Master the Art of Low-FODMAP Snacks With These 18 Ideas

Adopting an elimination diet such as the low-FODMAP diet can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time trying it. Not only do you need to be mindful of what to eat for your meals, but you also have to think about your snack options. You may even wonder if low-FODMAP snacks exist.

Fortunately, the low-FODMAP diet does not prevent you from snacking. In fact, there are so many low-FODMAP snacks you can enjoy throughout your day that are delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare. 

In this article, we’ll explain the low-FODMAP diet and who can benefit from following it. We’ll also share 18 of our favorite low-FODMAP snack ideas plus a few tips to help you make the best choices for your diet.

What Is a Low-FODMAP Diet?

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols your gut bacteria like to feed on. 

Eating high-FODMAP foods may lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in some people, triggering digestive problems such as bloating, gas pain, diarrhea, and constipation [1]. 

Some examples of high-FODMAP foods include:

  • Bread, cereals, pasta, and legumes, which are sources of oligosaccharides
  • Dairy products, which contain lactose, a disaccharide
  • Some fruits and sweeteners with fructose, which is a monosaccharide
  • Select fruits and vegetables plus artificial sweeteners that contain polyols

A low-FODMAP diet eliminates fermentable carbs that may be responsible for any general gut issues.

Some examples of low-FODMAP foods are:

  • Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach
  • Vegetables like green beans and zucchini
  • Fruits like blueberries, cantaloupe, and grapes
  • Low FODMAP grains like quinoa and chia seeds
  • Lactose-free dairy and aged cheeses such as cheddar and gruyere

Who Should Follow a Low-FODMAP Diet?

Anyone experiencing regular digestive discomfort such as bloating, abdominal pain, and gas can benefit from temporarily removing high-FODMAP foods to see if their symptoms improve [2, 3].

Beyond that, a low-FODMAP diet is recommended for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Several meta-analyses and clinical studies show a low-FODMAP diet is effective at improving IBS symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, gas pain, and bloating [4, 5, 6, 7]. 

Additional studies show a low-FODMAP diet can help:

  • Normalize bowel function by positively impacting gut endocrine cells [8, 9, 10, 11]
  • Improve IBS symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [12, 13]
  • Alleviate pain in fibromyalgia patients [14]

3 Low-FODMAP Snack Tips

Preparation is key when it comes to following an elimination diet, especially if it’s your first time doing it. Here are three tips to make planning your low-FODMAP snacks and meals easier:

1. Pay Close Attention To Your Body

A low-FODMAP diet, like any elimination diet, should be viewed as a short-term experiment to see which foods may trigger your gut problems.As a general rule of thumb, try a low-FODMAP diet for 2-3 weeks. Maintain a food diary to track any positive or negative changes in your symptoms. If your symptoms don’t improve or become worse, discontinue the diet and try another approach.

For some patients, following a low-FODMAP diet will be enough to improve their conditions, but patients with more stubborn gut issues will benefit from meeting with a specialist to assist with an effective, sustainable treatment plan. 

2. Plan and Prep Ahead To Save Time

Create a grocery list and weekly menu so you can plan your low-FODMAP snacks ahead of time. This will be especially helpful if a low-FODMAP diet is new to you. Planning your meals will reduce any stress that may deter you from following through with the diet. It’ll also grant you more time to actually sit and enjoy your snacks and meals.

Another way to save time and hassle is to opt for pre-made snacks and meals. You can find ready-made, low-FODMAP snacks and meals at most grocery stores and health food stores.

3. Keep It Simple

Adopting an elimination diet is already a significant change in your routine. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-FODMAP foods you can reach for, like certain fruits, veggies, and nuts. You can also opt for ready-made and homemade snacks that align with the diet.

Once you’ve become more acclimated to a low-FODMAP diet and established a manageable schedule, you can add more complex recipes.

18 Low-FODMAP Snack Ideas

Being on a low-FODMAP diet does not mean you have to deprive yourself of yummy treats. As long as you pay attention to what you eat, snacking shouldn’t impede your overall progress [15]. 

You can stick to simple options like low FODMAP vegetables and nuts, but if for extra variety, check out these 18 low-FODMAP snack ideas.

5 Savory Low-FODMAP Snacks

When you’re craving something savory, there are plenty of low-FODMAP snacks to choose from. We’re sharing some of our favorites. Check each recipe to see if you can eat these snacks freely, or if you need to limit quantities.

5 Sweet Low-FODMAP Snacks

If you have a sweet tooth, go for these low-FODMAP snacks. Just remember to avoid sugar alcohols and high-fructose sweeteners, which are high in FODMAPs.

4 Nut-Based Low-FODMAP Snacks

Nuts are a portion-size-dependent FODMAP food. On a low-FODMAP diet, you can enjoy nuts and nut butter in small quantities. FODMAP-friendly nuts include macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Try some of these nut-based low-FODMAP snacks:

  • Snack mix made with an assortment of nuts, cereal, and gluten-free pretzel sticks 
  • Walnut granola sweetened with maple syrup 
  • Peanut butter protein balls with hemp seed and dark chocolate 
  • Peanut butter or almond butter spread atop carrots, celery, gluten-free toast, rice cakes, or rice crackers

4 Lactose-Free Low-FODMAP Snacks

If you have a dairy intolerance, you can go for lactose-free milk, lactose-free yogurt, and low-to-no lactose cheeses such as cheddar cheese and feta in your low FODMAP diet. Take a look at these lactose-free low-FODMAP snacks:

Ready-Made Low-FODMAP Snacks

Sometimes, you may not have the time to prepare a snack in advance. Fortunately, there are several ready-made snacks you can buy that are made with low-FODMAP ingredients. These include low-FODMAP snack and granola bars from GoMacro, Fody, and Happy Bars. You can also find dairy-free, FODMAP-friendly milk, cheese, and yogurt products from Green Valley Creamery.

When buying ready-made snacks from mainstream brands, remember to check the ingredients lists for any high-FODMAP ingredients. One resource for this is the Monash University FODMAP app, which has a database of FODMAP-tested foods. You can also work with a nutritionist or dietitian if you need additional guidance.

It’s Easy To Enjoy Low-FODMAP Snacks

The low-FODMAP diet is much less restrictive than other elimination diets. With a wide variety of easy and delicious low-FODMAP snack options, you don’t have to deprive yourself of yummy (and healthy) treats.

Changing your eating habits is one of the easiest ways to improve any recurring digestive issues. However, frequent bouts of bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea can be a sign of a larger problem like IBS and SIBO. In that case, you’ll want to work with an experienced functional medicine doctor to get to the root of the issue. 

The staff at Austin Functional Medicine includes specialists in gastrointestinal health, nutrition, and health coaching. You’ll receive personalized treatment and care from Dr. Ruscio and his team, who believe no treatment is one-size-fits-all

Schedule an appointment and begin to heal your gut with Austin Functional Medicine today. Dr. Ruscio’s team is currently accepting new patients in-house and via telemedicine.

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