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Is Honey Low FODMAP?

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Is honey low FODMAP? The short answer is yes, and it depends on your honey. Monash University has lab tested clover honey as well as what they simply label as “honey” and report different findings. 

A display of different types of honey on a wooden counter.

Is Honey Low FODMAP?

Below is what is presented in the Monash Smartphone App. According to Monash University:

  • Honey – low FODMAP at 1 teaspoon or 7 g.
  • Clover Honey – low FODMAP at ½ teaspoon or 3 g.

FODMAP Friendly has lab tested honey as well and gives it a “Fail” at 2 teaspoons or 15 g, which is double what Monash tested, which is unfortunate, so we do not know what their findings would have been for lower amounts.

The FODMAP in question for honey is fructose

Let’s Talk Excess Fructose

When we are talking about fructose from a FODMAP perspective, we are looking to see if it is present in a food in excess of glucose. If there is more glucose than fructose in a food item, then it is low FODMAP. It the fructose is present in a higher ratio, then the food is high FODMAP due to the difference in how this ratio is digested.

Some low FODMAP foods might not be fructose free, but they are lower in fructose in relation to glucose and therefore considered low FODMAP. And of course, some low FODMAP foods contain no fructose at all.

When you look at the fine print in the Monash honey smartphone app entries, you will see this statement under the Moderate and High FODMAP amounts: “This serving contains moderate/high amounts of excess fructose, intake should be limited/avoided if you malabsorb fructose.”

What Causes Fructose Malabsorption?

In order to understand how and why fructose may be malabsorbed, it’s important to first understand how it is absorbed, which we explain in our article What Are Monosaccharides? Learn All About the “M” in FODMAP!

The short story is that everyone malabsorbs fructose if it is consumed in excessive amounts, but about one-third of the population has an extremely limited absorption capacity and are considered to have “fructose malabsorption.”

Fructose malabsorption, is not the same thing as hereditary fructose intolerance, which is a potentially serious condition that is diagnosed in infants when they begin consuming food or formula that contains fructose or sucrose.

If you have fructose malabsorption or a hereditary fructose intolerance, then honey would not be a wise choice for you.

How To Use Honey On The Low FODMAP Diet

Honey has a very strong flavor and a little goes a long way. If you love honey and are following the low FODMAP diet, then you can use it judiciously.

Always start with lab tested low FODMAP recommended amounts per serving.

  • Use honey in your homemade salad dressings (try our Poppy Seed Dressing).
  • Stir a little into your hot tea.
  • Make a honey/sugar syrup to sweeten cold tea and beverages.
  • Brush honey on top of baked goods as they emerge from the oven, as we did with our Baked Doughnuts.
  • Make our Hot Lemon Honey Ginger Tea!
  • Present Apples & Honey as part of your Rosh Hashanah holiday.
  • Make our Apple & Walnut Charoset, which features low FODMAP amounts of apples and honey!
  • Spread a slice of toasted sourdough with low FODMAP cream cheese or ricotta and drizzle with honey.
  • Low FODMAP amounts of honey can often be incorporated into bread recipes when the amount is calculated per serving/slice.
  • A little honey over your oatmeal or Overnight Oats & Chia is a great way to take advantage of the sweetening power of a small amount of honey.
  • Drizzle honey over yogurt and fruit.
  • We have a Low FODMAP Walnut Baklava with a little honey in the syrup that you will love.
  • Our Honey Cake is a lovely, simple cake baked in a decorative pan.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey per serving would be plenty when making small size fruit popsicles.
  • Be creative!
honeycomb in clear boxes, stacked on top of one another
Support your local beekeepers! This is local honey from the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts.

As always, eat to your tolerances.

You might be interested in our articles, What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size? and also Ask The Right Question: Is It Low FODMAP vs. Can I Tolerate This?

And for additional articles on other low FODMAP sweeteners, check out our Explore An Ingredient: Sugar and our article on Maple Syrup.

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