Bacon is one of the most delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, and quite simply, any time foods. It’s seriously good. But is bacon low FODMAP? Can you eat bacon if you have IBS, and are following a low FODMAP diet.
Bacon isn’t actually listed on the Monash University app of FODMAP friendly foods, but some low FODMAP recipes contain bacon. The real answer is that it depends on the bacon.
Bacon is made from pork, and contains protein and fat, which would make it low FODMAP. However, it really depends on how the bacon has been treated. There’s many ways to make bacon, and only one method has been FODMAP tested.
First of all, bacon is made from the belly. Any other kind of bacon must specify which part of the pig it comes from. So, for the purposes of this question: is bacon low FODMAP? We mean streaky bacon.
How Is Bacon Cured?
Bacon is cured using nitrates and nitrites. Sodium Nitrite is a salt, and is often used in curing meats. It stops certain bacteria from growing, but it also adds to the colour and flavour of the meat. What you might not realise is that many vegetables contain nitrate. This changes to sodium nitrite when it comes into contact with saliva, but the majority of sodium nitrite in our diet comes from vegetables, such as celery. Many manufacturers use celery powder, or celery juice to cure the bacon, instead of adding nitrates or nitrites. However, this means that when consumers see celery listed as an ingredient, they automatically think that it’s healthier, and has no added nitrites. However, this doesn’t meant that the bacon is free of nitrites.
There are a few products available that are cured by simply using salt, spices, or natural flavourings. These products haven’t been FODMAP tested, so can’t be recommended at this time. Also some people think that this also causes the bacon to lose some of its bacon flavour.
Can You Eat Bacon On A Low FODMAP Diet?
Essentially, it’s up to you. The Monash University FODMAP Initiative have only tested bacon that contain nitrates, and at this time they can’t recommend bacon that has been cured with celery powder, or celery juice.
If you’ve been eating bacon cured with celery products, and you’ve had no ill effects, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue. If you want to try bacon with ‘no added nitrates’ then you can. You need trial and error to find out which products are suitable for you, and what your tolerance is. However, at this time, the Monash University is only recommending bacon cured with nitrates.
You should also be aware that not all bacon is gluten free. Some bacon does, in fact, contain gluten, so if you’re following a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to read the labels carefully.