Food For Thought, An Overview Of a Low FODMAP Diet and the Importance Of a Registered Dietitian

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The FODMAP Diet is being discussed at greater lengths with patients experiencing gastrointestinal (GI)  challenges and alterations with their GI systems.

 

There is not a specific “C. diff. Diet,” as Clostridium difficile is an infection, however; we know and understand that the G.I. system is quite effected by this infection causing a disruption in normal dietary intake and difficulties maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition on a daily basis.

This brings us to the Low FODMAP Diet. What is it? What does FODMAP stand for? Can it benefit patients diagnosed with C.diff. ? All good questions and this is yet one more topic patients can discuss with their healthcare providers providing their care and with a Registered Dietician with a solid background in Gastroenterology and utilizing the FODMAP diet plan with patients.

FODMAP is an acronym for:
Fermentable (produces gas in the intestines)
Oligosaccharides (fructans and galactans/GOS)
Disaccharides (lactose)
Monosaccharides (excess fructose)
And
Polyols (sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, and isomalt)

FODMAP’s are sugars – the carbohydrates – in foods eaten and are poorly absorbed by the GI system.  The intestinal bacteria in the gut can react negatively to these types of foods and cause abdominal bloating, accompanied by gas,  developing pain and even diarrhea and/or constipation.

When foods high in FODMAP are eliminated from the daily diet of patients diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), patients begin to witness a decline in the negative GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms.  By reducing the intake of FODMAP foods may also help reduce GI symptoms for patients diagnosed with Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

  • Please Note:  Before changing diets, always speak to the healthcare professional/s monitoring and treating any/all gastrointestinal symptoms.

What foods contain FODMAP’s ?

Here is a partial listing of food high in FODMAP:

  • Fructans and Galactans/GOS:  Wheat, Rye, Barley, Onion, Garlic, Inulin/Chicory root, Most Legumes (bean sources), Artichoke, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Milk.
  • Lactose:  Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Soft Cheeses such as Ricotta and Cottage Cheese.
  • Fructose: A major ingredient in many processed foods is High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Agave, and Fruits such as Applies, Pears, and Watermelon.
  • Polyols:  Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Sugar-Free Gum and Candy, and a few fruits such as Peaches, Plums, and Cherries.

Here is a partial listing of foods that are allowed when following a FODMAP Diet:

  • Grains:  Rice, Oats, Gluten-Free Pasta, Breads, and Cereals.
  • Fruites: Oranges, Bananas, Grapes, Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe Melon, Kiwi, Pineapple and Berries except blackberries.
  • Vegetables:  Carrots, Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Green Beans, Lettuce, Cucumber, Potato, and Tomatoes to name a few.
  • Protein:  Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Eggs, Beef, Pork, Tofu, Nut Butters.
  • Dairy: Lactose FREE Milk products, If there is not a nut allergy then proceed to Nut Milks such as Almond and Cashew Milk, Lactose Free Yogurt, Hard Cheese like Chedder and Feta.

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Registered Dietitians (RD) with expertise and familiar with this diet help patients live better with any gastrointestinal diagnosis successfully.

Please note: This diet is a two step diet and consists of the elimination process and then the reintroduction of foods back into the diet.

The support and guidance gained by patients working directly with a RD will find this diet less restricting and experience the alleviation of negative symptoms caused by many food items.

The role of a RD is to guide patients and their families to eating nutritious foods and to assist in creating healthy, enjoyable meals that will promote a healthy GI system and reduce the symptoms.

To learn more about Registered Dietitians please take a moment to click on the link below to view a short video and gain a better understanding of the important role a RD provides in promoting well being and improving patient care in the healthcare system.

https://cdifffoundation.org/2013/07/18/what-a-registered-dietitian-can-do-for-you/

Karen Factor, RD is the Chairperson of Nutrition and Wellness Committee
of the C Diff Foundation and is available through the  C.diff. Support Sessions offered each month.  Register for a FREE support session with Karen by clicking on the following link:

https://cdifffoundation.org/cdiffsupport/

 

 

Resources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics