If you are anything like me, you absolutely LOVE grocery shopping, reading nutrition labels, and especially finding new delicious products at the store! Do we not have this in common? The good news is that if you are not up for an adventure to the store, I am going to take a lot of the guesswork out of low-FODMAP shopping to make it a stress-free experience.
I am going to talk about some of the more difficult categories to navigate at the grocery store. One very exciting update is that as the low-FODMAP diet gets more popular, food companies are getting on board and are making special low-FODMAP products. This is a link to a handy low-FODMAP grocery list from Kate Scarlata’s blog.
There are always a lot of questions about bread because there is an overlap with gluten-free products, but a bread can be gluten-free and high-FODMAP, or even low FODMAP and not gluten-free. Huh? Although FODMAPs and gluten are both found in wheat, barley, and rye – there are actually sourdough breads made from wheat that are low-FODMAP. When choosing a sourdough bread look for a product that is made without yeast as that ensures it is made through a traditional fermentation process. There are also gluten-free breads that ARE low-FODMAP including Udi’s White Bread. If you are evaluating a gluten-free bread to see if it is low-FODMAP be sure to check for honey, agave, inulin and fruit juice concentrate.
Pasta is similar to bread – but it is actually easier to evaluate because it tends to have many fewer ingredients than bread. Gluten-free pasta that is made of rice, quinoa, or corn will be suitable on the diet. If you are evaluating a pasta to see if it is suitable for the low-FODMAP diet, you will want to avoid products made of wheat, beans, or lentils. There are several gluten-free pasta brands on the market now that use chickpeas or lentils as the main ingredient and these will not be suitable.
You have the pasta, but what are you going to put on top of it if you are not using garlic or onions? One of my favorite ways to enjoy pasta is with olive oil and parmesan cheese, but if you have a hankering for red sauce do not fear – you have options and you don’t have to slave over the stove. There are two brands that I have seen that make tomato sauce without onions and garlic. FODY Foods and Rao’s sensitive formula will both work for you. If you are evaluating a pasta sauce for low-FODMAP compliance be sure to check for onions and garlic which are in most store bought varieties.
There are a lot of great options for low-FODMAP cereal and you don’t have to search for anything hard-to-find. You can enjoy oatmeal, or even a bowl of Cheerios! When you are evaluating a cereal you want to look for wheat, honey, inulin, and fruit juice concentrate. You can top your cereal with lactose-free milk or almond milk. Although not a FODMAP, try to choose cereals that are lower in sugar for overall health.
When I started working with clients on the low-FODMAP diet it was very hard to find snack bars to carry on-the-go. I am happy to report that this is no longer a major issue due to new brands entering the low-FODMAP market. FODY Foods, True Self Foods, Rachel Paul’s all make low-FODMAP bars that you can order online. Although they have not been tested, GoMacro Peanut Butter bars appear to be low-FODMAP from the ingredient list and I like them a lot. 88 Acres also makes a chocolate sea salt granola bar that appears to be low-FODMAP compliant. When you are evaluating a snack bar look out for honey, agave, inulin, cashews, and milk solids.
Danielle Capalino MSPH, RD