Low FODMAP: Should You be Gluten Free?
Updated: Jun 4
Should you be gluten free on the Low FODMAP diet?
The answer is NO... most of the time
Gluten-free food is pretty useful when you're on the Low FODMAP diet. But sometimes it's easy to forget that it's not the Gluten we are actually avoiding, it's the FODMAP in wheat called Fructans.
Luckily, that means you can sometimes have foods that DO have gluten in them; like one slice of normal bread, or a little bit of normal pasta, or some of the new high-tech Low FODMAP wheat foods. Read on Macduff!
You can (and should!) eat some wheat in your diet
Wheat is high in the FODMAP called fructans. A Low FODMAP diet means that the amount of wheat in the diet needs to be reduced.
Note that the main word here is reduce - not eliminate. In fact, it is good to include wheat in your diet in small serves, because it is a great prebiotic for our gut microbes - especially wholegrain!
The following wheat foods are low FODMAP for the following serves. Just keep 3-4 hours between wheat serves to avoid a build up of FODMAPs in the gut.
Make it grainy or wholemeal to give your microbes the nutrition they need to thrive!
Normal Bread: 1 slice (25g)
Sourdough Bread: 2 slices (50g)
Sourdough is not gluten free but is low in FODMAPs. The traditional sourdough methods reduce the fructan content. However, be careful not to buy 'sourdough style' sourdough- it needs to be proper sourdough.
Wheat Crackers: 2 biscuits
A small serve of normal wheat biscuits (two) is low FODMAP. Choose grainy/wholemeal over the more processed ones as better to always choose the higher fibre alternatives for a healthy gut.
Mountain Bread Wheat Wraps: 1-2 wraps
Mountain bread is so thin that 1-2 wraps qualify as low FODMAPs. Start with one wrap and increase to 2 as tolerated.
Wheat pasta: 1/2 cup
As half a cup is a pretty limited amount, most people generally go for the gluten free pasta to enjoy a full bowl.
Oats: 1/2 a cup (unless quick cooked then 1/4 cup)
Oats do not technically contain gluten but do contain AVENIN, which is a cousin of gluten. People with Coeliac Disease may have to avoid oats but otherwise 1/2 cup of oats is a welcome addition to the Low FODMAP diet.
Low FODMAP Wheat Products
New FODMAP innovations means the creation of new products that have low fructan content but still have gluten in them! Your gut microbiome will be happy about that.
WHEAT BASED LO-FO FLOUR
Buy From: Woolies
How much can I eat? 100g serve is Low FODMAP
Just replace your normal flour with this wheat based flour that has been modified to reduce the FODMAP content. Still contains gluten but low in fructans. A 100g serve is low in FOMAPs.
Buy From: Baker's Delight, Alpine Breads
Baker's Delight have been busy adding to their Low FODMAP range of wheat products including bread, rolls and pizza bases.
There are other wheat based Low FODMAP breads that have been Low FODMAP certified such as Alpine breads.
Watch this space as new reduced FODMAP wheat products come onto the market.
When you should choose Gluten-Free
If there are no low fructan alternatives, choose Gluten-Free
Until low fructan versions of wheat pasta, wheat breakfast cereals, wheat savoury and sweet biscuits and other wheat products such as crumpets and muffins are available, gluten-free versions are the best option for the moment.
No doubt this will change.
If choosing a gluten-free food as part of the Low FODMAP diet- do check to see there are no sneaky other high FODMAP ingredients creeping in!
If you have Coeliac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, Choose Gluten-Free
If you have Coeliac Disease and following the low FODMAP diet, or feel you have a gluten sensitivity, then gluten-free versions do need to be chosen.
Some people with gluten sensitivity can tolerate small amounts of gluten- your personal threshold will be unique to you but often do not have to avoid the very small amounts of gluten like you do with Coeliac Disease.
If you require a gluten-free or wheat-free diet in addition to the Low FODMAP diet, working with a Specialised Dietitian is really important to ensure you are choosing a variety of alternative fibres to maximise gut health.
Otherwise- a normal Low FODMAP diet means you can have plenty of wheat in the diet- as long as it is Low FODMAP.