Food and Nutrition

10 Healthy Foods That Can Mess With Your Digestion, According to a Top Dietitian

Allie Flinn

Allie FlinnMarch 10, 2020

Food can be… confusing. Should you be avoiding gluten at all costs? Gobbling up avocados as fast as humanly possible? Well+Good's nutrition experts are setting the story straight when it comes to food, cutting through the hype and hand-wringing and getting you the most comprehensive information on what you should (and maybe shouldn't) put in that body of yours. See All

Ever wondered WTF the acronym “FODMAP” means? Get the DL in this video.

It’s pretty common knowledge that certain fiber-rich foods can occasionally cause bloating and gas, even though they’re healthy (*cough* cruciferous veggies *cough*). But for people with IBS or sensitive stomachs, there’s actually a whole category of foods, called FODMAPS, that can regularly wreak havoc on the digestion. But what are FODMAPS foods? On the latest episode of Well+Good’s series You Versus Food, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, gives us the deets on these bloat-inducing, gas-causing, poop-interfering items.

First off, the acronym FODMAPS stands for: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. “To translate, it’s a general term used to describe a group of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that can trigger digestive issues like gas, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and stomach pain,” says Beckerman. Foods considered high-FODMAP are rich in one or a few of these types of carbohydrates.

Here’s the tricky part: There are lots of healthy foods that are technically high-FODMAP foods. A few examples, per Beckerman, include garlic, blackberries, and yes, even avocados. (The betrayal!)

To be clear, not everyone’s stomach will be upset by FODMAP foods. But Beckerman says that people with IBS or sensitive stomachs might have issues digesting these types of carbohydrates…leading to the above-mentioned fun symptoms. Which is why you shouldn’t just nix these healthy foods from your diet if you’re not having issues. (Why give up avocado toast if you don’t have to?)

However, for people who are bothered by high-FODMAP foods…there’s an eating plan for that. Beckerman breaks down the basics of following a low-FODMAP diet in the video above, and reveals some of the other high-FODMAP foods that can trigger an upset stomach. It’s a gas!

Gut health experts are really (really really) sick of hearing these myths about a low-FODMAP diet. And these are the three things a gut expert recommends if you’re struggling with digestive issues. 

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