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Is a Low FODMAP Diet Right for You?
This post is for people already following a low FODMAP diet or in the planning stages of following a low FODMAP diet.
Check out The Elimination Diet Guide before reading this post if you’re…
- Low FODMAP-curious
- Unable to come off of your low FODMAP diet without GI symptoms returning
- Have no idea what a low FODMAP diet is
After reviewing The Elimination Diet Guide, if you decide you want to try this diet, come back here for low FODMAP snack ideas!
Here’s how we’ve organized this post:
- We start with a quick overview of what FODMAPs are and who should try a low FODMAP diet
- Next, we cover some basics like healthy snacking tips and portion sizes on the FODMAP diet
- Then we get into sharing our favorite snacks you can make at home, followed up by a list of really convenient snacks you can purchase
- Afterward, we cover other things you may want to include when snacking, like bread, cereal, milk, cheese, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
- We wrap it up with a section on indulgences for those wondering about FODMAP-friendly sugar and alcohol.
Please note that there are affiliate links throughout this article. As an Amazon Associate, The Nutrition Clinic for Digestive Health earns a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
What Does FODMAP Stand For?
FODMAP is an acronym for different types of carbohydrates that are known to cause digestive problems. FODMAPS can be naturally occurring in foods and added to foods. The acronym FODMAP stands for:
- Fermentable (meaning they can hang out in the gut and feed bacteria and cause intestinal swelling – which is where some of the digestive symptoms come from)
More specifically (and probably more helpful), FODMAPs aren’t well absorbed in the gut, which is why they can cause unwanted digestive symptoms (think gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea).
To help with understanding the concept of the FODMAP groups there is a chart below that categorizes just a few of the foods contained in each group.
Who Uses a Low FODMAP Diet?
Anyone dealing with the following conditions may benefit from a low FODMAP diet:
|Exercise-induced GI symptoms||Fecal incontinence|
When helping clients navigate a low FODMAP diet, we defer to the research out of Monash University in Australia. This decision is supported by the information below:
- The low FODMAP diet was developed in 2005 by researchers at Monash University.
- The research done on foods to determine FODMAP content takes place at Monash University – we feel that this positions them as the most reliable source of information regarding foods and FODMAP content.
- Several different versions of FODMAP diets exist online from varying sources. Defaulting to the research done at Monash helps eliminate confusion when working with clients.
Monash University provides research and support for following a low FODMAP diet. Below is a partial list of what’s available, you can click here to go to their website.
- Monash University offers an app and website with resources for following the low FODMAP diet.
- They also provide a product and recipe certification for companies that want their meal or snack to be low FODMAP approved. Of course, there are plenty of foods that have not gone through this certification process and are still low FODMAP.
- To become certified, researchers analyze the product in the lab for the presence of FODMAPs.
- According to their website, products or recipes that contain the following are automatically excluded:
- Added FODMAPs, including fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and polyols (other than sorbitol and mannitol), maltitol, xylitol, erythritol, lactitol, and isomalt.
Low FODMAP Portion Sizes
Serving sizes are incredibly important when it comes to following this diet. The total FODMAP load significantly influences the onset of digestive symptoms!
Several foods are considered low FODMAP at smaller serving sizes, but as the serving size increases, so does the FODMAP content.
When using this guide, please note:
- For the best results, if a food listed in this guide is noted with a portion size, stick to that portion size – these foods do contain a small amount of FODMAP (which is fine), but the more you eat of it, the more FODMAP you will be getting…which could mean digestive problems are triggered.
- Do not eat more than two foods at a meal or snack that are noted with a portion size (this will result in too many FODMAPS)
- For example:
- 2 slices of sourdough bread + 2 Tbsp almond butter = low FODMAP
- 2 slices of sourdough bread + 2 Tbsp almond butter + ½ banana = high FODMAP
- For example:
Gut Friendly Snack Tips
Before we jump into specific low FODMAP snacks, we want to start with some general healthy snacking tips (anyone can benefit from these)!
- No naked carbs. In other words, instead of having a carbohydrate-rich food by itself (fruit, grains, sweets), be sure to pair it with a source of healthy fat or protein (for example, ½ banana combined with a small handful of pumpkin seeds).
- Foods with mostly protein or healthy fat are okay to eat alone. For example a hard-boiled egg or chicken thigh.
- We recommend that anyone suffering from digestive issues limit added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 25 grams for women (6 teaspoons or 100 calories) or 36 grams for men (9 teaspoons or 150 calories) per day.
SIBO Friendly Snack Considerations
If you’re using the low FODMAP diet to help with SIBO, we recommend eating every 3-4 hours with no grazing between meals.
We recommend limiting grazing because there’s a cleansing wave that comes through the intestinal tract between meals. This is called the migrating motor complex (MMC).
- The MMC moves the food you eat through the intestines.
- The MMC is activated during periods of fasting and stops when food is consumed.
- A slow or stagnant MMC allows food to sit too long in the intestine. If food isn’t moving through the intestinal tract, it will begin to feed intestinal bacteria, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth (hello SIBO).
Optimizing the MMC is essential for treating SIBO and preventing its return.
Our Favorite Options
When using our curated list – please be advised that companies can change ingredients at any time or discontinue products completely.
Always check the ingredient lists on food labels when following an elimination diet.
Homemade Low FODMAP Snacks
Here’s a list of quick and easy snacks you can make at home. If convenience foods are what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered in the next section.
- 2 Tablespoons of lactose-free cream cheese on a rice cake with one kiwi
- Charcuterie board: cheddar cheese + pork rinds + olives + ½ cup grapes
- ½ cup cooked oatmeal* mixed with one scoop of collagen protein powder and ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup coconut cream blended with ½ frozen banana
- ½ cup edamame + 1 pack of seaweed snacks
- Hard-boiled eggs with Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Popcorn with dark chocolate chips
- Plantain Chips dipped in 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp walnuts + 2 Tbsp Bare Coconut Chips
- Low FODMAP Pumpkin Yogurt
*When choosing oatmeal, look for gluten free versions to ensure you are low FODMAP compliant .
Low FODMAP Spices
If you’re considering preparing your snacks from the easy recipes above, you may be wondering about adding spices for flavor.
Spices come up a lot with low FODMAP clients because garlic and onion are high FODMAP and must be avoided on this diet.
Clients commonly say, “I can’t cook without garlic powder and onion powder.”
Here are some great options for enjoying your food while staying FODMAP compliant:
- Gourmend Foods Garlic Scape Powder
- Gourmend Foods Green Onion Powder
- Gourmend Foods Organic Chicken Broth
- FODY Foods Seasoning Variety Pack – includes Lemon & Herb, Taco, Steak, Ranch Style, and Everyday Seasonings
- Smoke and Sanity Teriyaki Seasoning
- Colavita Garlic Infused Olive Oil
- Fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or rosemary
- Simple spices such as cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, salt, and pepper
- The green part of scallions or leeks
- Lemon and lime juice
- Maple syrup
Low FODMAP Snacks to Buy
The snacks below can be purchased on Amazon, or you can look for them in your local grocery store.
- Epic Sea Salt Pork Rinds
- Epic Maple Bacon Pork Rinds
- Bare Cinnamon Banana Chips – limit to ½ cup
- Bare Crunchy Chocolate Coconut Chips
- Brass Roots Roasted Inchi Seeds
- Brass Roots Inchi Seed Butter
- Annie Chun’s Organic Seaweed Snacks
- 365 Organic Popcorn
- Belliwelli Bars
- FODY Foods Bars
- Bobo’s Oat Bars
- Epic Bison Bacon Protein Bites
Low FODMAP Chips and Crackers
Since chips are usually made from potatoes or corn, most of them are low FODMAP approved.
Typically, chips are carbohydrate-rich so we suggest pairing these with a source of protein or healthy fat (like a small handful of pumpkin seeds) to keep you satisfied longer.
The chips and crackers listed below are low FODMAP:
- FODY Foods Barbeque or Pink Himalayan Salt Potato Chips
- Sun Chips Original
- PopCorners Popped Corn Chips
- 365 Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
- 365 Sea Salt Corn Chips
- Artisan Tropic Plantain Chips
- Terra’s Sweet Potato Chips – limit to ½ cup
- 365 Sesame Rice Crackers
- Doctor in the Kitchen Flackers – limit to 3 crackers
- Mary’s Gone Crackers – limit to serving size (12 crackers)
- Synder’s Gluten Free Pretzels
Low FODMAP Protein Bars
The bars below are the only two FODMAP protein bar options we could find that have at least 10 grams of protein. If you like bars as a snack option we are including them below under “snack bars.”
Low FODMAP Bars
Low FODMAP Bread
To be low FODMAP approved, bread must be either gluten-free and made from low FODMAP ingredients or a fermented sourdough.
Most bread contains FODMAPS, specifically, fructans and GOS.
Sourdough Bread on a Low FODMAP Diet
Many people are surprised (and excited) to find out that sourdough bread can be FODMAP friendly! Because of the fermentation time (typically 1-2 days) for sourdough bread, the bacteria and the yeast in the sourdough starter breaks down most of the FODMAPs.
The tricky part however is understanding that not all sourdough bread is made using the 1-2 day fermentation process!
And of course we don’t recommend sourdough bread if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.
When searching for sourdough bread, follow these tips to make sure it’s compatible with a low FODMAP diet:
- Check the ingredient label high FODMAP ingredients.
- FODMAP friendly sourdough bread is typically found in local bakeries or the bakery section of the grocery store – not on the bread aisle!
- Check with the baker at your local grocery store for specifics about their sourdough-making process.
- Be sure to limit sourdough bread to 2 slices per meal or snack to stay low FODMAP.
Low FODMAP Bread Options
- Schar Deli Style Sourdough Bread
- Against the Grain Baguette
- Food for Life Gluten Free English Muffin
- Udi’s Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
Low FODMAP Bread Alternatives
- Most brands of corn tortillas
- Rice Cakes
- Nori Wraps
- Spring Roll Wrapper
- Lettuce or collard green wrap
Low FODMAP Cereal
Sometimes you just need something easy to make it out the door quickly, and cereal is a common go-to for that purpose!
Here are some of our favorite tips for enjoying low FODMAP cereal:
- We love adding collagen peptides to cold or hot cereal to boost the protein content, it helps you feel full longer and keeps your blood sugar stable.
- This is our favorite collagen to use because it is sourced from pasture-raised cows, and it blends well!
- When adding toppings to cereal or oatmeal, you can keep your overall FODMAP intake low by being aware of the portion sizes of the additions.
Here are some ways to add flavor without overflowing your FODMAP bucket. As a reminder, don’t eat more than two foods at a meal or snack that are noted with a portion size.
- Ground Cloves
- Vanilla Extract
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – 2 Tablespoons
- Unsweetened Peanut Butter – 2 Tablespoons
- Unsweetened Cacao nibs – 1 ounce
- Maple Syrup – 1 Tablespoon
- Raisins – 1.5 Tablespoons
- Good Mix Blend 11 Cereal
- Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – limit to ½ cup
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies – limit to ½ cup
- Kellogg’s Crispix – limit to ½ cup
- Original Cheerios – limit to ½ cup
- Quinoa Supercereal
- Cinnamon Sprouted Buckwheat Groats
- Quaker Oats Original Instant Oatmeal – limit to ½ cup cooked
- Quaker Oats Steel Cut Oats – limit to ½ cup cooked
- Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – limit to ½ cup cooked
- Pocono Cream of Buckwheat
Low FODMAP Milk
Obviously, it’s tough to have cereal without milk, watery rice Krispies, anyone? Yuck!
All of these are low FODMAP friendly milk as long as intake is kept to 1 cup or less:
*Even though this type of milk is low FODMAP, you might not want to include it for other reasons. If you have a sensitivity or intolerance to milk proteins, whey, and/or casein, then even lactose-free milk can cause your gut distress.
Low FODMAP Cheese
While the cheeses listed here are technically approved, it’s worth mentioning again that dairy might not work for you if you’re dealing with gut issues due to the whey and/or casein content.
If you struggle with constipation, we recommend eliminating all forms of dairy (1).
You can read further about our stance on dairy in this blog post: The Healing Gut Diet.
As you’ll see in the suggestions below, some cheeses need to be limited due to lactose content (including but not limited to American, feta, mozzarella and queso).
Aged cheeses tend to be lower in lactose and don’t have specific portion sizes that need to be followed on a low FODMAP diet (cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, and brie for example).
The snacks below incorporate low FODMAP cheeses:
- Parm Crisps Original
- Whisps Cheddar Cheese Crisps
- Green Valley Lactose-Free Cream Cheese or Kite Hill Dairy Free Cream Cheese on rice crackers with 1/2 cup strawberries
- American Cheese (one ounce) with Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Cheddar cheese with 1/2 cup grapes
- Swiss cheese and ham roll ups
- Mozzarella cheese with tomato and basil
- Corn chips with one ounce of queso
- Rice crackers with cheddar cheese slices
- Brie on one slice of toasted sourdough bread (unless you are gluten free)
Is Fruit Low FODMAP?
All fruit contains fructose, so none of it is FODMAP free.
Some fruits are lower in FODMAP content than others and can be safely enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet. The key to being able to eat fruit on a low FODMAP diet is paying attention to your portion sizes.
The following fruits make great snack options and are considered low FODMAP fruits as long as you only eat ½ cup at one time. We’ve paired them with protein suggestions for balanced snacks.
- 1/2 banana with 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 1/2 cup of blueberries with a handful of walnuts
- 1 clementine with a beef stick
- 8 grapes with one ounce of brie
- 1 kiwi with a side of brie and 12 Mary’s Gone Crackers
- 1/2 cup strawberries with 1 tablespoon of almonds
Low FODMAP Vegetables
Many vegetables contain mannitol and fructans, which are limited on the low FODMAP diet.
The following vegetables make great snack options on a low FODMAP diet.
- Bell peppers (yellow, orange or red in any amount) – green bell peppers can be enjoyed as 1/2 cup to be low FODMAP
- Cherry tomatoes
- Kale chips (no garlic if store bought)
- Broccoli (1/2 cup)
- Pickled Onion (2 Tbsp)*
- Pickled Beetroot (2/3 cup)*
Cooking vegetables can make them easier to digest, so if raw veggies don’t seem to be working for you – try moving to only eating cooked for a few weeks and see if that makes a difference!
*According to new (and not yet published research) out of Monash University, pickling foods high in FODMAPs will reduce their FODMAP content. So much so that pickled onions and beetroot can be included in this diet at the specified serving size.
Low FODMAP Nuts & Seeds
Nuts, nut butters, and seeds should be limited to 2 tablespoons per meal or snack to be low FODMAP.
The list below is low FODMAP friendly as long as servings are kept to 2 tablespoons:
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Cashews and pistachios are not allowed in any amounts when following a low FODMAP diet.
Low FODMAP Indulgences
The main FODMAPs in sweets (both food and drinks) are fructose and sugar polyols.
High FODMAP sugars to avoid completely include:
- High fructose corn syrup (hello soda and even ketchup!)
- Sugar-free products because they typically contain sugar alcohols which aren’t low FODMAP
You can include these low FODMAP sugars at one tablespoon per meal or snack:
- Cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Sugar syrups (think Starbucks pumps)
Palm sugar and brown rice syrup also need to be limited, so make sure to read ingredient labels – these are great examples of FODMAPs that are added to food products.
We recommend limiting your added sugar intake for several reasons. In people with digestive issues, sugar often makes things worse because it contributes to imbalances in gut bacteria.
With that being said, here are some FODMAP-friendly treats to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Low FODMAP Desserts
- Alter Eco Chocolate Bars
- Super Blackout
- Mint Blackout
- Sea Salt
- Salted Almond
- Chocolove Chocolate Bars
- Extreme Dark
- Ginger Crystallized
- Theo Chocolate Bar
- Dark Chocolate
- Chili 70%
- Black Rice Quinoa Crunch
- Coconut Turmeric
- Justin’s Almond Butter Cups
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Hail Mary’s Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
- Katz Gluten Free Powdered Doughnut – limit to 1
Low FODMAP Cookies
- Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies – limit to 2
- Simple Mills Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies – limit to 4
- Deluxe Rice Cakes Coated in Dark Chocolate
- Nairn’s Gluten Free Oat Grahams
Low FODMAP Alcohol
Even though this isn’t a food, it’s important to mention alcohol because we get asked about it often.
We don’t recommend including alcohol while going through a gut healing protocol because it damages the gut.
Excessive intake of alcohol has been shown to:
- Decrease beneficial bacteria
- Increase unfavorable bacteria
- Increase intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut)
- Damage the lining of the gut
- Impact gut motility
If you still choose to include alcohol, these are the types that are approved by Monash University:
- Red, white or sparkling wine – limit to 1 glass
Hopefully you’re seeing that snacking on this diet can actually look like normal snacking! You may have to make a few adjustments for portion sizes, but overall following a low FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be overly restrictive.
Snacks are important to keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day.
Snacking can also help you not get overly hungry – this is really important when you’re on a limited diet because that’s when you’re most likely to get off course!
Even though this resource is extremely helpful, if you need one-on-one guidance, we recommend seeking out the help of an experienced low FODMAP dietitian.
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