that raw, it just takes so much chewing that we eat far less than… Read more »
katieCHI
katieCHI
2 years 10 months ago

The entire lunch I packed today is very FODMAPy. And I have IBS. UGH.
But it’s delicious — cauliflower rice with meaty tomato sauce, broccoli, and a pear! I’m still going to eat it…

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 years 10 months ago
I had been lactose intolerant for a long time- since I was little. So, from about 4th or 5th grade on I just completely ignored milk products for years, then started eating yogurt come high school. I am not lactose intolerant anymore- if I am it takes a lot more than what I am eating (yogurt and some cheese, only a little). So, I think you can make the issues go away. I didn’t realize I was healing my gut at the time, but apparently that was what I was doing. Good to know. Glad I don’t have any of… Read more »
Deanna
Deanna
2 years 10 months ago

Yogurt and cheese shouldn’t have lactose in them because that sugar should have been mostly eliminated in the fermentation process. But all those good probiotic bugs don’t hurt, either! I used to be lactose intolerant as a kid but can definitely eat cultured dairy. Any more, I don’t even really like milk or cream.

Eva
Eva
2 years 10 months ago
I’ve never really had any issues with these fruits and vegetables, however the only fruit I cannot seem to digest is the avocado. The problem is though I love avocado but as soon as I eat it, a stomach ache comes up quite quickly and then I have a bloated painful tummy for the rest of the day. How can this be? Is this because avocado’s contain so much fat (be it very healthy fats of course) and carbohydrates? If any one has any idea I’d be grateful because I still feel I am missing out on something by not… Read more »
JoeBrewer
JoeBrewer
2 years 10 months ago

Avocado is a FODMAP see fruits.

CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

It’s so tough because I have issues with many fodmaps foods, but avocados and bananas are my saving grace. I can eat these with no issues. If only it were easier!

Kevin
Kevin
2 years 10 months ago

I have the same problem. I just go without, or eat very little.

Paula
Paula
2 years 10 months ago

Eva,
I have the very same issue when I eat avocado–it’s the only food my tummy dislikes. I get a stomach ache within 30 min of eating it and it feel bloated too. I don’t have any other food allergies or intolerances and I actually like avocados and would love to be able to eat them for the healthy fats they contain. I just avoid them because even a small amount will cause some pain. I can tolerate avocado oil without any problems so I use that in salad dressings and for lightly sautéed veggies, etc.

Eva
Eva
2 years 10 months ago

Thanks for that Paula, I think I will just stick with using the oil then for salads, as like you I don’t experience any problems with that.

spicegirl
spicegirl
2 years 3 months ago

Eva,

Avocados contain a lot of copper. Copper is linked to ibs. You might check into that.

Cheers.

Sh
Sh
1 year 27 days ago

Avocado is in the same family as latex. Do you have a latex allergy?

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve suffered from chronic constipation for years now. Since I’ve gone high-protein primal last July – it’s gotten worse. To give you an idea, I go every three to four days – once! =( The article makes sense, but I’m not sure HOW to figure out what the culprit is. Being primal, most of the veggies listed are my go-to for meeting my macros on a daily basis. Not to mention, milk and cheese. Does this mean I should ONLY be eating lettuce and meats? Where do the 3-4 eggs I eat everyday… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago

Do you drink coffee? That is a no fail for me.

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 10 months ago

Eat more fat, lots more fat. That’ll grease the skids.

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago

I eat about 120-150g of protein and about 70-80g of fat a day.

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago

Hi – I drink more milk tea than coffee. And if I do, it’s one cup a day. But I didn’t drink coffee for months – even that didn’t help.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago

Have you tried adding fat to your coffee a la “bullet proof coffee”? Kidding.

Try increasing your magnesium. Awhile back I used magnesium supplements before bedtime to aid sleep and I “learned” magnesium can induce a laxative affect.

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago

Hmm. I will give that a try. Dude, right now – I’ll try anything to be semi-regular! I really think it’s hindering my weight loss progress.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 10 months ago
Specific foods help too. Everyone’s body is different when it comes to food so I can only go by personal N=1 observations. Make a nice chili with a full can of chipotle and adobo sauce. Like George Castanza, I like spicy chicken [foods in general]. As I learned to cook, a chili was easy. I’m taking about a Texan chili, no beans and lots of meat. I kept one-upping the heat level and discovered my body revolts at a specific chipotle level. As in t-minus and counting from spoon to mouth. With that said, I do not think that is… Read more »
CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

I agree about the magnesium. You could also try Triphala. Check your local health food store. There are some products like AOR that just have Triphala, and others like RenewLife that have a product called “CleanseMore” which contains triphala, aloe, rhubarb, slippery elm, marshmallow and magnesium. However, if you have lots of sensitivities, this product may be too much for your gut. You’ll know after the first day or two.

Adam
2 years 10 months ago

Chronic constipation might not imply IBS. If you don’t have IBS, more insoluble fiber may help (carrots, dark leafy greens, celery), especially since you’re eating lots of protein. I also find gelatin mixed with water effective in getting things moving.

b2curious
b2curious
2 years 10 months ago
I was searching for info on avoiding some of the pitfalls from starting a ketogenic diet for someone recently, and “digestive distress” was one of the potential problems. Knowing that paleo/primal can be ketogenic, I included paleo as part of my search parameter. Chris Kessler did a good post about it back in January on his site. http://chriskresser.com/paleo-diet-challenges-solutions-ii-its-all-about-the-gut And, as others have said, upping fat and/or insoluble fiber may help. I also saw a video last week, which is no longer available for free viewing, about solving constipation (a problem I suffer from as well). One of the things mentioned… Read more »
IWM
IWM
2 years 10 months ago

Chronic constipation doesn’t have to be food related at all. I suffered from it for years. When I quit my job, it disappeared. I realized that I had not been making the time to take care of business. Even now, if I don’t go when my body says it’s time but instead hold it, the constipation returns. One doctor suggested that perhaps my large intestine was overly efficient at removing water.

Bill C
Bill C
2 years 10 months ago

Is it problematic when you go? Multiple normal bowel movements-worth at once, too soft, too hard, messy, etc.? If you don’t have any symptoms beyond going only once every 3-4 days, it could be that there simply isn’t much stool to poop out, because you digest and use nearly everything you eat. That which is removed from your digestive tract will not exit (or reach) the colon. This is the corollary of insoluble, unfermentable fiber and other non-digestibles adding volume to your poo.

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago
Thanks guys, you are awesome. Adam, so since I’m paleo, I do eat lots of green stuff. Kale, veggies galore, sweet potato for carbs (but not too much), ghee, etc. Can’t take gelatin because I eat only Halal (Kosher) meats. And thank God, no IBS. B2curious – I have salt in all my meals. Salt, pepper and all sorts of other herbs. I’m pretty sure I meet the 1 tsp a day measurement easily. IWM – thanks. Bill, err yea. It’s tough to go. But when I do go, I GO! Like a lot. It’s solid. Sorry .. very nasty… Read more »
BillP
BillP
2 years 10 months ago

Why high protein? Try swapping your grams-per-day figures of protein vs. fat.

Dawn
Dawn
2 years 4 months ago

Have you tried glucomannan? Avoid the capsules, but a pinch of the powder in a smoothie or a number of other recipes is, um, “regulating”. It is fiber of a root that I can’t think of the name just now. As I’ve gone more and more toward paleo, I find this and coconut oil (I make it into sugar free fudge bc I just don’t like coconut oil plain) critical to intestinal function.

Sandra
Sandra
6 months 21 days ago

Get off dairy and it will make you go every day. At least it did me. Too much meat can also constipated but dairy is the worst. I go every morning like clockwork since I have eliminated dairy. I do have daily nausea and bloating so may try fodsmap elimination

Noah Singer
2 years 10 months ago

If anyone is interested, I’ve developed an iOS app to make it simple to look up which foods contain fodmaps. I became aware that I had trouble with fodmaps several years ago (not long after going primal) and the real trick became knowing which food to treat with caution. The app is in the app store at http://appstore.com/fodmaps and costs $3. I don’t sell many of them but it costs per year to have the app in the store, hence the $3, but I hope others find it useful.

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 10 months ago

IFSFTOF:
I Feel Sorry For Those On FODMAP

Captain Competition
2 years 10 months ago

I don’t think I’m the only one here that has not heard of this before. Thank you for the information. I don’t think I will every fully understand what goes on inside my digestive system.

trackback

[…] You could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where everything discussed is familiar. You hear things like “carbs” and “medium chain triglycerides” and “fructose” and “macros” and “gluten” and “PUFAs,” thinking nothing of it. Like I said, routine. Then someone mentions FODMAPs. Huh? What the heck is that? Quite possibly one […] Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Kim
Kim
2 years 10 months ago

Mark, I’ve read your previous post on FODMAPS many times. This one is similar. The problem is, I’m left with the question – what CAN I eat? A positive list would be a helpful addition to this post. Also, what’s you opinion on the addition (in small amounts) of starches like plantains, potato (without skin), tapioca, etc.? There are only so many lettuce leaves and green beans a person can eat without needing more – more variety, more calories, etc. Thanks!

Daniel
Daniel
2 years 10 months ago

Practical Paleo has an amazing section on FODMAPS, gut healing, and specifics of replacing FODMAP foods. Seriously one of my favorite paleo books ever (next to yours, Mark >_>)

CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

I agree! 🙂

Tom
Tom
2 years 10 months ago
Thank you Mark! You couldn’t have written this article at a better time for me. I’ve been having some digestive issues, shall we say, over the past fortnight or so. I had another bout of it today after my lunch and have been racking my brain to pinpoint the problem. The only thing I could find in common with the meals that seemed to be causing the problems are garlic and onions (which I consume liberally to say the least!). I told myself I’d start some investigating as soon as I got back from work and all of a sudden… Read more »
Harry Mossman
2 years 10 months ago

Sorry, but I don’t even want to read this. I’m already bewildered try to figure out anything I can and want to eat.

Miriam
2 years 10 months ago

Not long after I cut gluten from my diet, I realized that I could no longer eat broccoli without severe digestive issues. I could almost feel it fizzing away in my gut. After a couple of years now it appears that I can tolerate small amounts and I wonder if eating (a lot of) coconut oil has helped heal me due to its antimicrobial effects.

Divided
Divided
2 years 10 months ago
Fyreflies, it’s the eggs! I hadn’t eaten more than three eggs a week in my life until this week when I decided to change from partially primal to fully primal. I had been eating porridge or granola for breakfast and then remaining primal the rest of the day. It was on the sixth day (after about 8 eggs in the same week) I realised there was a major problem. I appeared to be developing an infection because of the blockage. After two days of pain (and some not so primal breakfasts) everything is settling down. My mum is a nurse… Read more »
Randy
Randy
2 years 10 months ago

Divided, the choices for breakfast aren’t as narrow as eggs or grains. I usually don’t have time for cooking in the morning so my most common meal is some cold or reheated bacon or sausage (I precook these in batches and keep in the fridge/freezer) and a big handful of raw veggies. Fast, tasty, and healthy.

Have you seen the Noatmeal recipe around this site? If you can consume nuts without a problem this is a good breakfast food to replace your porridge. I would encourage you to get off the grains as soon as possible.

Divided
Divided
2 years 10 months ago
That’ll be the noatmeal with 3 eggs in it, yes? I’ll pass. Or at least I will if I don’t eat it! Lol. Sorry about that! When I initially started dieting a month ago, I began a thyroid-friendly diet. Although I can’t attribute anything particularly to that diet, I felt loads better within the first week and I hadn’t eradicated gluten at that point. My thyroid diet means not eating cruciferous veggies raw. I definitely cannot eat bacon at breakfast as it makes me too thirsty. I’m unable to drink until lunchtime in my job and bacon leaves me parched… Read more »
annie
annie
2 years 4 months ago

KIND has a gluten free / low glycemic granola that is quite good.

Dawn
Dawn
2 years 4 months ago
I like a substantial smoothie for breakfast. And then, if I need more, I can also have a hard boiled egg or two. Obviously that part won’t work for you, but some slice chicken might, or another meat of choice. And it’s hydrating, since your job isn’t… Lots of good smoothie recipes online, but I like a fruit, a dairy (yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, or milk, and don’t scoff, blended well cottage cheese is yummy with berries and a bit of vanilla!), greens (spinach is my go to, but baby kale is better for you, if you can tolerate it),… Read more »
Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago

Ah! You might be onto something. I haven’t eaten so many eggs routinely in my life. It’s my trainers fault – he suggested I have 4-6 eggs a day. Maybe I should switch to egg whites and see if that gets things moving again. I hate egg whites though. =/

I will give it a go starting tomorrow. I’m willing to try anything to get my digestion normal. If I can go every other day, I’ll be a happy camper. =)

HopelessDreamer
HopelessDreamer
2 years 10 months ago

I have eliminated eggs for a while, and I either eat some kind of fish or leftovers from dinner for breakfast.

Fyreflies
Fyreflies
2 years 10 months ago

Dreamer, and did that make a difference in your.. ahem trips to the bathroom?

DThalman
DThalman
2 years 10 months ago
I’ve followed the FODMAP diet for several years, in a desperate effort to control IBS (diagnosis of SIBO and fructose intolerance). It worked better than anything else I’d tried but I found I had to follow it 99% and even then the IBS would flare up, particularly in times of stress. I found I could eat small amounts of some FODMAPS but no more than a single bite of others. I kept a food journal and entered it all into online sites to analyze the macro- and micronutrients, and I found that one can get all the necessary nutrients on… Read more »
MFG
MFG
2 years 10 months ago

Thanks for writing your story, Dthalman, I will take what you learned to my naturopath, see what he thinks.

Danielle Thalman
Danielle Thalman
2 years 10 months ago

Good luck. …I’m with you virtually!

Kait
Kait
2 years 10 months ago

I’m going to try that! I’ve tried so many things with no success.. 6 months of daily diarrhea, I’m willing to try anything at this point. Thanks!!

Danielle Thalman
Danielle Thalman
2 years 10 months ago

I hope it helps!

B. Lea
B. Lea
2 years 10 months ago

I relate a lot to your story and I really appreciate your post! I have been thinking about trying probiotics and have heard a few times that saccuaromuyces boulardii is beneficial.

I think will make that my next adventure through the digetive track.

Danielle Thalman
Danielle Thalman
2 years 10 months ago

Wishing you the best of luck!

Yovanna
Yovanna
2 years 10 months ago

I would add to the stress factor that weather/temperature can also greatly affect IBS. At the change of seasons, particularly summer to fall, I will have horrible problems if I get a chill. Sounds strange, but just getting chilled will set me off, particularly mornings. Also in the office and other places with air conditioning where I’m going from one temperature to another rapidly, will set my IBS off.

The Way We Were
The Way We Were
2 years 10 months ago

I had never heard of this term until today but I can totally relate to leeks, sweet potato and most the fruits…in fact I was so bloated last night after eating a small apple…of course, I have always been lactose intolerant. My sister is totally ok with drinking milk every day. The funny thing about broccoli, cauliflowers and brussell sprouts is I can feel bloated eating them but I feel so slim next morning. LOL

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[…] You could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where everything discussed is familiar. You hear things like “carbs” and “medium chain triglycerides” and “fructose” and “macros” and “gluten” and “PUFAs,” thinking nothing of it. Like I said, routine…. Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Baz
Baz
2 years 10 months ago

Thanks Mark.

That might explain a few things as I’ve not been visiting the bathroom as often as I’d like. Not that I’m bloated or in any discomfort, but still only managing about 2-3 times a week…

pdb73
pdb73
2 years 10 months ago

For those who have pain/discomfort after eating fruit….try eating fruit by itself. I found that if I eat a pear after a meal = pain/discomfort. If I eat a pear before a meal or as a snack by itself = no problems!

It is recommended by the ‘experts’ that fruit should always be eaten alone (or prior to eating a meal) – and this is definately something that works for me. Something to do with the way the body digests fructose o.o

The Way We Were
The Way We Were
2 years 10 months ago

My problem is opposite, if I eat an apple with empty stomach, it literally ruins my day as I am so bloated and am in pain all day long…

CL
CL
2 years 6 months ago

Absolutely 🙂
Fruit 30 mins before a meal or 2-3 hours after a meal.

Meagan
2 years 10 months ago

You are all missing the point… The issue is FIXING the gut. Heal the gut, restore structural integrity, and you should be able to handle foods, even FODMAPS.

Carisska
Carisska
2 years 10 months ago
Perhaps you are missing the point…unless you have the answer. How do we fix out guts? I tried a GAPS approach and my symptoms got worse. I tried going full Paleo, my symptoms got worse. I tried Primal, my symptoms got worse. I’ve tried eating only the foods on the okay to eat FODMAP list (like bananas). Yep, worse. I started an elimination diet last Saturday, eating only meat, eggs, and ghee. I’m going to try to add in one thing every three days, see what the reaction is, and hope that I can find things that don’t leave me… Read more »
Mia
Mia
2 years 10 months ago

Hi I dont know you and I don’t have a solution but I just wanted to wish you hugs and say good luck! That’s a horrible situation to be in.

Primal eating helped heal my gut, lots of fats plus a probiotic every day, but I know I am really lucky and that approach doesn’t work for everyone. I wish healing for you soon. Good luck.

Carisska
Carisska
2 years 10 months ago

Thanks Mia! So far the meat only has eliminated my nausea, which is a great start.

Ara
Ara
2 years 10 months ago

Digestive health with real food. Aglaee the paleo dietician. People swear by this book to heal their guts. Best of luck. http://www.amazon.com/Digestive-Health-REAL-Food-ebook/dp/B00EPK7RZM/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383284041&sr=1-2&keywords=aglaee+jacob

MissMouse
MissMouse
2 years 10 months ago
Might I suggest trying fermented cabbage juice… made my own after online research and drank 1/2 cup 3x a day. After one week was feeling about 50% better, and after three weeks was close to normal! Sounds contrary, cabbage and all, but my stomach pain, nausea, bloating, waking during night w/pain, etc. are all gone. Do a search on benefits of cabbage juice and fermented foods (olives, pickles, miso, etc.) for more info. I now keep a bottle of it in my fridge and have a dose or two when I mistakenly eat one of my triggers. Good luck to… Read more »
Jen
2 years 7 months ago

I recommend you visit an applied kinesiologist who does muscle testing if you can afford it. They test your body for nutrition imbalances and then tell you what you need to do to rebalance it. Muscle testing fixed my liver, my skin, and any digestive issues I was experiencing. My boyfriend is treated for his adrenal fatigue and the symptoms go away within 24 hours for him.

It’s worth a visit. Good Luck!

Ellen
Ellen
2 years 10 months ago
I haven’t really had trouble with FODMAPs before but last week I observed something pretty interesting. I made cauliflower rice (with lots of butter and salt…delicious!) for the first time in months and enjoyed a moderate portion, with no ill effects on my own person. But my five-month-old daughter, who is exclusively breastfed, was SO GASSY and upset for the whole next day. She’s usually the most peaceful little baby, so this was an Event. Are FODMAPs something that little folks’ guts have to learn to deal with as they grow, or is there some concern there that I should… Read more »
Paleo FODMAPs
Paleo FODMAPs
2 years 10 months ago

Paleo low-FODMAP diet food list by Aglaée the Paleo dietitian
http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/support-files/Paleo-FODMAP-food-list.pdf
You have plenty to eat even on a low-FODMAP Paleo diet.

Don Wiss
1 year 10 months ago
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[…] What Are FODMAPs? – A Beginner's Guide | Mark's Daily Apple […]

B. Lea
B. Lea
2 years 10 months ago
I’ve been following a low FODMAP diet for almost 6 months now and it has really helped things a lot. I have had digestive issues most of my life and have been diagnosed with IBS twice (at the time I didn’t believe it was an actual condition– that has now changed). Doctors always told me to eat lots of fruits and veggies plus fiber which actually caused more issues than anything. I actually found comfort in eating simple carbs and processed food. Grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread, bagels and cream cheese, cookies, ice cream, etc… all these things didn’t… Read more »
tom
tom
2 years 10 months ago

You probably don’t want resistant starch (cold white potatoes) either with sibo.

LA
LA
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you for posting about this!!!

Laura
Laura
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve been recently eliminating FODMAPs from my diet too, in a last ditch effort to heal my gut. Very interesting reading the replies above. Since restricting my diet two years ago (part of my treatment for Graves Disease), my sensitivities and gut health have only gotten worse. Not sure why. Never had a problem with eggs until last year. They go right through me now. And the list grows as my options narrow. Pretty much eating meat and a short list of vegetables these days.

Christine
Christine
2 years 10 months ago
For 3 years, I felt sick (nauseous) all the while (everything seemed to be bubbling in my stomach). I occasionally also felt bloated & passed very foul smelling gas. The nausea stopped me going out & I especially hated travelling in the car, as that made me feel even more sick! The Doctor did loads of tests with no answers. I then did the SCD diet which made me even worse, because I began eating more fruit (I loved fruit salads). Then one day, I ate 2 stewed apples for breakfast (that was all I had!) & a little later… Read more »
Aglaée the Paleo RD
2 years 10 months ago

If you’re interested in learning more about FODMAPs, I have lots of free charts on the low-FODMAP and SIBO diets: http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/paleo-diet-and-ibs.html. 🙂

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[…] [Mark's Daily Apple] A Primal Primer: FODMAPs […]

Rodger
Rodger
2 years 10 months ago
My life has changed since experiencing and being diagnosed with FODMAPS. I really hate it. Its affect my personal and emotional outlook on my future. I no longer enjoy my daily food experiences. Its so restrictive. My favourite Vegetables and Fruits are now out of bounds, in any quantity. It leaves you with little in the way of alternatives. The slightest ingestion of any of the FODMAPS (excluding lactose for me) sets me off with flatulence and bloating. In fact I know when it begins fermenting. Oh how I wish I could eat primal again. I miss those vegetables and… Read more »
Kylie
Kylie
2 years 10 months ago

10 cheers for this post! So well researched and so helpful. I have a few girlfriends who have gastronomical issues and have done test on top of test to figure out what the hell is wrong with them with no diagnosis. I’ve sent this their way in hopes of some answer. Thanks Mark!

MontanaDancer
MontanaDancer
2 years 10 months ago
I recently got inspired to eat much more organically and am trying to eliminate canned foods, foods packaged in plastic and artificial sweeteners as much as possible. I drink a lot of tea daily and I like it sweet! I found this website because I started using xylitol as a sweetener, with disastrous, flatulent consequences. My question is: does anyone else with an intolerance for polyols find that they can consume one or two but not the others? Is it usually an across-the-board intoIerance? I recently had a similar problem with beets (which I LOVE) and I guess they contain… Read more »
MontanaDancer
MontanaDancer
2 years 10 months ago

Correction: I think I should have said my bro-in-law had most of his large intestine removed (not colon). Sorry!

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[…] cups, my digestion was really wonky.  I’m really hoping I don’t have a sensitivity to FODMAPs, but I noticed something similar while eating Brussels sprouts.  I’m not ready to go […]

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[…] does not exclude FODMAPS like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, celery & mushrooms (that would be an […]

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[…] eventually implemented the low FODMAP diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and the GAPS diet, which can be therapeutic for individuals who […]

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2 years 7 months ago

[…] stomach acid production). Digest carbohydrates properly by eating ones that are easy to digest (FODMAPS diet, SCD, GAPS)  or eat very few of them in the first place (a low-carbohydrate Diet).  These […]

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[…] known as jerusalem artichokes, are incredibly rich with inulin, one of the premier prebiotics and FODMAPs. They have the potential to bolster your gut flora, increase butyrate production, and improve your […]

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[…] What is a FODMAP?  Well, there are some conflicting things written about this, but over all they have foods you’re to avoid, and some that you can have in moderation.  Unfortunately, I was eating a MAJORITY of FODMAPS… mainly asparagus, cauliflower, and apples.  There are tons more, but again – I must have something to eat, so I’ve chosen LESS of many of things and just being aware of my load, as well as the above protocol before each meal.  (do you know how much I miss apples)??? […]

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