Is Apple Cider Vinegar Low FODMAP?
If you're in any phase of the FODMAP diet, you've likely experienced the frustration of trying to figure out what you can eat. In a perfect world, every product in the grocery store would clearly list the amount of FODMAPS present per serving. However, testing for FODMAPs is a relatively new science. Finding accurate information about the amount of FODMAPs in different foods is extremely challenging.
Wait, what are FODMAPs, exactly?
FODMAPs are a type of fermentable carbohydrate. They are difficult for some bodies to digest, especially for people with IBS. 1 in 7 people suffer from this gastrointestinal disease, and sticking to a low FODMAP diet can drastically reduce symptoms over time.
Low vs No FODMAP
Since FODMAPs are carbohydrates, pure proteins and fats are always FODMAP free. A diet completely free of FODMAPs is nearly impossible to maintain and is generally not advised.
Nutritionists who treat IBS advise their clients to limit the amount of FODMAPs they consume in a single sitting. When scientists study FODMAPs, a 'low-FODMAP diet' is generally considered to be less than 0.5g of FODMAPs in a given 3-4 hour period.
How am I supposed to keep track of that?
If you're aiming to keep your intake of FODMAPs low, getting good information about the food you consume is essential. The best resource for determining the amount of FODMAPs in food is the Monash University app. The team behind the app performs tests on various foods and products to accurately measure the amount of FODMAPs they contain.
So, what does Monash University have to say about apple cider vinegar?
The app uses a traffic light system to indicate the likelihood that a portion of food will cause symptoms. However, as discussed above, it's not just about whether the food contains FODMAPs or not, it also comes down to how much of it you ingest at once.
At a serving size of two tablespoons, apple cider vinegar gets a 'green light' rating in the Monash App.
Wait. Apples are high-FODMAP. Why is apple cider vinegar okay?
Great question! You get a FODMAP gold star!
According to Monash's app, a single apple is a 'red light' food, indicating increased likelihood of gastrointestinal issues for a person with IBS. This is because apples contain tons of fermentable carbohydrates, aka FODMAPs.
To turn apples into apple cider vinegar, the juice is extracted and those FODMAPs are partially broken down by the process of fermentation. While this doesn't eliminate FODMAPs entirely, it reduces them to levels that are less likely to trigger symptoms.
Got it. So, how do I use this stuff, anyway?
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, making it perfect for use in marinades or salad dressing. Try this recipe for apple cider vinaigrette from Monash University's recipe archive.
Some people find that taking a shot of apple cider vinegar daily improves their symptoms. If you want to try it, The London Gastroenterology Centre recommends mixing apple cider vinegar with water and a bit of honey to combat the intense taste.
According to the scientists behind the Monash University FODMAP app, apple cider vinegar is a low-FODMAP food, provided that the serving size does not exceed.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD