FODMAPs (fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are hard-to-digest sugars and fibers which pass through the small intestine without being properly broken down.
When FODMAPs pass into the colon, they ferment and create gas. While in the small intestine, they pull water into the gut. The water and gas can build up, stretch the intestines resulting in bloating, pain, cramping, flatulence and diarrhea or constipation, in people with a sensitive intestine.
The low FODMAP diet is a three-phase nutritional intervention. It includes an elimination phase, reintroduction phase, and personalization phase.
Due to the nuances of the low FODMAP diet, it can be difficult to go about starting it on your own. We recommend that a registered dietitian with expertise in the diet provides guidance on how best to implement the diet.
Good news, the Epicured menu includes 100% dietitian-approved low FODMAP meals.
Here are three reasons why you, and your belly, will LOVE Epicured!
1. We take your health seriously.
Every meal we deliver is low FODMAP and gluten-free, dietitian-approved and backed by science. Our Partners in Health Network includes some of the best, gut-health focused doctors and dietitians -- experts like Kate Scarlata and institutions like Mount Sinai Health System.
2. We take delicious food just as seriously!
Our renowned culinary team, led by chef Dani Chavez-Bello, has cooked at some of the world's best restaurants. Our menu includes over 50 low FODMAP and gluten-free prepared entrees, soups, salads, and smoothies.
3. Most importantly, our customers feel great!
"Finally I don't have to worry that I might feel badly after eating as I know everything is low FODMAP. I don't have stomach cramps or gassy feelings-ever! I'm very happy for this service and the food never disappoints."
Pamela R. Long Beach, NY
"The meals are absolutely delicious and for the first time in months I feel great after eating. No bloating or pain. Love it! Highly recommended."
Kate F. Brooklyn
FODMAPs are found in many everyday foods such as wheat, onion, garlic, milk, and even watermelon.
Here's a FODMAP breakdown
The "F" in FODMAP refers to the term fermentable.
The “O” in FODMAP refers to poorly absorbed fibers called oligosaccharides, which include fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides also called GOS. Sorry, these are highly scientific terms, but we'll break them down for you!
Fructans are small chain fibers that are completely malabsorbed in the intestine. The human body lacks the digestive enzyme to break their fructose bonds. Wheat is the most commonly consumed source of fructans and is found in breads, cereals, some grains, and pasta. Other common sources of fructan include onion and garlic.
Like fructan, GOS is also a small chain fiber that is malabsorbed in the human body. Sources of GOS include beans, the “musical fruit” (get it), and peas, for example.
The “D” in FODMAP refers to disaccharide, namely, lactose, the naturally occuring sugar in milk. Lactose is found in cow’s, goat, and sheep milk and is poorly digested in many people. Most humans have a decline in lactase the digestive enzyme responsible for aiding the absorption of lactose in our intestine, as they age. Like other FODMAP carbohydrates, consuming poorly absorbed lactose can result in IBS symptoms. Lactose rich foods include yogurt, ice cream, and milk. Good news, lactose free selections of milk, ice cream and yogurt are often suitable low FODMAP options.
The “M” in FODMAP refers to monosaccharide, a one chain sugar and the smallest FODMAP.
Fructose is a natural fruit sugar found in many fruits, honey, high-fructose corn syrup and agave. It is poorly absorbed by many people due to the lack of special intestinal transporters that aid its absorption. Individuals that have experienced a small intestinal resection (resulting in less intestinal transporters) or have a rapidly moving intestine may experience fructose intolerance. Glucose, a common sugar in food, aids the absorption of fructose in the intestine. When foods or beverages contain more fructose than glucose, the extra fructose may be more difficult for the intestine to absorb. Some fruits with more fructose than glucose, include apples, watermelon, and mangoes.
The "A" stands for and. This one is simple!
The "P" in FODMAP, refers to polyols. Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols. This FODMAP source can be found naturally in the form of mannitol or sorbitol in some fruits (peach, plum, prunes) and vegetables (cauliflower, celery) but may also be added to sugar-free gum, mints, and cough drops in the form of artificial sweeteners. The names of some of these polyol sources of artificial sweeteners end in "ol"- like sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, and maltitol.
Although this might sound complicated and there's a lot that goes into a low FODMAP diet, Epicured makes it simple with our chef-prepared delicious, healing foods.
How do FODMAPs trigger symptoms?
1. When FODMAPs pass into the colon, they ferment and create gas.
2. While in the small intestine, FODMAPs pull water into the intestinal tract.
3. This water and gas builds up in your gut, causing bloating, cramping, pain, and diarrhea/constipation.
4. There's evidence that a diet rich in FODMAPs in people with IBS may impact the immune system and how our body interprets pain. Additionally, we're just beginning to understand the interaction of FODMAPs and our gut microbes and the possible role of bacterial metabolites that can play a role in gut health and GI symptoms.
A low FODMAP diet can help.
Debilitating digestive symptoms can be controlled in up to 86 percent of those with IBS with a low FODMAP diet. For individuals with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), the low FODMAP diet can be a beneficial addition to your medical treatment if you experience IBS-like symptoms when your IBD is in clinical remission. Of course, always work with your healthcare team before changing your diet to discuss what nutritional approach is best for you.
Scarlata K. Low FODMAP Diet: What Your Patients Need to Know. Am J Gastroenterol 2019: 114(2):189-191.
Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM et al. Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus in standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. J Hum Nutr Diet 2011;24(5):487-95.