What are FODMAPs?

The Low-FODMAP Diet for IBS  /  Delicious as it Looks
FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.

You're thinking, "Ok, that still doesn't explain it, Dianne."

So, to explain further, they are carbohydrates that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fructose malabsorption (FM) have trouble digesting. More specifically, they are malabsorbed in the small intestine and they end up traveling to the large intestine where they cause all sorts of havoc. What kind of terror do they reign? Gas, pain, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, you name it. You see, these unabsorbed carbohydrates are the perfect food for the bacteria in the large intestine. The little buggers just munch away at the fructose, fructans and lactose and just have a big ol' party. Fun for them. Not so much for you. This is the Fermentable part. Think about it, when something ferments, it creates gas. Makes sense.

Here's a brief overview of each carbohydrate and the foods they are found in:

Oligosaccharides These are chains of simple sugars and include:

Fructans - Found in onion, garlic, wheat, chicory root (inulin), asparagus, artichokes

Galactans - Found in beans, legumes, peas

Disaccharides These are two monosaccharides linked together and include:

Lactose - found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, sour cream and soft cheeses.

Monosaccharides Simple sugars such as:

Fructose - found in fruits and sweeteners. What is of concern are the fruits where there is an
excess of fructose, such as apples, pears, mangoes, honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar.

And Polyols These are sugar alcohols and include:

Xylitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, and Maltitol - naturally found in mushrooms, apples and the
stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries). Also found in processed
foods as sugar-free sweeteners.

I used to have lists of foods that were high and low in FODMAPs, but since I am not an expert or professional, I decided to have a list of links to some reputable sources instead. There is conflicting information out there and I do not want to add to it. I hope you find these websites and books useful!


  1. Love this Thank You Thank you..It is hard for anyone to understand, even a Doctor, you hit most of my symptoms, with some adjusting. It is a Cycle. of what do I eat and all the good stuff are out I literally can have the runs and be throwing up, and I feel my gut twisting. I am going o an Upper Gi specialist in Los Angeles for my symptoms... This has been an ongoing problems since I was 13. I could be a rabbit, but all those veggies, I literally had to eat soft mild things that I didn't want to eat. I also find issues with Dairy, everything I like is not working for me I feel you gave me hope and a starting point of elimination. Thanks again I feel like a lot of the work has been done for me.

    1. You're welcome! I'm happy you've found this helpful.

  2. Great list! I am new to all of this - knowing what food has fructose in it, as my youngest son appears to be fructose intolerant. He has just done the fructose/lactose hydrogen breath testing and we are awaiting results, but definitely know there is an issue with fructose.