For some, there’s nothing better than relaxing at the end of a long day with a drink. Others live for the buzz of a party with friends. Or a barbecue with family. There’s so many different social situations where alcohol is flowing, and people are enjoying themselves. But for people suffering from IBS, it can be a bit of a minefield. You’ve probably been told to follow a low FODMAP diet, but which alcohol is low FODMAP?
According to the MONASH FODMAP guidelines, one serving is low FODMAP. A serving of beer is 375ml, which is just under a pint, and usually equivalent to a can. While beer is low FODMAP, it does contain gluten, so if gluten triggers your IBS then this probably isn’t the drink for you. You may be able to find a gluten free beer, which would be a better alternative.
One serving of wine is 150ml, which is a glass of wine, although some restaurants may serving a larger serving. Most wines tested under the MONASH FODMAP guidelines are low FODMAP, but there are a few that are high FODMAP, and should be avoided. Low glycaemic index wine is high FODMAP due to the fructose content, and even a half serving is high in fructose, and should be avoided. Some sweet wines are high FODMAP, such as late harvest wines, or wines from vines affected by botrytis, a fungus. Most other wines are low FODMAP, and are usually tolerated by most IBS sufferers.
Some spirits are low FODMAP, while others are not. Gin, vodka and whiskey are all low FODMAP, but you will need to be careful if you want a mixer. Most mixers are high FODMAP, which would make your drink high FODMAP. You can have fresh orange, soda water and lime, or lemon, cranberry juice, and lactose free based mixers. It’s probable that soft drinks sweetened with sugar are also low FODMAP, but they haven’t been tested yet, so it’s not actually known. This is also true for other spirits, liqueurs, ciders, and non-alcoholic wines. Despite not being tested, we can guess that liqueurs, ciders, and non-alcoholic wines would test as high FODMAP. However, it would be close to impossible to guess how other spirits would test. Rum is the only spirit so far that is high FODMAP.
Can You Drink Alcohol With IBS?
Even though the drinks mentioned above are low FODMAP, it’s worth remembering that alcohol is an irritant to the gut. Some people can drink with no problems, but people who have diarrhoea predominant IBS have noticed that alcohol can be a trigger. Even if you don’t have diarrhoea predominant IBS, alcohol consumption can lead to cramping and pain. It’s recommended that people who suffer from IBS limit their alcohol consumption.
Cooking With Alcohol
You can still use alcohol to cook with, if you use a low FODMAP alcohol, such as red wine. Most methods of cooking will cook off, or evaporate the alcohol content, although this depends on several factors. However, adding a splash of red or white wine to your dish and cooking it off is unlikely to have any ill effects on you.