FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates found in many foods. They include fructose, lactose, sorbitol, mannitol, fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides. If you have IBS, these FODMAPs may be triggering uncomfortable symptoms.

The Low FODMAP Diet is dietary protocol which has been scientifically proven to help manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms in 75% of people with IBS.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are certain types of sugars (short-chain carbohydrates) found in a range of food and drinks such as milk, beans, onion, garlic, apples and wheat. FODMAPs are sometimes added to foods during processing as well.

The term FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols which are the scientific names of these different short-chain carbohydrates. “Saccharide” is a scientific term for sugar and the prefix of the name indicated the length of these sugars, for example “di” means two, so a disaccharide is made of two sugars.

What foods are the FODMAPs found in?

FODMAP Group Short chain carbohydrate which can contribute to IBS symptoms Main food sources
Fermentable Fermentation describes that the following molecules can be fermented by gut bacteria to produce gases.
Oligosaccharides Fructans (Fructo-oligosaccharides) &

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)

Wheat, rye, barely, specific fruit & vegetables, onion, garlic, inulin (a prebiotic added to some foods) and legumes.
Disaccharides Lactose Cow’s milk, yoghurt, ice-cream, custard, cream and some soft cheeses.
Monosaccharides Excess fructose. Certain fruits and vegetables, fruit juice, dried fruit, honey and high-fructose corn syrup.
Polyols Sugar-alcohols including mannitol and sorbitol. Certain fruit and vegetables (cauliflower, mushrooms, stone fruit) and some low-calorie sweetened products such as sugar-free gums and mints.

How do FODMAPs trigger IBS symptoms?

During digestion FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and instead, continue through the digestive tract where they end up in the large intestine (colon).

FODMAPs have 2 main features that influences how they trigger digestive symptoms:

  1. Certain FODMAPs attract water and can draw water from the body into the intestine. This can create pressure in the gut and can result in fully or partially loose and mushy stools (diarrhoea).
  2. FODMAPs are rapidly fermented in the large intestine by bacteria that reside the gut (ie. the gut microbiome). The fermentation results in release of gas which can cause the intestinal wall to stretch and expand. In people with a sensitive gut (ie. people with IBS), the stretching and can trigger digestive symptoms including bloating, cramping, abdominal pain and constipation.



The Low FODMAP Diet is complex and is recommended to follow under the guidance of a FODMAP trained dietitian. FODMAPs are our dietitian, Rebecca’s, bread and butter. She works with clients to implement the low FODMAP diet as well as other IBS management strategies to r=find releif from IBS symptoms and determine which foods they can tolerate.

Rebecca is passionate about helping clients move away from the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet (where all FODMAPs are restricted) and towards reintroducing FODMAP foods back into the diet where tolerated. She has an expert knowledge about FODMAPs in food and ways to prepare and cook food that help to lower FODMAP levels to improve tolerance of these foods without upsetting your gut symptoms.

Due to the complex nature of IBS, we offer an appointment package to guide you step by step through the stages of the low FODMAP diet (or other dietary strategies as recommended) and help you rebuild your tolerance of food.

Our Gut Health Nutrition Package includes 4  x one-on-one consultations with expert IBS & FODMAP dietitian Rebecca Ponsford. Rebecca works with an individualised and holistic approach to improve digestive health, expand food intake and enjoy life again! She helps clients discover what is triggering thier digestive symptoms and how to manage these through diet and lifestyle.

Appointments are offered online or face-to-face in the FODMAP Nutrition & Dietetics clinic in Ringwood, Victoria. Call 03 9845 7144 or email to book the Gut Health Nutrition Package

You can also book a single appointment here.

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