Got Bad Breath? Yes, We Asked! Breath Mints to the Rescue
We don’t mean to pry. It happens to us and we assume once in a while it might happen to you, too. But are breath mints low FODMAP?
Some are, and some aren’t. Back to label reading and understanding ingredients, folks.
Dry Mouth Is An Issue
In addition to bad breathe, some of us experience dry mouth. It could be that we are taking medications that have dry mouth as a side effect, or maybe we are in a very dry environment – there are many reasons for dry mouth.
But the issues are the same – we need a low FODMAP choice. Something to suck on that doesn’t trigger IBS symptoms.
Choosing Low FODMAP Mints
The thing is that in the old pre-FODMAP days, we could run into a convenience store, gas station or drug store and take our pick of breath mints or chewing gum. But, if you are a label reader, you know that all of these are potential minefields containing high FODMAP ingredients, specifically Polyols. Luckily there is an easy way to know what to look for on labels. Look for these ingredients ending in -ol:
Steer Clear Of These Sugars:
You want to avoid all of these, but when reading breath mint, candy or gum labels keep an eye out for sorbitol, xylitol and maltitol in particular. They seem to really trigger IBS symptoms in many people.
A Special Note About Erythritol
According to Monash University:
“Erythritol appears to be well absorbed in the small intestine….One study showed that Erythritol is more difficult for bacteria in the large intestine to break down, so might be less likely to cause gas or bloating symptoms than other sugar polyols (even when it is malabsorbed), but more research is needed to clarify this…Unfortunately, the effects of Erythritol have not been studied in people with IBS, so whether or not this is a problematic polyol for people with IBS remains unclear…”
What Should I Buy?
So back to the bad breath issue, or maybe you just want a mint. For peppermint, we reach for the original peppermint Altoids, classic PepOMint (peppermint) Life Savers, Trader Joe’s Organic Peppermints and Newman’s Own Organic Mints.
Some have “natural flavors” and those are not something we love to see on labels, but they are used in small amounts and overall, these are your best bets for breath mints because they are sweetened with plain old sugar, which is low FODMAP, or in the case of the Trader Joe’s, maple syrup as well.
It was surprisingly hard to find mints or gum that were sweetened with just regular sugar and other low FODMAP sweeteners!
Note that the Altoids contain gelatin, which won’t work for vegans. The Life Savers have the simplest ingredient label. And you can see that in the case of the Trader Joe’s, they are even labeled as vegan and gluten-free as well. As with all untested food, try a small amount (1 mint) and see how you feel.
For flavors other than plain ‘ole peppermint, check out Trader Joe’s Organic Gingermints and Newman’s Own Cinnamon Mints, which are both low FODMAP as well.
Where Can I Buy?
If you are stopping at a gas station or convenience store, you will be able to find the Altoids and Life Savers. We have a Trader Joe’s near us, but we were excited to see that you can buy those and the Newman’s online.
Some Sugars Are OK – In Small Amounts
There are many sugars that are low FODMAP and okay even during the Elimination phase, such as regular white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, rice syrup, golden syrup and corn syrup (not HFCS), to name a few. Most of these are not used in candy, except sugar and corn syrup, so those are the most applicable to this article.
If you are a candy fan in general, check out our article on CANDY choices and also Candy Ingredients. Whether it is Halloween, Easter, or just any occasion where you are wondering about which bandies you can have, we have these two deep-dive articles for you. We also have articles on dark, milk and white chocolate. Take a look!