Whether you like sauces, spices, salsas, or chutneys, condiments can make a good meal taste great. For those on a low FODMAP meal plan, you must be careful though. This is because many condiments on store shelves can include ingredients that are high FODMAP and can cause digestive symptoms that can sour your meal experience. Therefore, use the following tips to choose condiments that are flavorful, yet low FODMAP friendly.
Ingredients to Avoid
Before listing the safe condiments, let’s talk about what ingredients you should look for and avoid. The most common high FODMAP ingredients in condiments are onion or onion powder, garlic or garlic powder, honey, and high fructose corn syrup. Also, condiments like hummus or bean dip would be a no-go since beans are considered high FODMAP. Other high FODMAP condiment ingredients include:
- Apple, apricot, mango, grapefruit, pear, blackberry, or peach in fresh form or in purees, juices, or concentrates.
- Avocado; like that found in guacamole or sandwich spreads.
- Mushrooms or cauliflower; which may be found in vegetable chutneys.
- Wheat flour or other wheat-based ingredients (sometimes used as thickeners).
- Cow’s milk and milk-based ingredients such as yogurt; often found in dressings, cream-based sauces, and dips.
- Cashews or pistachios; sometimes found in vegan-based spreads and sauces.
- Cream cheese or ricotta cheese; often found in spreads and sauces.
- Low glycemic condiment ingredients such as agave and sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, or erythritol.
Safe condiment choices
The list of ingredients to avoid may be extensive, but there are still many condiments that are low FODMAP safe, with new products being created every day. Here is a list of some safe condiments you can enjoy on a low FODMAP meal plan.
- Onion and garlic free salsa, such as the delicious blend by Casa de Sante.
- Pickles and unsweetened relish.
- Sauerkraut, unsweetened.
- Hot sauces that contain the basic ingredients of peppers, salt, and vinegar.
- Low FODMAP spice mixes such as garlic and onion free Casa de Sante blends.
- Low FODMAP curry sauce.
- Low FODMAP salad dressings such as homemade oil and vinegar blends, low FODMAP Caesar dressing, or prepackaged low FODMAP salad dressings that are free of garlic and onion.
- Low FODMAP friendly tomato sauce such as Rao’s.
- Garlic or scallion oil can be used alone as a cooking or tasting oil or used to make homemade dressings and sauces.
- Jams and jellies free of honey and high fructose corn syrup.
- Mustard, soy sauce, and barbeque sauces free of high FODMAP ingredients.
Outside of this list, you can create your own condiments by using fresh ingredients such diced tomatoes and peppers, almond or coconut milk-based yogurts, diced strawberries, vinegars, lemon and lime juices, and low FODMAP safe spices. For low sugar creations, you can use sweeteners such as stevia or sucralose, or natural sweeteners such as no sugar added pineapple or orange juices.
The major thing to remember when choosing condiments to flavor your food is to either:
- Make them yourself with low FODMAP safe ingredients.
- Choose low FODMAP certified condiment products.
- Check the nutrition label to make sure no high FODMAP ingredients are present in the products you purchase.
- If you are eating out at a restaurant or at someone’s home and are not sure what a sauce or topping is made with, then ask. When in doubt, leave it out. It is better to be safe than sorry.
It is possible to enjoy flavorful food while on the low FODMAP diet. The key is to be your own advocate, be creative, and to ask questions. If there are no condiments available that you feel comfortable consuming, keep it simple with salt, pepper, and fresh ingredients that are low FODMAP safe like lemon, lime, tomatoes, and peppers.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.