When transitioning to a low FODMAP diet, one of the toughest changes to get used to is eliminating gluten. It may seem like avoiding gluten narrows your starch options quite significantly…Well, you’re not wrong, but the good news is there are plenty of low FODMAP starch sources that you can eat during the elimination phase. We think that you won’t even miss any of the gluten-filled goodness.
Aside from keeping you sane, there’s a reason we’re so adamant on supplementing your starch sources during the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. Eliminating entire food groups can result in nutrient deficiencies, so supplementing your high FODMAP favorites with low FODMAP substitutions can help avoid any potential deficiencies.
Low FODMAP grains to eat for IBS
No need to pinch yourself, because you're not dreaming. YES, there are grains and starches that are Low FODMAP friendly. As you likely read in our IBS Foods to Avoid write-up, steer clear of corn and beans. Instead, rice, quinoa, oats, and sweet potatoes are great low FODMAP starches to fuel your body with needed carbohydrates. There are also plenty of gluten-free swaps for your favorite glutinous foods. Check out some of our favorite low FODMAP starches and swaps below.
Low FODMAP rice
Great news for all you rice lovers out there! White, brown, and long-grain rice are ALL low FODMAP. I know, I couldn't believe it either at first. Since rice is low FODMAP, that also means that rice oil, rice cakes, rice noodles, rice flour and certain rice milks are LF too! These products can be great alternatives to other high FODMAP oils, flours, milks and snacks. This low FODMAP pad thai recipe is one of our favorite ways to incorporate rice products!
Low FODMAP quinoa
I'm starting to think that quinoa is just a magical food at this point. Full of nutrients, gluten free, AND low FODMAP...what can't quinoa do? Quinoa comes in red, white, and multi-colored varieties, and they are all LF friendly. It has a delicate flavor similar to rice, so it is perfect for any dish involving a sauce or as the base or topping for salads! Interestingly, it is considered a "complete" protein, meaning that it contains ALL of the essential amino acids, which is very unusual for a plant protein. Wondering how to incorporate quinoa into your low FODMAP meal plan? Check out this Mediterranean quinoa salad.
Low FODMAP oats
Oh, the oat. What a classic, versatile grain. When it comes to oats, the serving can affect the level of FODMAPS in them. The good news is, oats are not just for breakfast! Oats can be used whole or ground into oat flour for desserts as well! Lucky for you, we have combed through the research to present you with the low FODMAP serving of each type of oat:
|Type of Oat||Low FODMAP serving size|
|Rolled oats||1/2 cup uncooked|
|Steel cut oats||1/2 cup uncooked|
|Instant/quick dry||1/4 cup uncooked|
Try out these low FODMAP peanut butter and banana steel cut oats for a delicious, gut-friendly breakfast!
Low FODMAP sweet potatoes
Just like oats, sweet potatoes are low FODMAP in a small serving. The great news is, sweet potatoes can be used in just about every way you can imagine. Throw them in a sweet potato hash for breakfast, in a soup for lunch, or as a side for dinner! If you're feeling really crazy you can even throw them in a dessert. If you don't believe me, check out these coconut almond nuggets with sweet potato fries.
Low FODMAP brown rice pasta
We know that eliminating pasta can be a challenge for people starting the low FODMAP diet. The good news is, with so many gluten-free options available, you shouldn’t have to! One of our favorite low FODMAP options is brown rice pasta. This product is gluten-free and made from brown rice, which we know is a low FODMAP food.
Getting started with a Low FODMAP Diet
Low FODMAP can be challenging, but excluding all starch sources in fear of accidentally including something high FODMAP will make it even more challenging!
These low FODMAP starch sources can help make your meals more satisfying and well-rounded. The good news is that most of these products can be found at your local grocery store. For the specialty products like gluten-free bread or brown rice pasta, you may have better luck finding them at a health-food store like Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, Sprouts, or Wegmans.
To read more about foods to avoid, foods to eat, and how to make easy changes to your IBS diet to mitigate your symptoms, download our IBS Nutrition Guide.
Kaitlyn Willwerth is a Registered Dietitian at OnPoint Nutrition. Kaitlyn's work focuses on providing individualized health and lifestyle coaching and, most importantly, support. She is a Certified LEAP Therapist and has also completed the Monash University 'Low FODMAP Diet for IBS' online training course for health professionals.