Spices, Flavours and a Low-FODMAP Diet

April 6, 2021 ,

Thanks to the Monash University testing performed on the *FODMAP content of many foods, we know which ones to avoid and those we can consume in moderation. It is therefore easy to know what quantity of quinoa, almonds, broccoli or onions you can eat (or not) when following a low-FODMAP diet. What becomes more complicated is when you need to examine processed or ultra-processed food products. In this article we help you to understand what to do if the product in question mentions “spices” or “natural flavours” or “artificial flavours” in their list of ingredients.

While it’s always best to cook your own meals and avoid ultra-processed foods, you might still choose to eat them and be confused by the FODMAP content of items in their lists of ingredientsHopefully the product in question has been tested by Monash University and you can find it in the app, but what if you can’t find it, what can you do then?

Whether you are in Canada, the United States, or in Europe, the labelling regulations are not the same. So be careful with the following labels.

Should I avoid products containing “spices”?

In the United States, manufacturers must declare the presence of garlic and onions on their food labels and cannot hide them under the ingredient “spices.” So, there is no need to avoid foods containing spices.

In Canada, manufacturers are not required to declare specific ingredients contained under the term “spices”. However, in Canada, this term refers to the aromatic part of the plant such as the seed, fruit, or bark, and is therefore very unlikely to contain onions or garlic. It is therefore not necessary to avoid foods containing spices.

On the other hand, in Europe, if a product contains the term “spices”, then it may contain garlic or onions. If you want to be clear about it you can contact the company directly to ask. Otherwise it is better not to consume the product as a precaution.

*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.

Pages: 1 2


Jennifer Morzier
Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian graduated from the University of Montreal in December 2018 and is a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ). She believes that the quality of our food choices has a direct impact on our health and energy level. Her goal? To help people improve the quality of what they put in their plates, for their better well-being and greater pleasure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to give the best user experience, monitor the site performance, offer social networks features, or display advertisements. By clicking "ACCEPT", you consent to the use of cookies in accordance to our privacy policy.

Our weekly newsletter includes:

  • Recipes, tips and advice on healthy eating
  • Occasional promotions on products & services from SOSCuisine and some trusted partners
  • Occasional invitations to help scientific research by answering surveys or participating in studies
  • Your email address will never be shared without your permission and you may unsubscribe at any time.
SOSCuisine, 3470 Stanley, Suite 1605, Montreal, QC, H3A 1R9, Canada.