Medically Reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD, Dipl IBLM
What is the low FODMAP diet?
FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are sugars that are known to cause intolerance in those with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). A low FODMAP diet is a dietary regimen created by a cohort of Monash University researchers in Australia to relieve IBS symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort (Gibson, 2017). The low FODMAP diet is based on the premise that certain people are intolerant to FODMAPs, sugars often present in wheat, dairy, and some fruits and vegetables. The low FODMAP diet begins by eliminating these high FODMAP foods and gradually adding them back into the diet to observe whether they cause a worsening in symptoms (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.).
Many doctors and registered dietitian nutritionists recommend the low FODMAP diet to reduce IBS symptoms. However, the low FODMAP diet is challenging to implement due to its restrictive nature and the need for meticulous planning and attention to detail, including reading nutrition facts labels. It is important to note that the diet is not intended for everyone and should only be followed under the supervision of a competent healthcare practitioner.
Is ham a low FODMAP food?
Ham, a pork product, is considered a low FODMAP food and is very high in protein. A low FODMAP food, such as ham, is associated with a reduced likelihood of an individual experiencing digestive issues due to consumption. However, some ham products may contain high FODMAP additives, such as onion or garlic, which are high in the FODMAP fructan, an oligosaccharide. Therefore, the consumer needs to read the nutrition facts label before eating. According to the Monash app, a resource for those following the low FODMAP diet, 100 grams of ham is considered low FODMAP. Therefore, it is likely tolerated well by those suffering from IBS.
For those following the low FODMAP diet, ham is a fantastic source of protein, as long as high FODMAP additives are absent.
What are the health benefits of ham?
While high in salt, nitrates, and heavily processed, ham has many health benefits. Ham is high in protein, a macromolecule that helps the body maintain muscle mass and strength and facilitates essential body processes. Additionally, ham is high in niacin, an important B vitamin that helps convert food into energy. It promotes the nervous system, skin, and digestion (National Library of Medicine & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2021). Choosing ham that has been smoked or cured without added sugar is an excellent pick for those looking for a leaner option.
Recipes with ham that are low in FODMAPs
Because ham is a low FODMAP food, it's an excellent ingredient for low FODMAP cooking.
Here are some delectable ways to include ham into your cooking:
- Low FODMAP Glazed Maple Ham Recipe
- Low FODMAP Maple BBQ Holiday Ham Recipe
- Low FODMAP Baked Egg in Ham Cups Recipe
- Low FODMAP Baked Potato with Ham and Chives Recipe
There are so many delicious low FODMAP ham recipes to pick from that you're sure to discover a couple you'll enjoy!
Hopefully, this blog post has answered some of your questions about ham and whether or not it is a low FODMAP food. Stay tuned for more posts about FODMAP friendly foods, and be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on how to manage your digestive health.
Join our free low FODMAP course for beginners if you're looking for more information on following the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP 101 is the easiest way to learn about the low FODMAP diet, which can improve and even eliminate symptoms of IBS and SIBO. The program includes weekly food guides, a master meal plan with recipes, cooking videos, and more. Join here.
History of the low Fodmap Diet - Gibson - 2017 - onlinelibrary.wiley.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2022, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgh.13685