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FODMAP test foods

FODMAP testing

I hope that most of you have perfect digestion. But I thought I'd share my FODMAP reintroduction plan anyway since it's estimated that 10 to 15% of the world population suffers from irritable bowel syndrom and since a low-FODMAP diet has been proven to mitigate symptoms in 70% of cases, especially if your problems run toward, well, the runs. In other words, I expect hundreds of our readers could benefit from this information.

If that sounds like you and you turned regular after two to eight weeks on a low FODMAP diet, it's time to start testing which category or categories of FODMAP are bothering you. The idea is to pick foods that have only one type of FODMAP in them, then to test each food at a low, medium, and high level over the course of three days. If you experience symptoms, you note that category down as a no-go (for now), then rest your gut for at least three days until it's back in shape before testing the next round of food.

Here's the information that's harder to find --- which foods are appropriate test subjects. After extensive internet searching, I came up with:

Test food
Amounts (day 1, 2, and 3)
1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoons
Polyols (sorbitol)
1/4 avocado, 1/2 avocado, 1 avocado
Sweet potato
Polyols (mannitol)
3 ounces, 5 ounces, 7 ounces
12 almonds, 16 almonds, 20 almonds
Fructans (vegetables)
1/4 clove, 1/2 clove, 1 clove
Bread or pasta (made with wheat)
Fructans (grains)
1 slice of bread, 2 slices of bread, 3 slices of bread; or 1/2 cup pasta, 3/4 cup pasta, 1 cup pasta
1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, 1 cup

One study following up with folks who had been on the low FODMAP diet a year earlier suggested that wheat, onions, and dairy are the most likely to still be giving people trouble at that late date. So (despite what I did, starting with milk as my first trial food), I recommend testing in the order shown above so you can let your gut heal for an extra month before attempting the real heavy hitters. Good luck!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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