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A Nutritionist On 5 Sneaky Foods To Avoid On A Low-FODMAP Diet

Image by Duet Postscriptum / Stocksy
June 14, 2021

FODMAPs (AKA fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are a category of foods with short-chain carbs that many people have a hard time digesting.

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If you deal with IBS or SIBO, you've likely already heard of FODMAPs and might have already tried a low-FODMAP diet that avoids the major ones. But according to medical nutrition therapy specialist Carol Ireton-Jones, Ph.D., RDN, there are a handful of sneaky FODMAPs that you want to watch out for too. They are:

Coconut flour

As Ireton-Jones explained on a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, it's well known that things like wheat, rye, and barley are not FODMAP-friendly because of the oligosaccharides. "But coconut flour can be a part of that," she adds. Despite it being gluten-free, it contains sorbitol and other sugars that can aggregate digestion.

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Peas

Unfortunately for the plant-based folks out there trying to stick to a low-FODMAP diet, peas, just like beans, also fit in this category, according to Ireton-Jones. They're a great source of plant-based protein, but she notes they also contain the oligosaccharides that can make them difficult to digest.

Certain mushrooms

Some, but not all, mushrooms need to be avoided or eaten in small quantities on a low-FODMAP diet due to high amounts of mannitol, a type of sugar alcohol. Some of the biggest offenders are portobello, shiitake, button, brown, and enoki mushrooms.

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Peaches

It's a shame, but yes, peaches have that same sugar alcohol problem when it comes to FODMAPs. As Ireton-Jones explains with regard to sugar alcohols, "I always thought, oh, those are the added sugars, like the xylitol and the sorbitol," but they're not always added and can naturally occur in some fruits.

Pears

And last but not least: pears. Just like peaches, pears can be hard to digest, Ireton-Jones notes. They're particularly high in fructose, and if you're on a low-FODMAP diet, you'll want to avoid them or eat them in very small quantities once in a while.

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The bottom line.

While the low-FODMAP diet can be extremely helpful for those with sensitivities, it isn't exactly the easiest regimen to follow—especially with so many sneaky foods like these that could upset the gut. If you're struggling with the diet, Ireton-Jones recommends seeking the help of a nutritionist.

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