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If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and frequently experience symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea, you may benefit from trying a special eating plan called the FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo- Di- Monosaccharides and Polyols – all types of carbohydrates that can cause poor digestion.

Wilfred Lee, MD
Wilfred Lee, MD

These carbohydrates cause bacterial fermentation in the colon, which then leads to the above symptoms.

“Some of the most common foods that cause problems are wheat, rye, watermelon and chickpeas,” says Wilfred Lee, MD, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.

“You do not need to eliminate these foods altogether,” continues Lee, “but you should be aware of them and read labels. Choose one serving instead of two of one of these ‘problem foods,’ and see if you notice a difference.”

If you are contemplating adopting the FODMAP Diet, you should consume the following foods in smaller quantities:


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums and prunes
  • Watermelon
  • High concentration of fructose from canned fruit, dried fruit or fruit juice


  • Rye
  • Wheat

Lactose-Containing Foods

  • Custard
  • Ice cream
  • Margarine
  • Milk (cow, goat, sheep)
  • Soft cheese, including cottage cheese and ricotta
  • Yogurt


  • Baked beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans


  • Fructose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol


  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic (with large consumption)
  • Fennel
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radicchio lettuce
  • Scallions (white parts)
  • Shallots
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Snow peas
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