There Are High FODMAP Foods With Low FODMAP Serving Sizes
There are many ways to know whether a food contains FODMAPs, and if so, whether it is low enough in FODMAPs to consume safely while on the Elimination Phase of the diet.
And, if you haven’t already, you will discover many High FODMAP Foods With Low FODMAP Serving Sizes, which is what this article addresses.
The Monash University Traffic Light System
We highly recommend that you download the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Smartphone app. Yes, it costs money, but Monash is the developer of the diet and they routinely lab test foods and make updates to the app and all the money goes back to research on the low FODMAP diet.
They originated the “traffic light” system for the app. (Any other low FODMAP app with a traffic light system is a pale imposter, with often incorrect information). Red Light means High FODMAP content, Yellow (or amber) Light means Moderate FODMAP content and Green Light means Low FODMAP content.
Here is the MOST important thing you need to pay attention to:
These lights refer to “serving sizes”. Please also read our accompanying article, What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size? (COMING SOON)
This means that while a whole piece of fruit, or a cup of something, or 50 grams of a food might have a scary Red Light attached to it, that same food might also have a safe, low FODMAP Green Light serving size amount. Always click through every Red Light and Yellow Light entry in the app to see if there is a Green Light serving size.
Red Light Doesn’t Always Mean STOP
We like to say a Red light doesn’t mean stop, it means learn more! Dive in deeper. You might be surprised.
We know from speaking with so many of you and from spending time on social media that too many FODMAPers stop when they see a Red Light – and that means they are missing out on delicious food and what is best for their health.
Low FODMAP Foods Beyond The App
With the frequent updates and large database, the Monash app continues to be the easiest and most reliable resource. But let’s say you are reading something somewhere that says a particular food is high FODMAP.
Or, maybe you are looking at a splashy graphic on social media that has a column of high FODMAP foods and a column of low FODMAP foods. Read carefully. Most often we see incomplete information.
That ripe banana and/or avocado under the high FODMAP category is probably scaring you away from eating any. YOU CAN EAT THEM! Safely, even during Elimination.
Serving sizes are often not addressed, particularly on social media. This diet is not meant to be learned in tiny, incomplete sound bites.
Read on. We will explain how you can eat that ripe banana and avocado and so much more.
Our Favorite Red Light High FODMAP Foods You Can Eat
Here are some of our favorite foods that (at this time) are given a Red Light listing by Monash but that also DO have a safe, low FODMAP Green Light serving size.
Please note that Monash updates the app and occasionally they change serving sizes, so an entry that once might have had a Red Light next to it, might earn a Yellow or Green light at another time.
Still, you can extrapolate from our information here what you need to know, which is essentially how to read the app and understand the lab testing – that this is all about relation to serving size.
Avocado is our #1 favorite high FODMAP Red Light food! Hands down. Why? Because avocados are so delicious, and you CAN have 30 g of avocado, which is a generous amount.
Below in the image, the clear bowl contains 30 g diced avocado and the toast has 30 g of avocado on top.
That is the amount that Monash has lab tested (see below) as safe and low FODMAP. That’s enough for Avocado Toast, Guacamole, and even 7-Layer Dip. And, BTW, ignore when you see the words “1/8 of an avocado is safe”.
There is no such thing as a “standard” size avocado. They can range from 3-ounces (85 g) to 2-pounds (910 g) and an eighth of a two-pounder is NOT going to be low FODMAP. ALWAYS go by weight. Read our article Is Avocado Low FODMAP? for more info.
You have probably seen almonds listed on both high FODMAP food lists as well as low FODMAP lists. We think the Green Light amount of 10 whole almonds at 12 g is a generous amount for a snack or to be incorporated into a recipe, such as a pesto, streusel, cake, like our Clementine Almond Cake, scattered on savory dishes, candied, salted, etc.
If that recipe suggests 8 servings, you are well below the FODMAP threshold – if you stick to the serving size recommendations.
What can you do with 10 g of celery, which is about a quarter of a stalk? We think a lot! That’s enough to add to classic tuna salad or egg salad or to add to a soup or stock. Or just spread some PB on there with a few raisins and you have the classic “ants-on-a-log” snack.
Speaking of raisins, they get a bad rap and a Red Light, too. But there is a low FODMAP Green Light serving size of raisins of 1 Australian tablespoon at 13 g. We use them in granola, to top salads, fold into batters – check out our Low FODMAP Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Peaches have a Red light next to them, so everyone steers clear and thinks they are high FODMAP. They are at larger amounts. But look at the image below. Each wedge is 30 g of yellow peaches and that amount is low FODMAP. We used them in a sauce for duck that we think is just splendid.
Another Red Light favorite. A generous heaping ¼ cup (40 g) of blueberries is Green Light low FODMAP. That is plenty to top your cereal or yogurt or to even make a super-simple Maple Blueberry Compote to top pancakes and waffles, Crumb Topped Berry Slab Pie, Blueberry Pie or our Kale Salad.
It is true that this cabbage is higher FODMAP than conventional green cabbage, but there is a low FODMAP serving of ½ cup (40 g). This is plenty to incorporate into a slaw, stir-fry or other dish, such as our Low FODMAP Asian Tofu Noodle Papaya Salad and our Asian Steak & Noodle Salad with Peanuts & Mint.
Sweet Corn (corn on the cob):
Corn might have a Red Light next to it on the app, but click through and you will see that ½ cob at 38 g is Green Light and low FODMAP.
Check out our recipe shown below for Grilled Corn with Garlic Herb Butter. It is low FODMAP!. Or try the Mexican Style Street Corn, or Grilled Corn Salsa. Summer is coming – eat fresh corn!
Snow Peas are a triple threat, containing FODMAPs in three categories: GOS, Fructans and Mannitol. But did you know that 5 snow pea pods at 16 g are low FODMAP? No need to avoid completely.
We love ripe bananas. They are the best kind for smoothies (especially frozen) and for baking. One-third of a medium ripe banana (35 g) is low FODMAP, which is enough to bake and make all kinds of delectable goodies such as banana bread, Low FODMAP Banana Cream Pie, our very own Mocha Banana Smoothie – and have you seen our Salted Caramel Banana Cake?
Look below. Pay attention to serving sizes and you can enjoy all of these amazing low FODMAP recipes.
Yes, apples! Okay bear with me here. 20 g for Pink Lady apples and 25 g for Granny Smith apples is a small amount but that’s what we have to work with – and we have made Charoset with them, added them to chicken salad, incorporated them into muffins, schmeared a few slices with peanut butter for a snack…you get the idea. The point is – you CAN have a small bit of apple.
Have we convinced you? We hope so. Always fully explore an ingredient. You might discover that there is a lab-tested low FODMAP serving size.
Of course, after a well-structured Challenge Phase you will know your individual tolerances, which you should always listen to.
We know that the low FODMAP diet is nuanced and can be confusing. This is why you should always undertake the diet with the help of a FODMAP trained Registered Dietitian.
If this article helps even just a few of you understand the diet more completely and encourages you to approach your diet in a broader way, then we have accomplished our goal.
Similarly, the goal of the third Integration Phase of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, which is what is healthiest for your gut and general health in the long run.