10 Best Low FODMAP Snacks
When you’re on a low FODMAP diet, it can be difficult to find foods and snacks that work for you. Here is a list of the best low FODMAP snacks to keep you energized and full.
What is low FODMAP?
If you’ve ever eaten a meal and found yourself bloated, gassy, or uncomfortable soon afterwards, then there’s a chance that you may be sensitive to foods that are high in FODMAPS.
FODMAPS is an acronym that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are types of sugars – present in many foods – that can lead to intestinal problems in sensitive individuals.
The symptoms of sensitivity to FODMAPS include:
- Stomach Cramps
- Gas and flatulence
Because FODMAPS are not well absorbed by the small intestine, they create excessive gas and increase the amount of fluid in the bowel. These changes then affect the way in which food is digested, causing discomfort.
Research has shown that a diet low in FODMAPS can help prevent these symptoms in people with functional gastrointestinal disorders, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) in particular.
However, experts recommend that you only embark on a low FODMAP diet in the long term under the care and guidance of a medical professional. This is because FODMAPS are present in so many different foods that cutting them out of your diet can be quite restrictive, possibly leading to nutritional deficiencies if not monitored.
Foods to avoid
Different foods tend to affect people in different ways. However, almost everyone agrees that onion and garlic are the worst offenders when it comes to digestive discomfort, so it is worth trying to cut them out altogether.
This includes avoiding garlic salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Although these are present in lots of recipes and seem almost impossible to avoid, the good news is that you can still enjoy garlic oil.
Other foods to avoid include:
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, beets, and chickpeas.
Pulses and legumes like lentils, kidney beans, edamame (and products containing soy).
Products containing wheat and grains, including bread, biscuits, cakes, cereals, pasta, noodles, and granola bars.
Fruits such as apples, blackberries, cherries, pears, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, mangoes, and watermelon.
Foods high in lactose, including cow’s milk, ice cream, some cheeses (particularly ricotta and mascarpone), cream, custard, and yogurt.
Sweeteners such as honey, agave nectar, molasses, isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, sugar-free candy, and products made with high fructose corn syrup.
Dips, spreads, and condiments such as hummus, jam, jellies, pesto, and relish.
Best low FODMAP snacks
So, when you’re on a restricted FODMAP diet, you may be wondering what snacks you can eat?
You certainly don’t need to go hungry when you’re eating this way. Here is a list of ten of the best low FODMAP snacks to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
1. Hard-boiled eggs
High in protein, easy to prepare and versatile, hard-boiled eggs may be the most perfect low FODMAP snacks of all!
You can keep it simple and enjoy them with just a touch of salt, or cook a batch and mash the yolks with a little mayo and seasoning to create FODMAP-friendly deviled eggs.
Plain popcorn is fine for a low FODMAP diet, but if you want a little more flavor the best option is to air pop it at home and add ingredients that you know you can tolerate. These can include savory spices like paprika and ginger, or a sweet mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Avoid buying pre-popped popcorn because you could react to anything from the oils it was popped in, to the sweeteners added to it.
3. Banana with almond butter or peanut butter
Whereas ripe bananas are high in FODMAPS, unripe bananas (with green tips and no brown spots) are low in oligo-fructans, making them safe to eat.
Try serving them with up to 2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter, but take care to check the label and avoid any nut butter containing high fructose corn syrup, molasses, or other high FODMAP sweeteners.
Alternatively, make your own simple nut butter by blending roasted nuts with a little salt and loosening the mixture with peanut oil. If you wish, you can then add sugar to taste.
4. Rice cakes
Up to two rice cakes at a time fit perfectly into a low FODMAP diet. If you’re looking for a flavored variety, check the label for problematic ingredients.
Better still, add your own toppings to rice cakes so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting! Ideas include nut or seed butters, sliced unripe banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a simple tuna salad.
Sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds make delicious snacks and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Try mixing them together with a little oil, adding your favorite sweet or spicy flavorings, then roasting in a very low oven until golden and dry (usually around 15 to 20 minutes). Your seeds will last for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container, so make a big batch and you can use them as a crunchy topping for salads, too.
6. Carrot sticks
You can enjoy carrot sticks as often as you like on a low FODMAP diet – and since baby carrots are simply standard carrots cut to a smaller size, you can enjoy those too.
Carrots are great raw or cooked – and roasted carrot sticks are a real treat! Just make sure you cut all the sticks the same size, then toss them in a little oil and your favorite seasonings. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for around 45 minutes, turning with a spatula halfway through the cooking time.
Olives are so packed with flavor that they make a very satisfying snack and both the green and black varieties are low in FODMAPS.
They are great served with any cheese that you don’t react to, and you can customize them to taste just the way you prefer by marinating them in olive oil and fresh herbs.
Although blackberries are best avoided because they are particularly high in FODMAPS, other berries – such as raspberries and blueberries – can be enjoyed in small amounts.
The exception to this rule is strawberries, which are considered low FODMAP and can be eaten much more freely.
Why not try something a little different and sprinkle them with a little black pepper, which is believed to really bring out their flavor? Or, try this Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie.
9. Homemade energy balls
These are not only tasty and delicious, but they are easy to make and don’t need cooking (yay!). There are no hard and fast rules for creating energy balls and you can use any ingredients that you can tolerate well and enjoy eating.
If you’re looking for a basic recipe to get started, try blending together 3/4 cup of smooth peanut butter with 1 cup of old-fashioned oats, 2 oz of dark chocolate, a pinch of salt and 1/3 cup rice malt syrup. Once blended, divide into small balls, roll firmly, then chill. You can keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
See my homemade energy ball recipes for Double Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Bites.
10. Chia pudding
Chia seeds may be tiny, but they are incredibly nutritious.
They are also capable of soaking up LOTS of liquid, so try mixing them with a FODMAP friendly milk like almond or coconut milk and they’ll swell up overnight to create a tasty chia pudding!
Just 1 cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of dry chia seeds will create 2 servings, and you can add vanilla or low FODMAP, sweet fruits like strawberries for extra flavor. See my recipe for a Whole30 Vanilla Chia Pudding.
When you first consider a low FODMAP diet and see how many foods you need to avoid, it can seem pretty overwhelming. But the good news is that there are still plenty of foods that you can enjoy, especially if you learn to get a little creative and think about preparing familiar foods in new ways.
Remember, too, that foods high in FODMAPS are not necessarily “forbidden” – if you try them and they don’t cause any problems, then you can put them back on the menu.
Living with IBS and other digestive disorders can be miserable – so it’s good to take back control with some dietary tweaks that can help bring real relief from your symptoms.
Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.