What is the FODMAP, and How Will It Help My Stomach?

I don’t know about you, but I had never heard about a FODMAP before talking with my naturopath. During my quest to help my digestion, my naturopath told me about the FODMAP and how foods rated high on it can cause digestive irritability and exacerbate IBS symptoms.

FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”–in other words, short-chain carbs that are difficult to digest.

Common FODMAPs include: Fructose, Lactose, Fructans, Galactans, Sorbitols, and Mannitols.

Of course, to my complete sadness, many of my favorite foods are on the high end of the FODMAP. I haven’t given up those foods entirely, but knowing about this helps me to understand when and why my stomach goes haywire, and how to moderate the foods I love to avoid the discomfort I usually feel.

Here is a list of foods that are high on the FODMAP to avoid if possible, courtesy of IBS Diet. I have found that, by limiting the foods I eat on this list to one or so per meal, my stomach stays balanced and I don’t get the urge to bolt to the bathroom. If you suffer from IBS or similar symptoms, keep this list in mind when making meals and snacks. You may find relief you need through elimination or moderation!

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Baked beans
  • Beetroot (fresh)
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Broad beans
  • Butter beans
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (>5 cm of stalk)
  • Choko
  • Falafel
  • Fermented cabbage (e.g. sauerkraut)
  • Garlic (avoid entirely if possible, including garlic salt and garlic powder)
  • Haricot beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beens
  • Leek bulb
  • Mange Tout
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Mung beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions (avoid entirely if possible, including onion powder and small pickled onions)
  • Peas, sugar snap
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Red kidney beans
  • Savoy cabbage (>1/2 cup)
  • Soy beans
  • Split peas
  • Scallions/spring onions (bulb/white part)
  • Shallots
  • Taro

Fruit (fruits can contain high fructose)

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Bananas (ripe)
  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Boysenberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Custard apple
  • Dates
  • Feijoa
  • Figs
  • Goji berries
  • Grapefruit (>80 grams)
  • Guava (unripe)
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple (dried)
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Sea buckthorns
  • Sultanas
  • Tamarillo
  • Tinned fruit in apple/pear juice
  • Watermelon

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

  • Chorizo
  • Sausages

Wheat-Containing Products (check labels, as this is not an exhaustive list)

  • Biscuits/cookies (including chocolate chip cookies)
  • Bread, wheat (more than 1 slice)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cakes
  • Cereal bars (wheat-based)
  • Croissants
  • Crumpets
  • Egg noodles
  • Muffins
  • Pastries
  • Pasta, wheat (>1/2 cup cooked)
  • Udon noodles
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat cereals
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat noodles
  • Wheat rolls

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits/Cookies, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Almond meal
  • Amaranth flour
  • Barley-including flour
  • Bran cereals
  • Bread, granary
  • Bread, multigrain
  • Bread, oatmeal
  • Bread, pumpernickel
  • Bread, sourdough with kamut
  • Cashews
  • Chestnut flour
  • Cous cous
  • Einkorn flour
  • Freekeh
  • Gnocchi
  • Granola bars
  • Muesli cereal
  • Muesli bars
  • Naan
  • Pistachios
  • Roti
  • Rye
  • Rye crispbread
  • Semolina
  • Spelt flour

Condiments, Dips, Sweets, Sweeteners, and Spreads

  • Agave
  • Caviar dip
  • Fructose
  • Fruit bars
  • Gravy (if it contains onion)
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Hummus
  • Honey
  • Jam, if it contains HFCS
  • Jam, mixed berries
  • Molasses
  • Pesto sauce
  • Quince paste
  • Relish/vegetable pickle
  • Stock cubes
  • Sugar-free sweets containing polyols (usually ending in -ol or isomalt)

Sweeteners and Corresponding E-Number

  • Inulin
  • Isomalt (E953-953)
  • Lactitol (E966/966)
  • Maltitol (E965/965)
  • Mannitol (E421/421)
  • Sorbitol (E420/420)
  • Xylitol (E967/967)

Prebiotic Foods (often hiding in yogurts, snack bars, and so on)

  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides)
  • Inulin
  • Oligofructose

Drinks and Protein Powders

  • Beer (>1 bottle)
  • Coconut water
  • Cordial, raspberry and apple with 50-100% real juice
  • Cordial, orange with 25-50% real juice
  • Fruit and herbal teas with apple added
  • Fruit juices made of apple, pear, and/or mango, or any fruit juice in large quantities
  • Kombucha
  • Malted-chocolate-flavored drinks
  • Meal replacement drinks containing milk-based products (e.g. Ensure, Slim Fast)
  • Orange juice (>100 ml)
  • Quinoa milk
  • Rum
  • Sodas containing high-fructose corn syrup
  • Soy milk made with soy beans
  • Sports drinks
  • Tea, black (with added soy milk)
  • Tea, chai (strong)
  • Tea, dandelion (strong)
  • Tea, fennel
  • Tea, chamomile
  • Tea, herbal (strong)
  • Tea, oolong
  • Wine (>1 glass)
  • Whey protein, concentrate (unless lactose-free)
  • Whey protein, hydrolyzed (unless lactose-free)

Dairy Foods

  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese, cream
  • Cheese, Halmoumi
  • Cheese, ricotta
  • Cream
  • Custard
  • Gelato
  • Ice cream
  • Kefir
  • Milk, cow’s
  • Milk, evaporated
  • Milk, goat’s
  • Milk, sheep’s
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt

Cooking Ingredients

  • Carob powder
  • Carob flour


If this is isn’t the saddest list of delicious foods that make IBS symptoms worse…but knowing which foods make it worse gives us control over our bodies, which we may not have felt for a very long time! What an amazing feeling it is.




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