There is lots of info online about FODMAPs and it can be tricky to filter out the myths. Here are a few of the most common ones we hear that we thought we’d clear up.
If I’m intolerant to FODMAPs, it means I’ll never be able to eat them again.
False: If you find something you are sensitive to, repeat the challenge again in the future (e.g. 1 tablespoon of chickpeas). You may find your tolerance improves with time, especially if you work on other IBS triggers, such as stress (hyperlink to stress blog).
The FODMAP diet will cure my IBS
False: Most people find their symptoms improve on a FODMAP diet, but they do not usually disappear. In part, this is because there are many other factors that may contribute to your symptoms e.g. stress, intense exercise, medications, eating large meals, eating quickly. Your diet is really only one part of the puzzle. Reducing your FODMAP intake may decrease symptoms of diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and pain, but it will not mean the symptoms of IBS will leave entirely.
The low FODMAP diet is a dairy free diet
False: The low FODMAP diet might be a low lactose diet if you are sensitive to lactose, but it does not need to be dairy free. Read more here.
If you are experiencing gut symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating or abdominal pain you should get straight on the low FODMAP diet.
False: The low FODMAP diet is for people with diagnosed IBS, not for people who suspect they have IBS. If you experience IBS-like symptoms, such as a change in bowel habit, pain etc, visit your GP and get a diagnosis. Read more here.
All Sugars are FODMAPs
False: All FODMAPs are considered ‘sugars’ because of their short chain length, but not all sugars are FODMAPs! For example, table sugar (white/caster/icing) is not a FODMAP and can be eaten freely (of course adhering to Australian healthy eating dietary guidelines).
The FODMAP diet is a weight loss diet.
False: The FODMAP diet is not meant to restrict calories and induce weight loss. The diet should focus on simple food swaps to decrease FODMAP intake, e.g switching from eating an apple to some strawberries OR regular wheat bread to spelt sourdough bread.