Top 5 Most Confusing FODMAP Foods

11 April, 2018 , , ,

The low FODMAP* diet can give a real helping hand to many trying to have better control over their symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)… but it can also be a little complicated and hard to follow! You can eat this food, but not this one, on the other hand, if you don’t eat too much of it, it can be alright. Yikes!

Despite the many lists of high and low FODMAP foods one can find everywhere on the web and through helpful tools, such as our low FODMAP meal plans, it can be difficult to know which foods are truly low in FODMAPs and which are not. I aim to help shed some light today by presenting to you below the top 5 most confusing foods and food families in terms of their FODMAP content.

Lentils, chickpeas and beans

Legumes are high in FODMAP. Right? It’s true, they are, but with a few exceptions. All dry legumes that need to be rehydrated and cooked are high in FODMAP. But, when the legumes are canned, this changes. In fact, canned chickpeas and canned lentils are low in FODMAP, up to ½ cup (~75g).

This is because some of the FODMAPs that are in these legumes will migrate into the liquid (since FODMAPs are water soluble). The end result is a decrease in FODMAP concentration since canned legumes are rinsed before consumption and the liquid is discarded.

Green onions and leeks

Have you heard that you have to say goodbye to onions, at least during the FODMAP elimination period of the low FODMAP diet? You may even have read it in one of our articles

The truth is, for green onions and leeks, it’s only the white part of the vegetable that contains FODMAPs. Which means that the green part can be eaten without risking symptoms, since it is low in FODMAP!

If you do not want to waste the white part of the green onions or leeks, you can use chives or asafoetida powder instead for a similar flavour.

Berries and small fruit

One could easily think that all fruits belonging to the same family have the same FODMAP content. This is the case, for example, for citrus fruits, where one portion servings are all low-FODMAP, or pitted fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots, etc.) which are almost all high-FODMAP.

However, this is not the case for berries. In fact, despite the fact that most berries are low in FODMAPs, blackberries are high in FODMAP. During the exclusion period of FODMAPs, prioritize eating blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Tofu, soy beverage, tempeh, edamame…

Soy is a particularly complicated ingredient because it is used in so many forms. Here is the definitive list of soy products and their FODMAP content:

For more details on each of these foods, I invite you to read the article FODMAP Content in Soy: High or Low?

Spelt and sourdough bread

For spelt, it is the transformation of the cereal that makes all the difference. Indeed, spelt itself is high in FODMAP. It contains fructan, just like wheat and other grains. This means that spelt grains, spelt flour, spelt pasta and spelt flakes are all high in FODMAPs.

When spelt flour is fermented, for example in sourdough bread, the FODMAP content decreases. In fact, the leaven (the culture of bacteria and yeasts that are added to the flour in the production of sourdough bread) digests a good part of the fructans contained in the spelt flour and thus makes spelt sourdough bread low FODMAP.

So there you have it, I hope to have clarified some things for you. If you are unsure of the FODMAP content of other ingredients, I would be happy to answer your questions in the comments below!

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

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Author

Jef L'Ecuyer

Jef L’Ecuyer

Registered Dietitian, RD at SOScuisine.com

Member of the Quebec College of Dietitians (OPDQ) and Dietitians of Canada,Jef graduated from McGill University in December 2014. Recently graduated and passionate about culinary arts, Jef poses a simple, effective and practical look at daily meal planning. With this in mind, she works in conjunction with the mission of SOSCuisine…

Jef L'Ecuyer

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9 Responses to “Top 5 Most Confusing FODMAP Foods”

August 22, 2018 at 1:27 pm, Amy Jones said:

Hi Jef! Thank you for sharing this info.. This helps for my fodmap diet.

July 04, 2019 at 4:34 am, Jenjen said:

Hi , thank you for sharing this information. Very helpful .
I am just about to start on my elimination diet and I was wondering if you know what level chickpea tempeh would be please ?
I have searched to no avail.
Thank you , Jenjen

Cinzia Cuneo

July 10, 2019 at 11:02 am, Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hi Jenjen,
Tempeh should be low FODMAP. However in case of doubt, when you cannot find the info in the Monash app, I would leave this food until after the reintroduction.

September 06, 2019 at 9:04 pm, Valerie Emhof said:

Hi! Thank you so much for this ! I was wondering if you knew anything about chickpea pasta . Would that be ok in low dose ?

Cinzia Cuneo

September 08, 2019 at 4:48 pm, Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hi Valerie,
It must be avoided during the elimination phase.

September 22, 2019 at 6:19 pm, Lorraine Laframboise said:

Hi there,

I am celiac, have candidiasis and now also have to follow a low fodmap diet. I have other food intolerances and I am trying to determine what I cannot eat as I am encountering abdominal pain on a daily basis. I have read that I can eat unsweetened dark chocolate; however, I am unsure at this point in time. I am hoping that you can tell me what is acceptable on all three regimens so that I can eat a balanced diet and remain as healthy as possible at 71 years of age. I typically eat a breakfast of homemade vegetable, chicken and brown rice soup or a salad. I use the following vegetables in my meals: carrots, rutabaga, potato, green beans, broccoli, kale, swiss chard, boston lettuce, yellow and green zucchini, red cabbage, green cabbage, scallions, chives, tomatoes, radishes. I eat two to four grapes at a sitting and I incorporate wild blueberries into my pumpkin seed protein shake with coconut beverage. I am lactose intolerant; I have a high intolerance for almonds, cashews and most raw nuts. I can tolerate sunflower nut butter on occasion. I eat the occasional lactose free cheese. I eat duck eggs as I have an intolerance to chicken eggs. I eat pork, beef, chicken, turkey, fish such as cod, haddock, sole (wild) and organic salmon and trout. We try to buy organic meat as much as possible. I eat Irish soda bread made with cassava flour (one or two very small slices per day). I eat at least seven to eight vegetables a day, using the rainbow diet premise to ensure a wide variety of colour in my vegetables. I avoid apples, peaches, oranges, limes, banana, cherries and most fruit due to the sugar content. On my salads, I add organic apple cider vinegar and first cold pressed olive oil and add a bit of chives, sea salt and black pepper. I also use wild rice in my soups or brown rice pasta or quinoa. I drink peppermint tea, ginger tea, green tea and fennel seed tea. I drink lots of water. I also drink silk coconut beverage (unsweetened) in my smoothies or when I have made a gluten free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free muffin. I use pure monk fruit extract or stevia to sweeten anything I eat and only on occasion.

If you can add to my repertoire, I would be thrilled to obtain your opinion about my meal choices.

Thank you for your assistance on my journey.

Cinzia Cuneo

October 15, 2019 at 8:15 pm, Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hello Lorraine,
Since FODMAPs are adding up, it’s very hard to give you an opinion about your diet without knowing the exact quantity of some of the ingredients you mentioned. For example, if you eat broccoli and cabbage in the same meal, this may not be low-FODMAP any more. If you wish to have good advice, please consider subscribing to our VIP Nutrition service.

October 15, 2019 at 12:50 pm, Rebecca Forkner said:

Hello! Thanks so much for these clarifications!! One additional question is in regards to wheat sourdough bread… this is different from spelt sourdough, right? But also low FODMAP because of the fermentation process?

Cinzia Cuneo

October 15, 2019 at 8:21 pm, Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hello Rebecca,
Spelt (Triticum Spelta) is an ancient cereal grain in the wheat family. Spelt flour is almost always produced from the whole spelt grain. Wheat flour, instead, is predominantly milled to produce more commercially interesting flour derived from only part of the wheat grain.

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