Oatmeal has long been known as a fiber-rich food eaten primarily for breakfast. Topped with some fruit, nuts, or seeds, oatmeal can be a delicious and well-balanced meal. In some cases, oatmeal could even be used as a filling snack in between meals. However, for those on the low FODMAP diet, planning meals may be a little more challenging and it may be confusing to know if oatmeal could be a meal or snack option for people on this meal plan.
Oats are a type of grain commonly eaten in its rolled form or as oatmeal. Oats are full of fiber, which has been shown to help people lower their blood cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure in people who consumed them regularly. In turn, eating oats as part of a healthy, balanced diet has been shown to decrease risk of heart disease. In addition, the fiber-rich content of oats can help people feel fuller at meals and snacks, in turn helping them to eat less during the day, which can be beneficial for weight loss and weight management.
Is oatmeal low FODMAP friendly?
Oats are considered a low FODMAP food. However, sometimes in the production of oatmeal, the oats may be exposed to gluten. Therefore, not all oatmeal is gluten-free unless it is stated on the packaging. For those with celiac disease, it is suggested by health professionals that oats should be avoided unless the packaging specifically states that they are gluten-free certified. However, for those who are gluten-sensitive, a small amount of oats should be tolerated ok. In regard to the low FODMAP diet, oatmeal should be limited to ½ cup each day.
How can I add oatmeal into a low FODMAP diet?
Oatmeal can be a great addition to your low FODMAP diet. For breakfast, the following ideas can be used to provide a healthy and delicious meal option.
- Add fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries, or sliced unripe bananas for more fiber.
- Prepare oatmeal with lactose-free milk or soy milk made with soy protein in order to add additional protein content.
- Combine ½ cup cooked oatmeal with ½ cup quinoa for a fiber and protein-packed meal option.
- Top oatmeal with sliced almonds, crushed pecans or peanuts, or a mix of nuts and seeds for added protein, fiber, and flavor. Seeds such as flax and chia seeds are especially good in overnight oatmeal recipes to help thicken the cereal and provide a nutrient-dense texture.
- To make your oatmeal a little sweeter, add in a teaspoon of low FODMAP friendly brown rice syrup or a teaspoon or two of all-natural strawberry jam or jelly that is made without high fructose corn syrup. For an extra layer of flavor, add in a teaspoon of peanut butter with your jam for a taste similar to the classic flavor of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Oatmeal may also be used for a healthy snack option in between meals and to control sweet cravings.
- Instead of a sugary candy bar, combine ½ cup cooked oatmeal prepared with lactose-free or soy milk. Top your oatmeal with 1 teaspoon peanut butter and about ½ ounce dark chocolate while it is hot. Enjoy the creamy peanut and chocolate flavor of a candy bar, but in a natural, low FODMAP, and lower sugar form.
- Craving a cinnamon bun? Instead have ½ cup cooked oatmeal prepared with vanilla soy milk. Top with 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar and a drop or two of vanilla extract for a sweet and spicy flavor that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Craving coconut cake or pie? Instead, enjoy a fiber-rich, low FODMAP option like the Coconut Warrior low FODMAP and protein rich oatmeal cup.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.