Guest post by Caitlyn Kambouroglos, RDN. Edited and fact checked by Cassie Madsen, MS, RD.
Are you struggling with one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome? If you have IBS, like 15% of the world’s population, you may be looking for relief from bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.
One nutrition intervention often recommended for those suffering from IBS is the low FODMAP diet (LFD). The LFD protocol is a 3-phase elimination diet. Anyone following the LFD should be closely monitored by a Registered Dietitian to reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies long term.1
So your doctor recommended you try a LFD, now what? Well, they may instruct you to download the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App which is a tool you can use to navigate the LFD. 2 The app provides you with a guide to low and high FODMAP foods as well as over 80 recipes.3
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Preparation and Planning
For most people, planning ahead for meals and snacks can prove to be quite the feat. Add the challenge of a LFD and you may be left with confusion and frustration as you try to navigate your new way of eating.
The following are tips for keeping easy, nourishing, low FODMAP snacks on hand:
- Pick one day per week to dedicate some time to prepare snacks. A couple of hours set aside will make choosing nourishing options during a busy week that much easier.
- Chop up fresh fruits and vegetables and have them portioned into containers for easy access when you are headed out the door.
- Keep pre-packaged and non-perishable snacks in your car when you are on-the-go.
- If you are in the office and have access to a refrigerator, keep snacks on hand for when you are needing a boost throughout the work day.
Simple Low FODMAP Snacks
#1 Hard-boiled Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein that will leave you feeling satisfied longer. Try pairing them with carrot sticks or low FODMAP fruit options for a more balanced option.
Avoid cashews and pistachios on a low FODMAP diet. This still leaves you with many other low FODMAP options to choose from.
Pay attention to portion sizes when consuming nuts. Eating too many of one variety can take a low FODMAP choice and make it a high FODMAP one. The following are safe portion sizes:
- 10 Almonds
- 10 Brazil nuts
- 10 Hazelnuts
- 10 Pecan halves
- 10 Walnut halves
- 20 Macadamia nuts
- 32 Peanuts
- 18 Mixed nuts
If you have a difficult time digesting nuts, try a nut butter like 2 Tbsp of peanut butter or 1 Tbsp almond butter instead. For an easy snack, pair nut butters with a small firm banana.
#3 Low Lactose Dairy
Lactose is considered a high FODMAP sugar; however, many low lactose dairy products are approved on the LFD. If you are a cheese lover, not to worry, the following options are available to you:
- Goat cheese
- Monterey Jack
Try out some of these no- to low- lactose snacks:
- Cheddar cheese paired with rice crackers and turkey slices.
- Lactose-free yogurt or cottage cheese paired with low FODMAP fruit options like ¼ cup blueberries or 5 medium strawberries.
- If you don’t tolerate dairy at all, try coconut yogurt instead.
#4 Low FODMAP Fruits and Vegetables
Sometimes simple is better. Cut up some of your favorite fresh low FODMAP fruits and vegetables and keep them in the refrigerator for when you feel like munching.
- Low FODMAP Fruits
- 1 Cup fresh pineapple
- 6 Grapes
- Oranges and clementines
- 2 Kiwis
- ¾ Cup cantaloupe
- 1 Medium banana (firm, green)
- ¼ Cup blueberries
- 30 Raspberries
- 5 Medium strawberries
- Low FODMAP Vegetables
- ½ Cup green bell pepper
- ⅓ Cup red bell pepper
- ½ Cup beets (canned or pickled)
- ½ Tomato
- ¾ Cup broccoli heads
#5 Low FODMAP Smoothies
Making smoothies for a snack is a great way to add extra nutrition into your day and try out new flavor combinations. Tap into your creativity by blending up some of your favorite low FODMAP foods.
Step 1: Add 4 oz. of a milk of your choice:
- Lactose-free milk
- Coconut milk (light, canned)
- Hemp milk
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
Step 2: Add some color:
- ½ Firm banana
- 10 Blueberries
- 1-2 Medium kiwis
- 30 Raspberries
- 5 Medium strawberries
Step 3: Add a protein source:
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. almond butter
- 3 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt (if tolerated)
- Casa de Sante low FODMAP protein powders
- Better Blends Oat & Collagen Nutritional Powder
Step 4: Add something green:
- ⅛ Avocado
- ¼ Cup baby kale
- ¼ Cup baby spinach
Step 5: Add something fun or flavorful:
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tsp. flax seeds
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. cocoa powder
#6 Chips and Salsa
Looking for a safe low FODMAP salsa? Check out FODY. They have many low FODMAP products including salsa, ketchup, sauces and salad dressings.
Pair FODY salsa with corn tortilla chips or make nachos using your favorite low FODMAP cheeses.
Or make your own fresh Low FODMAP Salsa.
Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean! Make a homemade charcuterie board. Here are some ideas to include:
- Rice crackers
- Feta cheese
- Grapes (limit 6 per serving)
- Homemade garlic-free hummus (limit to ¼ cup)
- Prosciutto or ham
#8 Prepared Snacks
Limited on time or constantly on-the go? Try some of these pre-packaged low FODMAP snacks:
- FODY snack bars
- GoMacro snack bars
- BelliWelli snack bars
- Popcorn, unflaored
- Gluten-free pretzels, unflavored
- Rice cakes, unflavored
- Stellar Labs Protein Shakes
- Sunchips (original flavor only)
- FODY foods potato chips
- Bare fruit chips – strawberry banana or toasted coconut
- Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
- 88 Acres Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bars
Final Thoughts on Low FODMAP snacks
For the greatest success following a low FODMAP diet, set aside an hour or two a week to prepare some low FODMAP snacks. That way, you’ll always have something tasty on hand.
With all of the low FODMAP fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and dairy/dairy alternative options you can rest assured you are getting a wide variety of nutrients and balanced snack options to leave you feeling satisfied.
You might even forget you are following an elimination diet!
Enjoyed this artilce? Then you might want to check out 7 Quick and Easy Low FODMAP Breakfast Ideas.
About the Author:
Guest post by Caitlyn Kambouroglos. Caitlyn is passionate about integrative and functional nutrition and the use of food as medicine. She enjoys helping people implement therapeutic diets as they navigate their healing journeys. Her mission is to provide nutrition education in a simple, yet effective manner to support people as they work towards their nutrition and wellness goals.
- Barrett JS. How to institute the low-FODMAP diet. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Mar;32 Suppl 1:8-10. doi: 10.1111/jgh.13686. PMID: 28244669.
- Bellini M, Tonarelli S, Barracca F, Morganti R, Pancetti A, Bertani L, de Bortoli N, Costa F, Mosca M, Marchi S, Rossi A. A Low-FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Some Answers to the Doubts from a Long-Term Follow-Up. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 7;12(8):2360. doi: 10.3390/nu12082360. PMID: 32784614; PMCID: PMC7468924.
- The low fodmap diet. Low FODMAP Diet | IBS Research at Monash University – Monash Fodmap. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2022, from https://www.monashfodmap.com/
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.