Social media has been in an uproar since the latest Monash University FODMAP Diet App update. The reason why? Well, strawberries have been reclassified from a food that contains only small amounts of FODMAPs to a food that needs good portion size control.
This has left some of you feeling upset and confused. We get it – no one likes to find out that a favourite food needs to be approached with moderation!
So what happened? In this article we will cover:
- Possible reasons why the FODMAP levels of strawberries might change
- How many strawberries you can still enjoy in the first phase of the diet
- What to do if you were eating large serves of strawberries
- Low FODMAP strawberry recipes you can still enjoy
- Can you use strawberries for a fructose reintroduction
- How A Little Bit Yummy is handling this update
Why did the FODMAP rating of strawberries change?
Strawberries have gone from an ‘eat freely’ food with very low levels of FODMAPs to a fruit that has low FODMAP, moderate FODMAP and high FODMAP serving sizes (1). Essentially what this means is that Monash University are now recommending that you only enjoy small serves of strawberries during the first phase of the low FODMAP diet.
So why has this FODMAP level changed?
As the science around the low FODMAP diet progresses we are learning that different factors can affect FODMAP levels. No two strawberries will be exactly the same. It’s possible that strawberries grown in different locations or stored in different ways could have different FODMAP levels. This means strawberries grown in one part of the country could be lower in FODMAPs than strawberries grown in a different area (and vice versa). Additionally, the ripeness of the strawberry could be an important factor that influences FODMAP levels. We know that as fruit ripens the fructose levels of the fruit can often increase – as strawberries become high FODMAP for fructose this could be an impacting factor.
The bottom line here is that there is likely to be a couple of factors affecting the FODMAP levels of strawberries. The more samples Monash University test the more information they gather.
How many strawberries can you enjoy in the first phase of the low FODMAP diet?
The silver lining here is that strawberries do not need to be off the menu in the first phase of the low FODMAP diet. Instead, you just need to be mindful of your serving size. Five strawberries is a low FODMAP serving so you can continue to enjoy this amount (1, 2). Then leave 3-4 hours before you have your next serve and limit the amount of fruit you have in a meal to 1 serve.
I was eating large serves of strawberries without any issues – what should I do?
This is a great question. Just remember that the low FODMAP diet only needs to be as strict as needed to help you improve your gut symptoms (1). If you have been eating large amounts of strawberries and you haven’t noticed any increase in gut symptoms then that’s great. You can keep doing what you are doing as you tolerate them well.
If you’ve been having unexplained gut symptoms then try reducing your serving size down to 5 strawberries per serving for 1 to 2 weeks and see if that makes a difference.
Strawberry recipes you can still enjoy
We still have plenty of strawberry-based recipes you can enjoy on the first phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Can I use strawberries to do a fructose reintroduction challenge?
Right now we wouldn’t recommend using strawberries for a fructose reintroduction challenge. This is because there is likely to be some natural variation in the fructose content of strawberries. We’d suggest you look the options in this article instead.
How has A Little Bit Yummy handled the strawberry update?
We are currently in the process of updating our strawberry-based recipes so they are in line with the Monash University guidelines and this task will be completed in the next few days. The recipes listed above have already been updated. If you are a member of our online FODMAP Recipe Club or FODMAP Made Easy programme then all online resources will be update within the next 3 days. The benefit of using our online resources is that we can quickly update them based on the latest information.
We know that change can be unsettling. There is no need to panic about the change in FODMAP levels in strawberries. You can continue to enjoy small serves during the first phase of the low FODMAP diet. If you need more support then let us know – we are happy to help.
1. Collins, L. Retested Foods (just in time for Aussie Summer!) – Strawberries & Grapes. Monash University FODMAP Blog. 14 December 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/retested-foods-just-in-time-for-aussie-summer-strawberries-grapes/
2. Monash University. Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App. 2021-Dec-15. Sourced from: https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/i-have-ibs/get-the-app/