Sometimes you may have a craving for something salty and crunchy. There are many healthy options that could help satisfy this craving like popcorn, nuts, or seeds. However, a potato chip is usually the first thing that comes to mind when this kind of craving appears. When it comes to a low FODMAP eating routine, potatoes themselves are certified by Monash University to be pretty much free of FODMAPs. But since potato chips are considered a processed food product, not all potato chips may be FODMAP friendly. Use the following tips to help you find a potato chip that will satisfy your cravings without triggering digestive symptoms.
High FODMAP ingredients in some potato chip products
When it comes to the basics, plain potato chip products consist of potatoes, oils used for cooking, and perhaps some salt. However, these days there are plenty of flavored chips to choose from. This can be great if you’re looking for a little variety. However, the ingredients added to create such flavors may not always be safe. Therefore, it’s important to look out for the following high FODMAP ingredients that may be used in some flavored potato chip products.
- Malted barley flour
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sour cream (no more than two tablespoons to stay low FODMAP)
- Milk protein concentrate (may contain low to moderate levels of lactose)
- Yogurt powder
- Cream cheese
Besides these ingredients, those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive conditions may have to look out for the fat content in chips. This is because fat may not be absorbed well in some individuals and could cause symptoms such as abdominal cramping and/or loose stools. Therefore, some individuals should avoid some chips that are slow cooked in fats to add extra crispiness since they may not be tolerated. With such products, you should try a very small portion and wait to see if it is tolerated before eating a larger serving.
How to find a low FODMAP potato chip
When it comes to a low FODMAP potato chip, plain is best. This means sticking to product with just salt or pepper added for flavor. Ingredient lists on low FODMAP friendly potato chips should be less than five ingredients. Potatoes, oils, and safe seasonings like herbs like basil, oregano, black pepper, salt, paprika, or chili pepper, to name a few are some low FODMAP safe ingredients you should stick with when it comes to potato chips. And if you like sweet potatoes, stick to no more than the equivalent of ½ cup sweet potato chips to stay low FODMAP.
Low FODMAP salty snack alternatives
Besides potato chips, there are other crunchy and salty snacks that could satisfy your craving while still staying low FODMAP. These snacks include:
- Plain popcorn: up to 7 cups popped is low FODMAP
- Corn tortilla chips: up to 50 grams or about 1.5 ounces is low FODMAP safe
- Nuts and seeds: You can enjoy 32 peanuts, 10 almonds, 10 pecan halves, 10 walnut halves, or two teaspoons of seeds like hulled sunflower seeds or two tablespoons pumpkin seeds while staying low FODMAP.
Take home message
When it comes to salty snacks, there are plenty of options for those on a low FODMAP regimen. Besides finding a plain potato chip option, there are other healthy snack options that could satisfy your salty, crunchy cravings. Not to mention, that you could also bake thin slices of low FODMAP vegetables like kale, parsnips, or radishes to create your own healthy low FODMAP chip option. Visit Casa de Sante for recipe ideas as well as seasonings you can use when baking or flavoring your own chips.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com