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Got Bad Breath? Low FODMAP Breath Mints to the Rescue

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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?

Got Bad Breathe? Altoids & Lifesavers breath 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:

  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
  • Mannitol
  • Maltitol
  • Lactitol
  • Isomalt

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 Peppermint Life Savers, Trader Joe’s Organic Peppermints and Newman’s Own Organic Mints.

Got Bad Breathe? Altoids tin label. breath mintsSome 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.

You can read more about understanding natural flavors in this article, here.

Got Bad Breathe? trader joe's peppermint tin. breath mintsIt was surprisingly hard to find mints or gum that were sweetened with just regular sugar and other low FODMAP sweeteners!

Got Bad Breathe? Trader Joe's peppermints. breath mints

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.

Got Bad Breathe? Lifesaver label closeup. Got Bad Breathe? Trader Joe's peppermints. breath mints

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 have a favorite low FODMAP mint, let us know what it is!

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