Low-FODMAP Label Reading

You may recognize most of the major high FODMAP foods at this point. While it is important to have a diet that is focused on whole foods (as in foods that do not come with an ingredient list) it is inevitable that we are going to rely in part on some packaged food items that do come with ingredient lists. It can be intimidating when you are following the low-FODMAP diet, whether in the elimination phase, or in your ongoing maintenance (or as I like to call it, personalization phase).

This is a list of some of the common ingredients that you should check labels for when you are following the low-FODMAP diet:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Inulin or Chicory root
  • Artificial Sugars: sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol, isomalt
  • Onion powder (or onion flavoring)
  • Garlic powder (or garlic flavoring)
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Honey
  • Agave

You may find High fructose corn syrup used as a sweetener in sodas, granola bars, cereals, and candy. Inulin, sometimes written as chicory root fiber is often added to foods to increase fiber content so this is often found in foods that are labeled high-fiber like granola bars. Artificial sweeteners are found in products labeled as sugar-free, including gum and cough drops. Onion and garlic are used for flavoring and you will find these in salad dressings, soups, sauces. Fruit juice concentrate (which may be high-FODMAP if made of apple or pear, in particular) along with honey and agave are used as sweeteners and may be found in baked goods, waffles, cereals, and others.

In addition to reading lists of ingredients to see if there are things that you are sensitive to, you should also consider the placement on the list. Food companies are required to list ingredients in order of volume. In other words, the ingredients that are listed first are most plentiful, and the ingredients toward the end of the list may be used in very small quantities. This means that even if you do have sensitivity to a food, like honey, you may find that if you have having a granola bar where honey is listed as the last ingredient, you may be able to tolerate it without issue.

Feeling bloated and uncomfortable and think it might have something to do with what you are eating? It’s time to turn things around and feel confident and comfortable in your skinny jeans. We’ve got you covered with our What the FODMAP Program. Check it out, it’s calling your name!


This post was originally published on the GastroGirl blog.