How to Include Low FODMAP Wholegrains

How to Include Low FODMAP Wholegrains

Written by Jessica Lebovits RD, CDN, CNSC, The Well Necessities

With the various restrictions on the Low FODMAP diet, you may think, “well what can I eat now?” If you can no longer grab a slice of whole wheat toast, does that mean grains are out of the question? The good news is that there are numerous grains that are perfectly safe for a Low FODMAP diet. However, these grains are often underutilized! Grains contain starch, protein, nutrients, and fiber that can help you feel satisfied with your meal and ensure that you are obtaining all of the vitamins and minerals you need. Fiber has also been shown to help prevent chronic diseases (i.e. cancer, diabetes, heart disease) and can promote a healthy digestive system and bowel regularity. Most adults should consume ~30 grams of fiber daily and children should consume ~20-25 grams of fiber daily.

As a dietitian, I make sure that my patients know how to look for whole grains. In a world of processing and ultraprocessing, our food is too often broken down to a mere skeleton of its original self. Whole grains contain all of the essential components and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions. This means that all 3 parts of the original kernel (the bran, germ, and endosperm) are all present even if the food is cooked, rolled, or crushed.

Frequently, you will see products made with refined grains. Normally, the bran and germ will be removed leaving a starchy white endosperm.

 

The Bran

The bran is the multi-layered outer skin of the edible kernel. It contains antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber.

The Germ

The germ is the embryo that has the potential to sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

The Endosperm

The endosperm is the germ’s food supply, which provides essential energy to the young plant. It is the largest portion of the kernel. It contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.


There is nothing wrong with refined grains, but it is advisable to aim to make at least 50% of your daily grain intake whole grains to optimize the nutritional quality of your diet. You can apply the same skills you use to investigate ingredient labels for FODMAP content towards looking for whole grains. Items on an ingredient list are listed in order of weight, from high to low. Therefore, you are looking for labels that specify whole grain ingredients at the top of the list and not just at the very bottom. It is also beneficial to scan the nutrition label for fiber content. If whole grains are used in significant proportions, the fiber content will likely be >1g per serving.

So I’ve sold you on whole grains, but you’re still unsure how to incorporate them in to your diet. You can cook up some whole grains, such as quinoa, wild rice, or sorghum, and add them to your side dishes, salads, or soups. Otherwise, you can look for breads, pastas, granolas, flour mixes, tortillas, wraps, crispbreads, and crackers that contain these ingredients. For example, Food for Health Fruit Free Clusters, Table of Plenty Nicely Nutty Muesli, and Food for Health Blueberry Vanilla & Teff Gourmet Protein Muesli all make excellent options for topping any meal or snack with an extra boost of whole grains and fiber.

Next time you are whipping up a meal or snack, just think “where can whole grains enter the equation?” Will your pancakes be buckwheat, your tortillas teff, your bread millet, your starch quinoa? Whatever you choose, your Low FODMAP diet will be more varied and nutritious because of it!

References:

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/definition-whole-grain

Jessica Lebovits, RD, CDN, CNSC is a registered dietitian practicing in New York and through virtual counseling. She specializes in celiac disease, IBS, SIBO, food intolerances, and various other gastrointestinal conditions. If you have any questions or you would like to work with Jessica, feel free to contact her at Jessica@thewellnecessities.com.

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