You may have seen on the Monash Fodmap blog or on the Monash Fodmap app that the Fodmap content of food keeps changing. That is not only confusing but troubling for those trying to follow a low Fodmap diet accurately.
It’s good to know why this is happening. Fodmaps are short-chain carbohydrates and their levels can vary as a result of several different factors beyond our and the researchers’ control.
First, let me give you a couple of examples of radically changed amounts. Instead of 10 strawberries, we can now only have five. Blueberries have also changed, but in the other direction. We used to be able to have only ¼ a cup, while now we can have a full cup.
The Monash Fodmap team have discovered there can be large differences in the Fodmap content of food depending on the country the food is grown in.
So let’s get to the reasons why this may be true:
The soil’s nutrient content has changed and more fertilizers are used. This is due to global warming causing the soil to be drier and less rich in nutrients. This can cause plants to change their chemical structure in order to survive. Hence, the Fodmap content being affected.
The storage of foods
Fresh produce can be stored for up to a year before reaching us. Some are even picked before they are ripe, stored in cold environments like freezers, then artificially ripened. This treatment causes the Fodmap levels to rise, in particular, fructose and fructans.
Our preference for sweeter foods
Most of us love sugar and the farmers are producing fruits and vegetables with higher sugar content so that they sell better.
Where does this leave those of us following the low Fodmap diet?
First of all, these changes only affect you if the particular Fodmap that has increased is one of your personal triggers. For example, if fructose is an issue for you, then the halving of the permitted amount of strawberries is significant, but not for those who have no problem with fructose.
It’s important to have guidance while learning how to implement the diet because of the many factors that make the difference between success and failure in eliminating your symptoms. Only once your symptoms are under control, can you reintroduce foods to expand your diet. Getting your symptoms under control is the tricky part. As a low Fodmap coach, I am on the lookout for foods that, even though they are low Fodmap, may be causing issues for my clients. About 20% of my clients don’t eliminate all their symptoms even while on an accurate low Fodmap diet. Through their filling out of daily diary pages, which I analyse and transfer to a spreadsheet, I am able to identify these “extra” foods that are preventing success. This also takes care of the changing Fodmap content of foods.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of becoming a client so I can guide you through the stages of the diet to create a safe final diet for you, then fill in the application form on this page and book a complimentary call so we can discuss your particular case. You are under no obligation to follow through with coaching. This is simply a call to see if I can help you and whether this would be a good fit for you.
For more information about the changing Fodmap content of foods, read the article on the Monash Fodmap blog.