What bread can I eat on a low FODMAP diet? Low FODMAP apps list sourdough and gluten-free bread as low FODMAP options. But there is a little more to it than that.
Many gluten-free breads contain high FODMAP ingredients. And just because bread has the word “sourdough” on the label, doesn’t mean it is a true traditional sourdough.
In this article, we review low-FODMAP bread brands, high-FODMAP ingredients to look out for, and how to identify a true low-FODMAP sourdough.
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Conventional white bread is considered low FODMAP in a serving of 1 slice per meal. However, even if you are having just one slice, it is still a good idea to check for high FODMAP ingredients (beyond the obvious wheat).
You might want to look for another option if your go-to white bread contains high FODMAP ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, apple juice concentrate, or inulin.
Unfortunately, whole grain wheat and multigrain bread are higher in GOS and fructans. So, if you are eating bread made with wheat, stick with basic white bread and keep your portions small. You’ll have to get your fiber elsewhere.
If boring white bread isn’t really your thing – or you know you can’t stick to a serving size of one slice – there are plenty of other low FODMAP options you can try. These include certified low-FODMAP products, some gluten-free bread, and traditional sourdough bread.
But read on so you know what exactly you are looking for.
Certified Low FODMAP Bread Brands
Unfortunately, the list of certified low-FODMAP breads is short. And not all products from these companies are low FODMAP. Look for the Monash or FODMAP Friendly certification symbols to be sure.
Alpine Breads (Australia)
Fria Brod (Europe / UK)
According to the Monash University FODMAP app, white gluten-free bread is low FODMAP in a serving of 2 slices. While multigrain gluten-free bread is listed as low FODMAP in a serving of 1 slice.
However, the recipes for gluten-free bread can vary quite a bit. Some gluten-free products contain high FODMAP ingredients. It can be hard to tell from the label whether these high FODMAP ingredients are present in amounts that will cause you a problem. But generally, the closer the high FODMAP ingredient is to the beginning of the list, the more there is in the product.
It is certainly possible that a gluten-free bread with a small amount of a high FODMAP ingredient will be tolerated just fine. However, many people choose to stick with bread with minimal high FODMAP ingredients during the elimination phase, unless they are too difficult to find.
As you move through the reintroduction phase and into the personalization phase you will know which FODMAPs you are sensitive to.
Once you have established this, you could explore adding in some bread with high FODMAP ingredients closer to the beginning of the ingredient list. But start slow – consider ½ slice initially, and monitor your symptoms before going all in.
High FODMAP ingredients to look out for include molasses, honey, sorghum syrup, pear juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, amaranth, and inulin.
Gluten-Free Breads That Are Likely Low FODMAP
I scoured the ingredient list of many gluten-free bread products and have compiled a list of items that appear to be low FODMAP based on the ingredients.
Please note that these products are not certified low FODMAP. And remember that companies change their recipes often, so make sure to check the ingredients yourself to make sure they still contain low FODMAP ingredients at the time of purchase.
Aldi’s LiveGfree Whole Grain Bread
Aldi’s LiveGfree White Bread
Canyon Bakehouse Country White
Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain (does contain molasses, whole grain amaranth (<2%))
Canyon Bakehouse Hawaiian Sweet
Canyon Bakehouse Multigrain (molasses, whole grain amaranth (<2%))
Canyon Bakehouse Burger Buns
Kinnikinnick Hamburger Buns
Kinnikinnick Hot Dog Buns
Little Northern Bakehouse Organic Oatmeal Bread
Little Northern Bakehouse Organic Original
Little Northern Bakehouse Organic Ancient Grain
Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains
Little Northern Bakehouse White Wide Slice
New Grains White Bread
New Grains Sourdough
New Grains Vegan Sandwich Bread
New Grains Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free White Sandwich Bread
The options above contain low FODMAP ingredients. However, there may be other breads that are well tolerated that contain some FODMAPs.
As mentioned earlier, the order of ingredients matters. If bread contains honey or molasses, but it falls at the end of the ingredient list, it is probably fine for most people on a low FODMAP diet.
For example, Three Bakers White Bread contains honey as the tenth ingredient. Honey is low FODMAP at a portion of 1 teaspoon. A slice of this bread likely contains less than that. To be on the safe side, you could start with a single slice of bread, monitor symptoms, and- if tolerated – increase to two slices.
Low FODMAP Sourdough Bread
Now for my favorite – sourdough bread! Traditional sourdough bread uses a starter containing wild yeast and lactobacillus bacteria to make the bread rise. This process requires a longer rise time than other types of bread.
The sourdough starter causes the sugars in the bread to ferment. This process of fermentation reduces the FODMAP content of the wheat. Just like our gut bacteria use FODMAPs for fuel, so do the microbes in the sourdough starter.
This fermentation process is also responsible for the bubbles or holes in the bread, the chewy texture, and the tangy flavor.
It is important to know that not all breads labeled as sourdough are truly fermented sourdoughs. Look for bread with only a few ingredients – flour, water, salt, and sourdough culture or starter.
The sourdough culture may also be labeled as wild yeast or natural leaven. Wild yeast is different from baker’s yeast used in other types of bread. You will not find other rising agents or preservatives in a true sourdough.
You might be more likely to find a true sourdough from a bakery vs a grocery store. And when you buy from a bakery you can ask about the process used to produce the bread. Plus, you support a local business. So, it’s a win all around!
Of course, you could also make your own sourdough bread! I’m not much of a baker myself, so I will refer you to this article by Kitchn to walk you through the process of making sourdough bread at home.
High FODMAP Sourdough Bread
As noted above, not all sourdough bread is created equal. If it is not a traditionally risen sourdough bread using sourdough culture or wild yeast, it will not be low FODMAP.
Additionally, some sourdough breads have high FODMAP ingredients. Some bakers jazz up their sourdough bread by adding things like raisins, garlic, or onions. They might still be true sourdoughs, but the addition of these other ingredients will increase the FODMAP content.
Grocery Shopping Tools
I mention the Monash and FODMAP Friendly apps often. And for good reason. They are the organizations out there testing foods for FODMAP content and determining portion sizes. But the apps only list so many branded food items.
Fortunately, there are a few other apps that can be useful tools for shopping. These are food scanner apps. Spoon and Fig are two such apps. You simply type in or scan the food you are interested in reviewing and it will bring up the list of ingredients and let you know if it fits within your diet restrictions.
These can also be nice learning tools, as they underline the ingredient(s) that are not compatible with a low FODMAP diet.
But beware that these apps are not perfect or guaranteed. If a product changes, the app might not be updated yet, so it’s a good idea double check the ingredients to save you a gut ache!
Choosing a low-FODMAP bread isn’t as easy as grabbing the first package you see labeled “gluten-free” or “sourdough”. Unfortunately, it is a bit trickier than that.
Here are some tricks to assure your bread fits in your low FODMAP diet: look for certified low FODMAP products, check the ingredient list for high FODMAP ingredients, assuring that your loaf of sourdough was traditionally made, and/or use a food scanner app like Spoon or Fig.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy this one all about Low FODMAP Cereal.
Still feeling stuck with your low FODMAP diet? Book a connection call to get some support and assistance.
Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.