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To be or not to be FODMAP-free?

November 4, 2014
Gluten might not be quite the bad guy after all

Scoot over gluten: FODMAPs may take your throne as the number one villain to the villi.

If you’re actually able to keep up with your New Yorker subscription, then you probably read this week’s article on gluten and how FODMAPs might be the real menace. But before you start buying FODMAP-free waffles, read on so you don’t end up sounding like this.

If not properly digested, FODMAPs—Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosacharides and Polyols; aka a bunch of different sugars—can feed the bad gut bacteria and lead to various symptoms including gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. (Sounds like a fun night out!)

Many high FODMAP foods are things we would all be better off consuming less of: like milk, processed foods, HFCS and artificial sweeteners. But there are also many nutrient-rich foods that are on that “no-no” list. So while the FODMAP-free diet may be a framework for experimenting with how different foods make us feel, before we start boycotting blackberries and avocados, it’s important to remember that stress is also a major contributor to the aforementioned symptoms.

Start addressing your digestive woes without the anxiety of having to memorize hundreds of foods’ FODMAP levels by trying these easy tips for ten days:

1. Eat a plant-heavy, whole-food diet free of processed foods, focusing on the bevy of things you can enjoy, not what you can’t.

2. Introduce probiotic-rich foods or supplements into your routine.

3. Stop scarfing your food down. Chew before swallowing and breathe between bites.

What the heck is a FODMAP?

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