Just because a food is low FODMAP that doesn’t mean you can eat an unlimited amount. Even low FODMAP foods can become high FODMAP in large serves. This means portion control is always important. Do you know which common low FODMAP foods to watch out for?
Low FODMAP Foods That Need Portion Control
I love zucchini. It’s delicious roasted, fried or spiralised… however it is very easy to go over the recommend portion size especially if you are creating zoodles (zucchini noodles). This means I recommend that you weigh your zucchini before cooking and stick to the low FODMAP 65g (1/3 cup) serve (1). Zucchini contains moderate FODMAP levels at a 70g serve and becomes high FODMAP for fructans in large serves of 100g (1, Monash App 2017).
2. Rice Cakes
Looking for a light lunch? Then rice cakes with chive dip, smoked chicken, tomato and spinach might be your answer! Just keep in mind that the recommended serving size is 2 cakes (28g) (1). Rice cakes do vary in size so check the packet to see what each cake weighs. Avoid large serves of 4 cakes, which contain high amounts of fructans (1).
3. Canned Tomato
I have seen a lot of ‘low FODMAP’ recipes that use a high FODMAP serve of canned tomatoes per person. The major offenders here are often spaghetti bolognese recipes and creamy chicken masala recipes. Keep in mind that the low FODMAP portion is 92g per person (1). This means if you are using a 400g can of tomatoes it needs to be divided between 4 serves. Canned tomatoes contain moderate levels of excess fructose at 115g serves and become high FODMAP for fructose at 180g serves (1), Monash App 2017). If you want to make your tomato based sauce go further trying mixing 400g can of tomato with 2 tablespoon of tomato paste, ½ cup of low FODMAP chicken stock, and some cornflour/corn starch to thicken, then divide between 4 serves.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are so versatile. You can use them as an egg replacer, add them to smoothies for more protein & fibre, or use them to create a high fibre breakfast via a delicious chia seed bowl. Keep in mind that most chia seed bowls contain a high FODMAP serve of chia seeds. The low FODMAP serve is 2 tablespoons and they become high FODMAP at 4 tablespoons (1). Check out my recipe to find out how to create a low FODMAP chocolate chia seed bowl using the safe portion size.
5. Green Beans
Whether you like them smothered in butter, roasted in the oven, or tossed into a stir-fry, green beans make a great low FODMAP veggie. Just don’t get caught off guard! Serving sizes are important… green beans are low FODMAP at 15 beans (75g) but contain moderate amounts of FODMAPs at 25 beans (125g), so make sure you watch your portion size (2). If you are still feeling hungry add a serve of another low FODMAP veggie to your meal.
6. Gluten Free Pasta
Large servings of gluten free pasta are high FODMAP. This means you need to make sure you stick to the 1 cup or 145g low FODMAP serving size for cooked gluten free pasta. (1) A good rule of thumb is that your dry pasta will double in weight so use 75g dried pasta or less per serve. Check out my tomato free beef spaghetti bolognese for a delicious gluten free pasta dish.
7. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a lovely stir-fry vegetable. However it does contain sorbitol. At a 1 cup (75g) serve the sorbitol in bok choy is within the low FODMAP limits. However, as soon as you increase that serve to 1 1/2 small bulbs (112g) it does contain moderate amounts of FODMAPs (1). So make sure you portion control that bok choy before you throw it in your stir-fry.
The general rule for low FODMAP fruit is to only have one serve at a time. However, when berries are cooked or you are making a smoothie it is very easy to go over the recommended portion size. This is particularly problematic for blueberries. Blueberries are low FODMAP in 20 berry (28g) serve but become high FODMAP for fructans at a 40 berry (60g) serve (1). This means when you are making a blueberry crumble always weigh your berries and divide the crumble into the recommended number of serves.
9. Green Capsicum/Pepper
Making stuffed peppers? These are delicious but take care selecting the colour of your pepper. Green capsicums or peppers are less mature and higher in FODMAPs than their fully ripened red counter parts. If you use a whole green capsicum per serve when cooking stuffed peppers, then they will become high FODMAP. Use the low FODMAP serve of ½ cup or 52g (1). For larger serves try using a red capsicum/pepper instead.
10. Rice Crackers
When it comes to rice crackers I get eating amnesia and can easily demolish the entire packet! This is not good especially as I malabsorb fructans… The safe serve for rice crackers is 20 crackers and they become high FODMAP at 35 crackers (1). To make the safe serve more filling I like to top my rice crackers with low FODMAP hummus and smoked chicken.
There are lots of delicious low FODMAP foods we can enjoy, however portion sizes are important. Make sure you check the Monash Low FODMAP app so you don’t get caught out!