September 10, 2021

What the FOD!?!

The Low FODMAP Diet has been on our radar since the 2019 Natural Products Expo West tradeshow where we noticed brands like Enjoy Life promoting their new “FODMAP Friendly” certification as well as brands like Fodmapped and Fody catering to the specialized diet. It didn’t burst onto the scene in CBD, Keto, or Oatmilk fashion, but after spotting a FODMAP certification on the back of Kellog’s Crispix cereal recently we knew it was trend gaining some serious traction.

What is FODMAP?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly.

  • Oligosaccharides: fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS); onion and garlic fall under this category, and a long list of others
  • Disaccharides: lactose; found primarily in dairy foods… although many cheeses are OK!
  • Monosaccharides: fructose; includes a long list of fruits and some sweeteners
  • Polyols: sorbitol and mannitol; includes fruits as well as some veggies and sweeteners

Although not everyone is sensitive to FODMAPs, many people do experience digestive distress such as cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and flatulence after consuming high FODMAP foods like onion, garlic, wheat, some dairy products, honey, and several fruits and vegetables. The list is long… here is a good resource:

Who is looking for a Low FODMAP Diet?

The low FODMAP diet has shown potential in helping people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). The diet is temporary, lasting between 4-8 weeks, depending on what your doctor or dietician recommends. Always consult with a doctor before starting any diet, especially with this diet that restricts such a wide variety of foods. The diet typically starts with elimination and then reintroduction, one-by-one, to spot the troublemaker(s).

How brands can accommodate the FODMAP diet

While most brands likely didn’t start out with the mission to avoid high FODMAP foods in their ingredient list, it is something many food brands are beginning to consider due to the growing number of digestive issues facing consumers today. Take a look at your ingredient list – is it already FODMAP-friendly? Would swapping out an ingredient or two with ones that are FODMAP-friendly be easy to do without compromising taste and quality? These are just some things to think about as we continue to see this food trend grow.