Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Grain-based foods on a low FODMAP diet

By Jane Varney 


Grain-based foods have been demonised by a number of dietary trends in recent years (think paleolithic diets, low carbohydrate diets and gluten free diets). However, this reputation is ill-earned, with robust scientific evidence to suggest that diets rich in whole grains confer protection against a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

If you’re following a low FODMAP diet, you might feel it’s easier to restrict your intake of grain-based foods as many of them are high in FODMAPs and off limits anyway. Well this is far from true, as there are an abundance of healthy, tasty, low FODMAP grains to choose from. If you’re willing to expand your repertoire and try less traditional varieties, this will provide more choice, as will choosing grains that may be rated red/amber at a full serve, but green (low FODMAP) at a half serve.

Grain-based foods include those made from wheat, oats, rice, corn (maize), barley, sorghum, rye, millet, farro (emmer), freekeh, kamut, spelt, triticale, amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. Processing greatly affects the nutrient composition of the grain-food end product, with whole grains being nutritionally superior to refined grains. Whole grains are those left intact after food processing and thus contain all three layers of the grain (the bran, endosperm, and germ). By contrast, refined grains are those that have had one or more parts of the grain removed during food processing, e.g. the bran. From a nutrition perspective, choosing foods rich in whole grains in preference to refined grains is preferable as they are more nutrient dense: rich in carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, iodine, folate, and thiamine.

So which grains are low in FODMAPs? The following is a list of whole grain foods that Monash has tested and found to be low FODMAP at either a full or half serve: 

  • Amaranth (puffed)
  • Bourghul
  • Buckwheat (kernals, flour
  •  Corn (cob, polenta, tortilla, popcorn)
  •  Millet (grain, flour)
  • Oats (whole, quick, oatmeal)
  • Quinoa (grain, flakes, flour, pasta)
  •  Rice (brown)
  • Sorgham (flour)
  •  Wheat (wholemeal bread)

In future blogs, we’ll discover how to identify whether a processed food is likely to contain whole or refined grains and discuss uses of some of the less traditional grains. Stay tuned!
           


14 comments:

  1. Wondering if you have tested Teff. I have Teff flour i'd like to try it's gluten-free but i don't know if it is low-FODMaP. thanks.

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    1. Hi there, unfortunately we have not tested teff flour so cannot comment on its FODMAP content. To test your own tolerance to untested foods, please see the following blog for guidance: http://bit.ly/1Upsw8K
      best wishes, The Monash FODMAP team

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  2. Oh great. Sort of on this topic, I'd love to know more about different flours that are often used in baking to replace general flour. Specifically soy flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour and almond flour. Thank you!

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  3. Thanks, I've been eating more quinoa and buckwheat since on low fodmap and enjoy it. But isn't wheat, including wholewheat, considered high in FODMAP due to its gluten content?

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  4. Wheat containing breads appear on the list of high Fodmap foods and in this list as low Fodmap. Could you explain where the difference lies? Thank you Julie Monteith

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    1. Hi Guanaco, the difference is in relation to serving size, which is just as important as the type of food. Wheat bread (wholemeal) is high in FODMAPs if you have 2 slices, however is low in FODMAPs if you only have 1 slice (1/2 a typical serve). I hope this clarifies thing! best wishes, The Monash FODMAP team

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  5. In Poland we have two types of buckwheat - white, raw kernels and dark, "fried" kernels. Are both types low fodmap products?

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    1. Hi Anna, unfortunately we have only tested raw buckwheat kernels/groats from Australia and the USA. We did find that the FODMAP content varied slightly between the Australian and US grown buckwheat, so growing conditions between different countries do seem to have an effect. We would suggest testing your own tolerance to the different types of buckwheat available in Poland, see this blog to learn how: http://bit.ly/1Upsw8K
      Best wishes, the Monash FODMAP team!

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  6. so is farro considered a low FODMAP grain?

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    1. Hi Anna, we have not specifically tested farro so cannot comment on its FODMAP content, however, as farro is a variety of wheat it is likely that it will have a similar FODMAP content to regular wheat/wheat varieties like spelt. Best wishes, Monash FODMAP

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  7. Are oat groats considered low FODMAP and if so, what serving size?

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    1. Hi Jessica,

      We have tested buckwheat groats which are low FODMAP in the serving size of 135 grams or 3/4 of a cup, cooked.

      All the best,
      Monash FODMAP

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  8. Hi, I just wanted to find out about Chickpea flour? Would that be considered low FODMAP as well

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    1. Hi Liesel-Marie,

      Unfortunately we haven't tested chickpea flour therefore cannot comment on it's FODMAP content. If you would like you can always test your own tolerance, please see this blog post for more info http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/testing-your-tolerance-to-untested-foods.html

      All the best,
      Monash FODMAP.

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