FODMAP Foods to Avoid

Posted on April 29, 2024

In the world of digestive health, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of FODMAPs and how they affect our bodies. This knowledge is essential for managing conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), helping to alleviate symptoms and enhance overall well-being.
Beyond their direct effects on digestive function, FODMAPs play a significant role in shaping the composition and activity of the gut microbiome – the vast community of microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract. We know that fermentable carbohydrates such as FODMAPs can act as a fuel source for gut bacteria in individuals with IBS. This fermentation process can result in the production of gases and other metabolites, potentially exacerbating symptoms.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym for a group of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols the small intestine struggles to absorb efficiently. Once they reach the large intestine, they undergo fermentation by gut bacteria which leads to the production of gas and other by-products. Additionally, FODMAPs have the capacity to draw water into the intestines. This combination of fermentation and water retention often results in symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and altered bowel habits for individuals with sensitive digestive systems.

What is FODMAP? FODMAP is an acronym for different crabohydrates and suagrs that trigger symptoms for people with IBS. It stands for Fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and, polyols. Oligosaccharides include Fructans and GOS, food examples include wheat, rye, onion, garlc, legumes & cahsews. Disaccharides include Lactose, food examples include milk, yoghurt, ice-cream. Monosaccharides include Frcutose, food examples include honey, watermelon, apples, pears, high fructose corn syrup. Polyols include mushrooms, cauliflower, beath mints, artificial sweeteners (e.g. sorbito & mannitol).

Avoiding FODMAPs

Adhering to a low FODMAP diet and avoiding trigger foods can relieve digestive symptoms, leading to an improved quality of life by eliminating discomfort. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for tailored advice and treatment. They can offer personalized recommendations and support in implementing dietary changes.

It’s worth noting that the term “low FODMAP diet” typically refers to the elimination phase, during which high-FODMAP foods are removed from the diet to gauge symptom relief or improvement. Subsequently, these foods are systematically reintroduced under the supervision of a FODMAP-trained dietitian (you can locate one in your area via our free app) to identify individual food triggers.

This approach allows individuals to reintroduce foods that don’t provoke symptoms while restricting those that do. Your dietitian can provide strategies for managing trigger foods, such as consuming smaller portions.
It is also important to recognise that the elimination phase shouldn’t be followed long-term. Doing so may lead to nutritional deficiencies, as many high FODMAP foods contain beneficial micronutrients and probiotics that our bodies require. The aim of the diet is to reintegrate as many tolerated high FODMAP foods as possible, not only for convenience and to make life easier. But, for dietary diversity and to reap the health benefits they offer.

Should you avoid FODMAPs?

It is essential to note that the low FODMAP diet is not suitable for everyone; it serves as a diagnostic tool for those with IBS. Even among individuals with IBS, not everyone may need or benefit from this diet. It’s not a universally healthy diet, nor is it intended for weight loss purposes. Consulting with a dietitian before unnecessarily cutting out foods is crucial to ensure that dietary changes are appropriate and tailored to individual needs.

What foods are high in FODMAPs?

Foods to avoid for IBS if you are following the low FODMAP diet include:

High FODMAP Foods Checklist. Food group: Vegetables, food example: asparagus, artichoke, mushrooms, cauliflower, onion, garlic, leek, pring onion, peas. Food group: Fruits, food example: apple, mango, pear, peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, watermelon, dried fruit. Food group: Breads, cereals, flours & grains, food example: wheat, barley, rye bread, wheat pasta/noodles, couscous. Food group: meat, poultry, fish & legumes/lentils, food example: crumbed & battered meats, marinades, sauces & gravies with onion or garlic., kidney beans, baked beans. Food group: Milk, yoghurt, cheese, food example: regular cows milk, yoghurt, icecream, and cream. Food group: sugars, sweeteners and confectionary, food example: honey, agave, high fructose corn syrup, sugar free lollies/candy, mints & gum

Any diet that involves restricting or avoiding certain foods should be complemented with healthy alternatives to ensure a balanced diet.

As we know, the low FODMAP diet can potentially lead to nutrient deficiencies if not managed carefully. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your diet remains well-rounded to meet your body’s nutritional requirements.

For example, many high-FODMAP foods are excellent sources of dietary fibre, which is essential for digestive health and regularity. Restricting these foods may inadvertently result in inadequate fibre intake, increasing the risk of constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, incorporating alternative sources of fibre into your diet is essential to maintain digestive health while adhering to the low FODMAP protocol.

Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes & lentils. So, it can be easy to find low FODMAP alternatives for some of these foods.

Low FODMAP Foods Checklist. Food group: Vegetables, food example: bok choy, broccoli, carrots, capsicum, corn, tomato, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, olives, potato, pumpkin, spinach. Food group: fruits, food example: unripe banana, strawberries, kiwii, blueberries, pineapple, oranges. Food group: Breads, cereals, flours, legumes/beans, food example: gluten free bread, sourdough bread, gluten free pasta, rice, quinoa, polenta, plain rice crackers, oats/porridge, meusli without dried fruit or honey. Food group: meat, poultry, fish and legumes/beans, food example: fresh meat, chicken & fish, eggs, tempeh, firm tofu, small amounts of canned lentils, chickpeas and butter beans. Food group: milk, yoghurt, cheese, food example: lactose free milk, lactose free yoghurt, lactose free cream & ice cream, hard cheese, soy milk & soy ice cream made with soy protein, rice milk, almond milk. Food group: sugars, sweeteners and confectionary, food examples: sugar, maple syrup, equal, sucralose, rice malt syrup.

How to eat healthy on the low FODMAP diet

Ways to maintain a balanced diet while following the low FODMAP diet include:

Diversifying your plate: Incorporate a variety of low-FODMAP fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and healthy fats into your meal to ensure balanced nutrient intake.

Choose alternative sources: Opt for low FODMAP alternatives to high FODMAP foods to meet your nutritional needs. For example, choose quinoa or rice instead of wheat-based grains.

Monitor portion sizes: Be mindful of portion sizes, as many foods can be size-dependent. This means that while a food may be low FODMAP in smaller amounts, consuming a large portion could make it high FODMAP. To find the maximum serving size allowed on the low FODMAP diet, you can use our app. Simply find the food and click on the ‘Can I have more?’ button for guidance.

Consult a registered dietitian: Work with a registered dietitian knowledgeable about the low FODMAP diet to develop a personalized plan that meets your nutritional needs while managing your digestive symptoms effectively.

Read food labels: Look our for our green logo below on the pack. If you see this logo on any foods then you know that it has been tested in a NATA-approved laboratory and is low FODMAP.
Otherwise, pay attention to food labels to identify hidden sources of FODMAPs and ensure that packaged foods are suitable for your low FODMAP diet.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support digestion and overall well-being.
By incorporating these strategies, you can maintain a balanced diet while following the low FODMAP protocol and support your overall health and well-being.

It can become overwhelming to constantly track what ingredients are in foods and plan out suitable recipes, a helpful tool is the FODMAP Friendly recipes found here.


In summary, understanding the role of FODMAPs in digestive health is crucial for individuals managing conditions like IBS. By adhering to a low FODMAP diet and avoiding trigger foods under the guidance of a FODMAP-trained Dietitian, many individuals can find relief from uncomfortable symptoms and improve their overall well-being. However, it’s important to recognize that the low FODMAP diet is not suitable for everyone and should be used as a diagnostic tool for those with IBS.
Maintaining a balanced diet alongside the low FODMAP protocol is vital for preventing nutrient deficiencies and promoting digestive health. By varying meals, controlling portions, seeking guidance from a registered dietitian, and utilizing resources like FODMAP Friendly certified products, educational materials, the free app, and FODMAP-friendly recipes, individuals can effectively manage symptoms and enhance their quality of life.

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