THE FODMAPS DIET
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© March 2014, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition. The word FODMAPS stands for fermentable oligo- di- and mono-saccharides and polyols. The diet should properly be called the low FODMAPS diet because the idea is to eliminate these carbohydrates from your diet.
The FODMAPS diet eliminates several groups of foods that often cause bloating, gas, distention, irritable bowel syndrome, and other abdominal symptoms. This is most helpful for some people who cannot digest certain chemicals found in foods.
I do not know why some people cannot digest these chemicals. Most likely the reason is low digestive enzymes, improper bowel flora, a “leaky gut”, or an intestinal infection - or some combination of these factors.
I suggest that if you are sensitive to FODMAPS, then follow the FODMAPS diet, but also follow a nutritional balancing program. Try your best to combine the two, as best you can. At least in some cases, the sensitivity to FODMAPS will slowly go away, in my experience, with nutritional balancing.
Nutritional balancing differs from FODMAPS in that it is a deeper, total healing program, not just a diet. In time, if followed, it will help rebuild your intestines so that all kinds of food sensitivities will be reduced.
Below are the main differences between the diets used in nutritional balancing and the FODMAPS diet. Once again, I suggest combining the two diets if this is necessary for you.
THE FODMAPS DIET AND NUTRITIONAL BALANCING
Some of the restrictions and suggestions in the low FODMAPS diet fit very nicely with nutritional balancing principles, but other do not. Here is a brief summary of the differences:
1. Fruit: Nutritional balancing does not allow any fruit because it is too yin. FODMAPS allows quite a few fruits.
2. Vegetables: Both diets permit quite a few vegetables. However, nutritional balancing allows more vegetables to be eaten such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions and perhaps a few others. Also, the vegetables must be cooked for several reasons. It makes the vegetables much more yang, and it allows one to absorb many more minerals from the vegetables.
The low FODMAPS diet allows a number of vegetables, and it allows raw vegetables. Also, FODMAPS allows vegetables such as peppers, potatoes and eggplant. These are not permitted in nutritional balancing because they are in the nightshade family and, once again, are too yin and somewhat toxic.
3. Dairy products. Nutritional balancing allows a little raw dairy products daily, including some raw milk, raw cheeses and yogurt. FODMAPS does not allow any dairy products. If you are sensitive to FODMAPS, skip the dairy products altogether, as they are not that important for a nutritional balancing program.
4. Sweeteners. FODMAPS allows sucrose, glucose, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses and most artificial sweeteners. Nutritional balancing does not allow sweeteners, in general, because they are all very yin.
5. Legumes. FODMAP does not allow legumes, such as lentils and other beans. Nutritional balancing allows these once or twice weekly. Skip them if you are sensitive to FODMAPS.
These are the main differences in the diets. My experience is that irritable bowel syndrome or IBS will go away, often quickly, if one follows a nutritional balancing complete program. The same is true of most digestive or abdominal symptoms.
The main problem with the low FODMAPS diet, from my perspective, is that it contains too many yin foods including fruits, raw vegetables, nightshade vegetables, and most sweeteners.
Also, the FODMAPS diet does not provide good enough mineral nutrition. Therefore, although you may feel much better on it, the body will not heal at the deepest level if this is all you do for yourself. So I suggest following the FODMAPS guidelines, if necessary, but also follow a complete nutritional balancing program for deeper healing and permanent correction of the problem.