I’m not great with science-y explanations, so bear with me as I try to explain FODMAPs, also known as


FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars) that those with Fructose Malabsorption have trouble absorbing, or digesting. They are malabsorbed in the small intestine, and once they reach the large intestine, they are fermented upon by bacteria–they’re Fermentable. When something ferments, it creates gas, right?  Gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, pain, constipation, and nausea are among the symptoms you may feel when the FODMAPs begin to ferment in your intestinal tract.

The low-FODMAP diet helps reduce symptoms by limiting foods high in fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, and polyols.

To get more in-detail, here are brief overviews of each carbohydrate:

Oligosaccharides are chains of simple sugars.

  • Fructans – Found in wheat, onion, garlic, inulin (chicory root), etc.
  • Galactans – Found in beans, lentils, legumes such as soy, etc.

Disaccharides are two monosaccharides linked together.

  • Lactose – Found in dairy such as milk and soft cheeses.
  • Sucrose = table sugar

Monosaccharides are simple sugars.

  • Fructose – Found in fruits, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Fruits with an excess of fructose are to be avoided, such as apples, pears, mangoes, etc.

Polyols are sugar alcohols.

  • Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, and Maltitol – Found in sweeteners, but also in stone fruits such as avocados, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc.

Mary Bridge Health Center & Hospital

To find a list of foods that I avoid, limit, and eat freely, look at the sub-pages below this. Unfortunately, fructose malabsorption differs for everyone on what foods they can and cannot eat. Some can have polyols; most can’t. Trial and error, though it can be painful, is the best way to find if you can tolerate limited or avoided foods. Look up ‘low-FODMAP diet’ on Google to find sample lists and see what works for you. The first source I linked above has a great list as well.

Sauces & Spices

Grocery List
Meal Ideas


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