Reading labels is essential when you're on a low FODMAP diet.
In our previous blog series, we went over some of the most common mistakes IBS sufferers make on low FODMAP diets. One of the biggest mistakes we touched on is not reading labels. Food manufacturers sneak high FODMAP ingredients and additives into many different foods, and the only way to know for sure that you’re not eating high FODMAP foods is to read labels. Hower, reading labels can be trickier than most people think, and that’s why the experts at Casa de Sante have come up with this list of tips for reading labels for a low FODMAP diet.
#1. Check for the FODMAP Friendly or Monash University logo.
Monash University and FODMAP Friendly both test for FODMAPs in foods. Foods that have been tested and found to be low in FODMAPs are able to display the logo of the company that tested the food. Looking for one of these logos is a great way to gain peace of mind in knowing that you’re purchasing a low FODMAP food, and it can also take some of the guesswork out of the process. But keep in mind that not all manufacturers choose to use one of these logos on their products, so just because it’s missing the logo doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a high FODMAP food. However, it does mean that you should read the label carefully. Additionally, only a small number of manufacturers choose to have their products tests for FODMAPs, which is why you won’t find a larger portion of foods with a Monash University or FODMAP Friendly logo.
#2. Learn the basics of reading labels.
If you’re in the elimination portion of your low FODMAP diet, then avoiding as many high FODMAP foods as possible is ideal. But if you’re in the phase where you’re slowly starting to reintroduce FODMAPs into your diet, a few high FODMAP ingredients here and there are okay. But if the label just says “onion” or “garlic,” how do you know how much of these ingredients you're getting? Looking at the order the ingredients are listed can help you get a good idea. Ingredients are listed by weight on food labels, with the ingredients in the largest quantities first and the smallest quantities last. If you’re in the process of reintroducing high FODMAP ingredients, try picking foods with the FODMAPs listed towards the end of the ingredient list.
#3. Don’t overlook portion sizes.
Some foods are considered to be low FODMAPs in smaller quantities and high FODMAPs in higher quantities. For example, a 12 gram serving of almonds is low FODMAP, whereas a 24 gram serving is high FODMAP. So, in addition to searching labels for high FODMAP ingredients, consider the amount of those ingredients compared to the overall serving size.
Reading labels for low FODMAP diets can be tricky, but we hope these tips will help! Learn about more tips for reading labels on a low FODMAP diet when you stay tuned for our next blog, and shop with us for the best IBS foods for your low FODMAP diet.