Low FODMAP oils

When it comes to cooking, especially on the stove top, oil can come in handy for many reasons. First, oil can prevent your vegetables, protein, or spices from sticking to the pan and burning. Secondly, oil can help coat foods to help herbs and spices stick better to provide flavor. And when it comes to flavor, oils themselves can help provide flavor to your meals.  Flavored oils can be a delicious addition to meal time. And fortunately oil itself is low FODMAP.  To make meal planning easier, read below for tips on some flavorful low FODMAP oils.

About oils

Most oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon of which all calories come from fat. It is this primary fat composition that can be a good thing or bad thing for those with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). On one hand, because the oil contains no carbohydrates, it is free of compounds like fructo- and oligosaccharides that are found in high FODMAP foods.  On the other hand, some people with IBS and other digestive conditions may find it hard to tolerate foods that are high in fat. However, in moderation, some oils can enhance the flavor of meals without adding any FODMAPs.

Flavored oils are oils that have had seasonings, vegetables, or other ingredients added to provide an infused flavor profile.  Many flavored oils are savory or spicy and can be used for marinades for protein or veggies, for basting on foods when grilling or baking, or for mixing with seasonings for dipping bread in. 

Low FODMAP oils

Flavored oils are infused with the flavor of certain seasonings and vegetables. Just about any type of oil can be used as the base for such flavored oils. Some examples of oils that can be used to create flavored oils include:

  • Olive oil (extra virgin, virgin, or standard)
  • Avocado oil
  • Canola oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Vegetable oil

To make a flavored oil, first choose the seasonings you would like to add. Herbs and spices can be added in their dry or fresh form, minced or chopped.  You can even use those vegetables that are normally considered high FODMAP like onions, garlic, or shallots to infuse oils.  Sauté such vegetables to bring out their potent flavors before adding them to the oil.

Then, you will mix the oil and chosen herbs and minced vegetables together and add to either cold or warmed oil. Next, allow the oil and ingredients to sit together for a bit. The longer you let them sit together, the stronger the flavor of the ingredients will infuse your oil. Finally, before using your flavored oil, strain out the solid pieces of vegetables and herbs.

If you like the taste of flavors like garlic and onion, but follow a low FODMAP regimen, then flavored oils are the solution. Monash University recommends using such flavored oils to help provide the flavors of certain high FODMAP foods you love without the digestive distress that comes with consuming the whole vegetable. Therefore, stock up on infused oils like garlic oil or scallion oil to jazz up your meals while staying low FODMAP.

Take home message

When starting a low FODMAP diet regimen, it can be difficult to let go of certain flavor profiles that you have loved and enjoyed for so long. However, no flavor is worth the digestive distress that comes along for many when eating certain foods. Therefore, to make sure you can enjoy the flavors you love without triggering any uncomfortable digestive symptoms, cook up or stock up on some flavored oils in your pantry today.

-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD from LighttrackNutrition.com

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