This is a diet devised by scientists at Melbourne University which has proved effective in about 75% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). FODMAPS stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Basically these foods can cause fermentation in the bowel. One or more of these foods can trigger IBS.

To use this diet –


Bread, pasta, cakes or biscuits made with wheat, rye, barley or millet.

Fruit: Apples, pears, plums, prunes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, watermelon and fruit juice made from concentrate.

Vegetables: Savoy cabbage cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, onions, leeks, garlic, beetroot, mushrooms.

Pulses: Peas, beans, lentils, soya beans.

Dairy (if lactose is a problem): Cow’s milk butter, soft cheese, yoghurt.

Sugar-free chewing gum and mints containing sorbitol or xylitol, honey.


Oats, rice, polenta, quinoa, gluten-free pasta and bread (check labels as can have apple juice concentrate).

Fruit: (one serving a day) banana, blueberries, melon, coconut, grapes, kiwi, lemon, lime, orange, papaya, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb.

Vegetable: Peppers, carrots, cucumber, bok choy and choy sum cabbage, aubergine, rocket, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, olives, parsnip, potato, raddish, spinach, courgette, tomato.

Protein: Beef, chicken, fish and shellfish, eggs, tofu, pork.

Dairy: Cheddar cheese, Parmesan, feta.

Fats: Olice oil, seeds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts.

Can drink water, tea, coffee (no more than 2 daily) and lactose-free milk.

Test out the diet.

It is very unlikely that you will have to avoid all the triggers so gradually increase the foods in the AVOID list. If they cause a reaction leave them out. If they don’t, you can eat them. You may need to see a dietician trained in FODMAPS. Long term avoidance of all foods in the AVOID list could cause problems.

There is more information on FODMAPS at

The six most problematical food groups are:

Fructans-oligosaccharides – found in wheat, onions, garlic, artichokes, rye

Galacto-oligosaccharhides – found in legumes

Lactose -found in milk

Fructose – found in apples, pears, mango, honey, watermelon

Sorbitol – found in apples, pears, sugar-free mints

Mannitol – found in mushrooms, cauliflower