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Guest womenshealthmag.com

3. FODMAP

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Guest womenshealthmag.com

3. FODMAP

While it might have been brought to your attention by your mate with the ‘Kale 4 lyf’ tee, know that FODMAP isn’t a diet for weight loss. The acronym describes a group of short-chain carbohydrates which, when eliminated, improve the symptoms of IBS-sufferers, and it should only be followed under the supervision of a dietitian.

Typical meal: Sea bass with vegetables

What the diet advocate says: ‘FODMAPS are either absorbed slowly from the small intestine or not absorbed at all,’ says Dr Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and the brains behind the low-FODMAP diet. ‘When the FODMAPs move into the bowel, where they are fermented by bacteria, this produces gas and can also cause water to move into the bowel. This stretches the bowel wall, which stimulates the gut.’

What the expert says: ‘There have been a number of cases where GPs have said, “You’ve got IBS, go on the low-FODMAP diet”,’ says Dr Megan Rossi (@theguthealthdoctor). ‘The only support they give you is a printout with a limited explanation of the diet from the internet. I’ve had clients come into my practice who’ve been given a list of 10 “friendly” foods to survive on, which is nutritionally dangerous.’

Verdict: While studies suggest the low-FODMAP diet is effective in the management of IBS symptoms, it has also been linked with disordered eating, and should only be followed under the supervision of a dietitian who’s been trained in the low-FODMAP diet.

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