FODMAP Content of Milk & Milk Alternatives
Trying to choose from the vast array of milks and milk alternatives can be a bit daunting while figuring out the low FODMAP diet. This article will help you figure out what low FODMAP milk is right for you.
What Milks Are Low FODMAP?
Lactose free milk (Low FODMAP)
Lactose free milk is the best milk nutritionally while on the low FODMAP diet. This milk is cow’s milk that has had an enzyme called lactase added to it. The enzyme splits the lactose sugar into two parts, glucose and galactose, which our bodies can then easily digest without causing intestinal symptoms (6). Because lactose free milk does not contain lactose it is low FODMAP and safe to consume in large serving sizes of 250ml (or 1 cup) (4). If you have issues with lactose free milk then you might have an intolerance to dairy, and you need to talk to your dietitian.
Soy milk made from soy protein (Low FODMAP)
Soy milk made from soy bean protein is low FODMAP (4). In terms of nutrient content, soy milk made from soy protein has equivalent levels of protein and calcium when compared to lactose free cow’s milk. However, be aware that whole soybean milk is high FODMAP, so you will need to check the ingredients list to see if the milk is made from just soy protein. According to Monash University soy milk made from soy protein is safe to have in 250ml (or 1 cup) serves FODMAP (4). Soy milk made from soy protein is much easier to find in New Zealand and Australia.
Almond milk (Low FODMAP)
Almond milk is made by soaking, grinding and straining raw almonds (1). We know that almonds are high FODMAP in larger servings. So why is almond milk low FODMAP? The reason might be because almonds only make up 2% of the milk (2), which means the number of almonds in a glass of milk would be quite low. According to Monash University almond milk is low FODMAP and safe to have in up to 250ml (1 cup) serves (4).
Macadamia milk (Low FODMAP)
Macadamia nuts are low FODMAP and so is milk made from them. This milk is made in a similar way to almond milk where the nuts are soaked, ground and then strained to produce the milk. It has a slightly nutty smooth taste and the unsweetened versions can work well in curries. According to Monash University, macadamia milk is low FODMAP in 250ml (or 1 cup) serves.
Unsweetened Quinoa milk (Low FODMAP)
This earthy nutty flavoured milk is lovely in porridge and makes a great low FODMAP option. According to Monash University it is low FODMAP in 250ml or 1 cup serves.
Quinoa milk with Chia (Low FODMAP)
This milk can be slightly higher in protein and fibre than its plain counter part. According to FODMAP Friendly it is low FODMAP in 250ml or 1 cup serves.
Hemp milk (Low FODMAP)
Hemp milk is made from soaking and grinding hemp seed in water and is described as having a slightly nutty and creamy taste (3). Hemp milk is low FODMAP and safe to have in 250ml (or 1 cup) serves (4).
Rice milk (Low FODMAP)
Rice milk was previously believed to be high FODMAP when initially tested by Monash University in 2015. However, further research by both FODMAP Friendly and Monash University shows that rice milk is low FODMAP (5 7).
Wondering how that is possible? Well rice milk is made using enzymes, which break down the rice starch (5). Sometimes these enzymes fail to completely break down the starch and small oligosaccharides are left behind. Not all oligosaccharides are malabsorbed like fructans and GOS, in fact some types of starch-derived oligosaccharides are digestible (5). These digestible oligosaccharides were getting mixed in with the fructans and GOS during FODMAP testing, which resulted in a false high FODMAP reading (5). Monash University have developed a new testing procedure, which separates out the different types of oligosaccharides to provide more accurate results (5). If you decide to enjoy rice milk, then make sure you use the low FODMAP serving size of 200ml, as larger serves can contain higher levels of fructans (5).
Coconut milk (Limit During Phase One)
Different types of coconut milks can have different FODMAP levels, so it is a good idea to monitor symptoms if you decide to try it.
According to Monash University UHT coconut milk or long life coconut milk that comes in a carton is low FODMAP at 125ml (1/2 cup) serves (4). However, be aware that these UHT milks often contain moderate FODMAPs at 150ml, and are high FODMAP at 250ml (1 cup) serving sizes (4). Avoid any coconut milk that contains inulin as these are high FODMAP.
Canned coconut milk that is used in cooking is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup serves and contains moderate FODMAPs in 1/2 cup serves (4). When using coconut milk keep your serving size small to stay within low FODMAP limits .
What Milks Are High FODMAP?
Goat milk (High FODMAP)
Goat milk contains high levels of lactose, even in small ½ a cup serves (4). This means it is not suitable for the low FODMAP diet.
Oat milk (FODMAP Content Dependent on Serve & Country)
The FODMAP content of oat milk appears to vary by country. In the UK, oat milk is low FODMAP in 125ml serves and then contains moderate amounts of GOS and fructans at 165ml serves)(4). In Australia, oat milk is low FODMAP in 100ml serves and then moderate amounts of FODMAPs in 120ml (1/2 cup) serves (4).
If you are in the first phase of the low FODMAP diet you can enjoy the small serving sizes listed above and then look to reintroduce oat milk once you’ve tested your tolerance to GOS and fructans.
Soy milk made from whole soy beans (High FODMAP)
Soy milk made from whole soy beans is high FODMAP (4). This type of soy milk is common in the USA and UK. If the ingredient list states ‘whole soy beans’ then the milk will be high FODMAP.
Standard cow’s milk (High FODMAP)
Standard cow’s milk is high FODMAP, unless it is stated on the packaging that the milk it is lactose free (4). The fat content of cow’s milk has no impact on the lactose levels in the product. This means it does not matter if the milk is full cream, reduced fat, or skim milk it will still be high FODMAP even in small serves (4).
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Important Note On Choosing Milk
According to Australian based dietitian Joanna Baker (APD), “ideally while you are on the low FODMAP diet choose lactose free milk, however if you choose to replace cows milk with an alternative plant based milk, look for something that is nutritionally similar in terms of calcium and protein. Good nutritional benchmarks to look for are 120mg of calcium per 100ml serve, and 3g of protein per 100ml serve (you can find this info in the nutrition label). If you are concerned about lactose free milk and want to choose a dairy free alternative, then it’s best to discuss your calcium needs with your dietitian.”
Also keep in mind that children have specific needs for growth and development and milk is an important part of this. Please seek the professional advice of a dietitian before changing your child’s diet.
Watch Out For Added High FODMAP Ingredients
Many milk substitutes have added high FODMAP ingredients like inulin, agave syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, or honey. This means it is important to check your milk substitute for additional high FODMAP ingredients.
Almond milk, lactose free milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and soy milk made from soy protein are all good low FODMAP milk options. However make sure you check the ingredients list for added high FODMAP ingredients.
Amy Szczepanski saysMarch 19, 2019 at 6:52 am
Is Ripple Pea milk low fodmap? I’ve tried doing Google searches to find out, but I’ve not had any luck.
Alana Scott saysMarch 20, 2019 at 9:46 pm
Ripple Pea Milk (original flavour) is made from pea protein. Pea protein has been tested by Monash University and is low FODMAP (there are also no warning notes that it becomes high FODMAP in larger serves). This means it’s worth testing the Ripple Pea Milk and seeing how you go.
Joan saysMay 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm
I was happy to find this info on coconut milk. I am sorry that coconut milk can be high fodmap because I just love Blue Diamonds’ almond-coconut blend. I knew it was, even tho I didn’t want to know, because twice now I have had an IBS attack after eating this blend in my tapioca pudding. I was hoping the attack was caused by the tapioca, but tapioca is low fodmap. Darn. Oh well, I will just have to stick with plain almond milk. The blend was so creamy that I knew it was too good to be true. (sob) Thank you for this great info on your blog. I have just started an IBS food blog where I am revamping my family’s Italian recipes and my husband’s southern recipes that I made for 50 years. I just had to admit to everyone that I couldn’t eat my own family’s food. Any advice for a new food blogger? And do you mind if I tell people to come to your site for fodmap info?
Sara saysJune 7, 2021 at 3:11 pm
That’s the blend I was using in smoothies too – damn! It was the best tasting. 🙁
curtis faulkner saysJune 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Thanks for your time on this great information. It’s hard finding a lot of answers to our questions on fodmaps. Do you think that a person can have sensitivities to calcium? I’ve been experiencing with rice milk and ripple pea milk. I often get bloated afterwards. I think more so with the rice milk( rice dream). The rice milk is sweetened though so perhaps that could be an issue for me as well.
Alana Scott saysJune 16, 2019 at 5:40 am
Thanks for commenting. It sounds like you might need to have a chat with a dietitian. Our body needs calcium to stay healthy so it’s likely that it is something else in those products or something you are eating with those products or in an earlier meal that is causing issues. A dietitian could look at your food diary and help you assess which food/foods might be contributing to your symptoms. Let me know if you need help finding a dietitian to support you.
AMY TRACY saysSeptember 6, 2019 at 7:39 pm
But how do you know if the coconut milk contains inulin? Would it be listed in the ingredients? I love drinking the refrigerated almond coconut milk blends. Do those contain inulin?
Alana Scott saysSeptember 7, 2019 at 9:09 pm
Inulin, which can also be called chicory root, chicory root extract, and chicory root fibre will be listed in the ingredient list on the back of the carton or can. If you need help checking a label then just let us know.
Carol saysSeptember 22, 2019 at 7:45 pm
I would like to know if Flax Milk is low FODMAP. I also have seen that several non-dairy milks have gums and thickeners, which I read can be high FODMAP. Is that correct? Thank you, your site is extremely helpful! Carol
Alana Scott saysSeptember 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm
Thanks for messaging. Flax milk is currently untested which means we currently don’t know the FODMAP content of the milk. In terms of gums and thickeners, these are generally considered low FODMAP. When looking for high FODMAP ingredients in your milk you want to look out for: inulin, agave syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, or honey. If you would like us to check a product ingredient list for you, just let us know. Talk soon!
Leslie Griffin saysOctober 24, 2019 at 6:13 am
I’m keep seeing information about oat milk being low FODMAP at 30ml but when I look at the monash app it say that 125g of oat milk is low fodmap. I don’t know if that’s a typo or maybe it’s just that people aren’t aware that it’s been updated? Help that’s the best non dairy milk I’ve tried thus far.
Alana Scott saysOctober 25, 2019 at 6:06 am
The amount of oat milk you can have depends on the country. The Monash University Low FODMAP app list two entries for oat milk. UK based oat milk contains higher levels of FODMAPs and is only low FODMAP at the 30ml serve stated. Recently Australian oat milk has been added and this is lower in FODMAPs and can be enjoyed in the larger serving you mention. We’ll update this article soon.
Dan M saysAugust 13, 2021 at 12:58 am
In the US, I’ve seen huge variability in the amount of sugars on oat milk nutrition labels, and I wonder if this could be why the amount of FODMAPs per serving is not consistent. My guess is that oat milk with less sugar would be lower in FODMAPs, but this is just a guess.
Alana Scott saysAugust 13, 2021 at 2:11 am
Thanks for commenting. Oat milk with less sugar might not be lower in FODMAPs – the FODMAP content of the milk is more likely linked to how the oats are processed and the percentage of oats used in the product. The reason we think this is because rolled oats and quick oats both need good portion control on the low FODMAP diet.
Katherine saysSeptember 5, 2021 at 1:33 am
Wondering about Oatley oat milk. I’ve been drinking with tea in am and wonder if that is high fodmap and causing bloating
Alana Scott saysSeptember 5, 2021 at 9:23 pm
Thanks for commenting. Oat milk can become high FODMAP quickly. In the UK oat milk is only considered low FODMAP in 30ml servings and then becomes high FODMAP. In other countries like Australia the serving size can be a little bigger. If you are struggling to get good symptom control then we’d suggest swapping out the oat milk for a week and see if that makes a difference.
JulieVG saysDecember 2, 2019 at 5:08 pm
Thanks to your article I have discovered other milk alternatives than soy milk and lactose free milk. Although I had no idea that there was a low and a high FODMAP version of soy milk, that is definitely something to keep in mind. Can you use the alternatives in recipes or will this change the flavour of the dish and should I keep using the lactose free version?
Alana Scott saysDecember 3, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Yes! There are actually lots of low FODMAP options. Lactose free milk will definitely work in the recipes but so will milder flavoured low FODMAP milk alternatives, like unsweetened almond milk, small amounts or rice milk, or even unsweetened soy milk (made with soy protein). So just start experimenting with the milk you prefer to use and go from there!
Kia saysDecember 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm
Good day. Wondering if you could let me know if fairlife milk is a low FODMAP milk ?
Alana Scott saysDecember 29, 2019 at 9:06 pm
Yes, the Fairlife Lactose-Free milk looks low FODMAP. I hope that helps!
Lynn Burnside saysApril 28, 2020 at 8:57 pm
I can’t have cows milk even lactose free so was about to try goats milk but looks like that is high FODMAP. Is milk from sheep high FODMAP ? I can tolerate Manchengo cheese ok.
Alana Scott saysApril 30, 2020 at 8:41 am
Both sheep, goat and cows milk has lactose. The way manchengo cheese is processed make it low FODMAP. If you want to use goats milk you could add lactase drops to the milk. These drops will break down the lactose and make it low FODMAP.
Emma saysJune 4, 2020 at 3:55 pm
i hope you are well and thank you for your useful insights.
Oatly in the Uk says it is suitable for the low fodmap diet? Would you say that is correct as I love oatly and use it throughout the day but shouldn’t if its not?
Alana Scott saysJune 5, 2020 at 3:47 am
Okay so according to Monash University oat milk from the UK typically becomes high FODMAP if you have more than a 30g serve. That means we would recommend avoiding larger serves of the product unless Oatly products have been tested by FODMAP Friendly or Monash University and they can verify that they are low FODMAP in larger serves.
Donald Wright saysAugust 27, 2020 at 6:21 am
I am trying to find low FODMAP soy milk that is available in the US. Everything I see is made from whole soybeans , rather than soy protein. Please tell which brands if any are available here. Thanks!
Alana Scott saysSeptember 21, 2020 at 3:59 am
That is a great question. The only brand we’ve come across in the US is 8th Continent Soy Milk which is made from soy protein. We hope that helps!
Debbie Mertz saysOctober 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm
Is califia protein oat milk and oat barista blend low fodmap?
Alana Scott saysOctober 22, 2020 at 8:35 pm
Thanks for messaging us! The FODMAP content of oat milk tends to vary a lot. For example, in the UK it is only low FODMAP in 30ml serves while in Australia it can be low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves and then becomes high FODMAP.
The Califia Protein Oat Milk also contains pea protein. We know that pea protein can vary in FODMAP content too.
Based on these reasons we would suggest testing your tolerance levels to a 30ml serve (2 tablespoons) and then slowly increase your serving size up to 125ml (1/2 cup) if your symptoms stay settled. Avoid larger serving sizes until you are ready to test your tolerance to GOS and fructans. We hope that helps!
Vicky saysJanuary 23, 2021 at 9:07 pm
What about hazelnut milk?
Alana Scott saysJanuary 24, 2021 at 7:20 am
Okay so hazelnut milk is currently untested for FODMAPs so we don’t know what the FODMAP level is. Based on the information we have on other nut based milks we guess that hazelnut milk will be low FODMAP in 1 cup serves. What we would recommend is you try testing your tolerance levels to it: https://alittlebityummy.com/can-i-eat-this-testing-your-fodmap-tolerance-to-untested-foods/
Michael saysApril 20, 2022 at 3:17 pm
Very handy article.
I’ve been enjoying MARIANI brand WALNUT MILK for a few years with no noticeable GI upset. It’s the only brand I’ve seen on the market. Most of the other common dairy-free substitutes–soy, almond, coconut, etc.–don’t agree with me.
Alana Scott saysApril 21, 2022 at 7:44 am
It’s great to hear that you can tolerate Walnut Milk. This type of milk hasn’t been officially tested for FODMAPs yet but that brand looks like it should be low FODMAP by ingredient.
Corryn saysAugust 2, 2022 at 12:51 am
I am doing the low FODMAP diet for a couple of weeks to correct some gut flora irregularities.
I am wondering, can I have 2 servings of almond milk in 1 day if they are spaced a few hours apart. Alternatively, can I have the recommended serve of almond milk, recommended serve of coconut milk and recommended serve of soy protein milk in one day??
Alana Scott saysAugust 2, 2022 at 8:09 pm
Thank you for contacting us. You can enjoy the same food multiple times in a day – you just need to leave 3-4 hours between each serve to help reduce FODMAP stacking. This article will help: https://alittlebityummy.com/blog/are-the-low-fodmap-serving-sizes-for-foods-per-meal-or-per-day/