As the weather gets warmer, you may start to crave a piece of refreshing fruit for a snack. However, when you have IBS or other digestive conditions, just casually picking up any piece of fruit is not something you can do. Some fruits can cause those with digestive conditions such symptoms as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, gas, and/or bloating. Follow the tips below to help you choose delicious fruit that is also safe on your low FODMAP diet.
- Keep your bananas green: Bananas are typically ok on the low FODMAP diet in small quantities, but it is generally safer to just keep your bananas a bit unripe, like yellow-greenish, to reduce the risk of any digestive symptoms.
- Load up on berries: Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, kiwifruit (also known as Chinese gooseberry), and raspberries are fair game. However, blackberries are high in polyols, which can cause digestive symptoms in those with certain digestive conditions.
- Enjoy your summer melons: Cantaloupe, honeydew, and Galia melons are safe for the low FODMAP diet. Unfortunately, a juicy watermelon is off of the menu since it is high in fructose and polyols that can cause digestive symptoms.
- Refresh your palate with citrus fruits: Oranges, clementines, pineapples, lemons, and limes are all safe on the low FODMAP diet. This may also include the juices of such fruits unless they contain added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
- Pink and Purple Power: Now although these fruits come in green as well, when I think of grapes or rhubarb I think of their purple and pink colorings, respectively. Both of these fruits are safe on the low FODMAP diet and can satisfy your sweet tooth when craving a refreshing piece of fruit.
Fruits to avoid
This list of safe fruit on the low FODMAP diet may be making your mouth water. However, don’t forget that some fruits may cause your belly some discomfort. Some high FODMAP fruits were listed above, but just for easy reference, here is a list of high FODMAP fruits you should avoid to limit painful digestive symptoms.
- An apple a day does not keep the pain away: Although apples are delicious, they are high in fructose and polyols, which can cause serious digestive discomfort.
- Watch out for yellow-orange juicy fruits: Peaches, nectarines, mangoes, and apricots are high in fructose and polyols, so opt for orange citrus instead.
- Hold the guacamole: Avocado is high in polyols, which can be disappointing since they are full of healthy fats and other nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. One eighth of an avocado is safe in the elimination phase. If you have already gone through an elimination phase in your low FODMAP diet, and are adding foods back in, you may try to see if you can tolerate more avocado but beware that it may not be tolerated well.
- Keep your fruit fresh: Dried fruits like raisins, sultanas, and dried apricots are high in concentrated fructose, so stick to the safe fresh fruits on your low FODMAP list.
- Other honorable mentions: Pears, plums, cherries, watermelon, and grapefruit are high FODMAP, so consume with caution, and avoid when possible unless you have found you can tolerate small amounts.
It is also important to note that any fruit-based juices that are made from fruits on the safe list are ok. That is of course unless they contain added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup or sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, or maltitol.
Now don’t get disappointed because as I mentioned before, the fruits high in FODMAPs may not be gone from your diet forever. Once you have successfully completed an elimination of all high FODMAP foods for several months, or as prescribed by your healthcare provider, then you can start slowly adding in new foods to test your tolerance. In the meantime, there are many yummy fruits to enjoy on the low FODMAP diet.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.