As you glance at a low FODMAP diet list, you may notice one food that is missing: wheat bread. You may start to imagine a life without toast in the morning, no sandwiches for lunch, and a future without dinner rolls. This high fiber favorite is a no-no on a low FODMAP regimen, but that doesn’t mean bread is lost forever. Fortunately, there are several other flours and flour substitutions out there that can create a bread just as delicious as wheat, but with the bonus of no bellyache after eating for those of us with FODMAP sensitivities like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Oat flour or rolled oats are great substitutes for flour in baked good recipes such as bread and muffins. Just be sure to check the label to make sure the oats or oat flour you use are certified gluten-free. This is because some oats may be processed in facilities that also process wheat and therefore may contain some gluten. About ½ cup oats is considered a low FODMAP safe serving size.
Corn flour, also known as masa harina, is a great substitute for traditional bread flour since it can be used in delicious recipes such as corn tortillas, corn bread, and corn muffins. Corn flour is low FODMAP friendly in a serving as large as 2/3 cup daily. You can also bake corn flour tortillas in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or so to make your own corn chips that can be eaten alone or with low FODMAP friendly salsa.
Buckwheat flour may not sound like it is gluten-free, but it surprisingly is and is used in various gluten-free flour mixes such as those for pancakes. Buckwheat flour is low FODMAP friendly in a serving as large as 2/3 cup daily. It has a bitter taste, so would likely work best in recipes containing some other lighter tasting flours such as rice flour or used in recipes like casseroles, salads, or porridge where other ingredients can balance out the bitterness.
Rice flour is made from finely milled brown or white rice and is often used as a base for gluten-free flour mixes due to its gelatinous texture when hydrated, which provides an effective texture for gluten-free baked goods. Brown rice flour, due to its higher fiber content, may produce a drier product, so only ¼ of flour recipes should consist of brown rice flour. It should be combined with other lighter flours or starches such as white rice flour and tapioca starch.
Gluten-free flour mixes
You can find gluten-free flour mixes that already contain the right ratios of the above gluten-free flours to save you time from measuring. These flours contain such low FODMAP friendly ingredients as brown and/or white rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. The starches and flours used in these flour mixes are low FODMAP at 2/3 cup daily.
Other Low FODMAP friendly flours
Other lesser known flours that may be used in low FODMAP recipes include:
- millet flour
- spelt flour
- quinoa flour
- teff flour
- yam flour.
All these flours are safe in servings of 2/3 cup daily.
Things to Know About Low FODMAP Friendly Flours
It is important to remember that low FODMAP friendly flours are gluten-free, so they do not contain the all-important protein gluten that gives baked goods their structure. Therefore, extra eggs or stabilizers such as arrowroot starch or xanthan gum will need to be used to keep gluten-free baked goods together. Visit Casa de Sante for resources on delicious low FODMAP bread options. If you wish to bake your own low FODMAP friendly bread, use these tips from Celiac.org to ensure success.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.