This low FODMAP bread guide aims to explain what makes it low FODMAP, how to identify high FODMAP ingredients, which bread brands are certified, and how to make low FODMAP bread at home.
Here’s a quick overview of everything we’ll cover in this blog post:
- Understanding FODMAPs and Bread
- Serving Sizes Matters
- Types of Low FODMAP Breads
- A FODMAP-Free Diet Is Not Gluten Free
- Certified Low FODMAP Bread Brands
- High FODMAP Bread Flour & Ingredients
- Low FODMAP Bread Flour & Ingredients
- 2 Low FODMAP Sourdough Recipes At Home
We’re going to start this post off with an important point about low FODMAP bread: understanding how it affects IBS sufferers.
Understanding FODMAPs and Bread
An IBS diet does not mean a bread free diet but the common ingredient in white bread (wheat flour) contains two FODMAPs: fructans and gluten. These ingredients can trigger IBS symptoms.
This doesn’t mean completely removing bread from your diet. Instead, look for breads that are low FODMAP certified and read the ingredients label.
With that being said, wheat breads like sourdough are actually FODMAP friendly. A low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean a wheat free and gluten free diet. Which is why it’s always recommended to read the ingredient label to make sure you’re not eating any high FODMAP ingredients.
Another important takeaway from this post is knowing your serving sizes. Aside from knowing your tolerances, it’s important to make sure you eat the recommended serving size according to guidelines set by Monash or FODMAP Friendly. Let’s talk about serving sizes and why it matters.
Serving Sizes Matters
An IBS diet is about knowing what to eat or avoid, and more importantly how much of it to eat. Yes, low FODMAP ingredients contribute to making a low FODMAP bread but serving size matters just as much.
Regardless of if you can tolerate certain ingredients or not, it comes down to quantity. One slice of bread, even if it is wheat, will probably be okay (unless you have celiac disease or are deathly allergic to wheat/gluten). But having two or more slices could trigger IBS symptoms.
Here’s a list of different types of breads that are FODMAP friendly and their recommended serving sizes based on Monash and FODMAP Friendly. You can adjust this to your tolerances:
- Sourdough bread made from wheat, whole wheat, or spelt: 2 slices
- Gluten-free white bread: 2 slices
- Millet bread: 2 slices
- Regular wheat bread (wholemeal): 1 slice
- Sprouted grain bread: 1 slice
- Gluten-free multigrain bread: 1 slice
- Cornbread: 1 slice
With serving sizes out of the way, let’s go into the most talked about low FODMAP breads: sourdough and gluten-free breads.
Types of Low FODMAP Breads
There are plenty of low FODMAP bread varieties made from various grains and flours but two of the most commonly acceptable low FODMAP bread options are gluten-free and sourdough.
By some miracle, sourdough bread made from white wheat flour, whole wheat or spelt, is low FODMAP. How is sourdough low FODMAP if it starts with wheat flour? Sourdough bread is low FODMAP because of the fermentation process.
Sourdough is made with the same ingredients traditional white bread is made from. The only difference is that it uses wild yeast instead of commercial baker’s yeast. The wild yeast feeds on the gluten and reduces FODMAP levels.
The FODMAP levels in sourdough bread dramatically decrease during this fermentation process and makes sourdough FODMAP friendly. There is less gluten in sourdough but it is not gluten-free. So stay clear of sourdough bread if you are allergic to wheat.
Not all sourdoughs are made the traditional way. Be mindful of the ingredients, it should only have: flour, sourdough starter, salt, water. Stay clear of “sourfaux” bread. It’s fake sourdough that is made from yeast and has sour flavorings added to it. Click here to read more about sourdough bread benefits.
The next low FODMAP bread on our list is gluten free bread.
There’s a misconception that all gluten-free breads are low FODMAP. Gluten-free breads can be low FODMAP unless they’re made with high FODMAP grains or flours. Take gluten-free pizza crust for instance. It could be made from cauliflower which is high FODMAP.
Always read the ingredients to make sure the bread you’re eating is actually low FODMAP.
A FODMAP-Free Diet Is Not Gluten Free
A bread made from wheat like sourdough is considered a low FODMAP bread because of the process sourdough bread undergoes. But gluten is a protein that is found in grains like rye, barley, or wheat.
The other FODMAP culprit is a carbohydrate called fructans. Both of these FODMAPs often come together. Gluten-free grains have lower FODMAPs than wheat but they can easily contain more carbs or fructans.
The key to understanding a low FODMAP diet, IBS and bread, is to understand which ingredients you’re able to tolerate and which require moderate to low serving sizes.
Fun fact: Did you know that ingredients are listed in order of how much or the amount in which they’re present in the product? Ingredients are listed in order of weight and quantity used. So if it’s higher up on the ingredient list, there’s more of it in the product.
The lower that ingredient is on the list, the less of it there is in the product. This can mean that a bread can be considered a low FODMAP bread even with high FODMAP ingredients. But only if those high FODMAP ingredients appear at the end of the ingredient list.
Incorporating any food, like low FODMAP breads has a lot to do with knowing your tolerances and of course serving sizes. Eating an entire low FODMAP loaf will definitely trigger IBS symptoms regardless of what it’s made of.
Luckily in today’s day and age, there are low FODMAP certified breads. The next part of our post will cover breads that have been tested and certified to be FODMAP friendly.
Certified Low FODMAP Bread Brands
The best bread for IBS is one that you can tolerate with ingredients that are safe. But no one wants to stand around in the grocery store for hours reading the back of labels. Here are a list of brands with the best bread for IBS sufferers:
- Schar (International: US, EU, Asia, Africa)
- COBS (US & Canada)
- La Boulangerie alternative Inéwa (Canada)
- Alpine Breads (AU)
- Bakers Delight (AU)
- Brumby’s Bakery (AU & NZ)
- Naturis Organic Bread (AU)
In a perfect world, certified low FODMAP bread that’s been lab tested and low FODMAP approved would be readily available in every grocery store. This list of low FODMAP bread brands are known to supply low FODMAP breads:
Schär makes low FODMAP certified bread and supplies it internationally. Quite a few of their breads have been tested and proved by Monash. This is a list of their low FODMAP bread options: pizza base, breadsticks, cream crackers, gluten-free baguette, brown, multigrain and seeded ciabatta rolls, seeded bread, sourdough, hamburger rolls, panini rolls, seeded loaves.
Use their low FODMAP hamburger buns to make our low FODMAP Copycat Big Mac Burger
Cobs bread is Monash certified and has numerous low FODMAP loaves, mini loaves, and buns. The breads at Cobs are not gluten free and contain ingredients like sorghum, flax, poppy seeds and oats.
La Boulangerie alternative Inéwa
La Boulangerie alternative Inewa has a line of gluten-free, low FODMAP, artisanal breads and a selection of regular bread. Their breads are organic, non-GMO, with no preservatives or chemicals. Their low FODMAP breads are: 100% Spelt sourdough, sourdough, spelt and buckwheat bread.
Alpine’s bread uses a slow fermentation process that reduces levels of FODMAPs and has low FODMAP breads like: sour rye sourdough, spelt and barley sourdough, spelt and sprouted grain bread, and spelt hot x buns.
More bakeries that provide low FODMAP bread options in Australia are:
- Bakers Delight: Cheesymite scroll, whole grain roll, whole grain loaf, whole grain bread roll and whole grain block loaf
- Brumby’s Bakery (AU & NZ): Quinoa and linseed loaf & roll
- Naturis Organic Breads: Spelt sourdough
If these low FODMAP bread brands can’t be found in your area, then it’s best to know which ingredients are low and high FODMAP to avoid any unnecessary triggers.
This is not the complete list, nor is it relevant to every person’s tolerances. Use it as a guideline and check with FODMAP Friendly and Monash food apps for any other ingredient not mentioned.
Other cool FODMAP apps are the Fig browser extension. This FREE app will flag ingredients that don’t match your chosen dietary requirements on websites, recipes, and groceries. Unfortunately, this app doesn’t work on mobile phones.
So if you’re in the grocery store and you’re wondering what on earth to avoid, we have a list of high FODMAP bread flour and ingredients for you.
High FODMAP Bread Flour & Ingredients
Following a low FODMAP diet can be easy as long as you know what to avoid. Choosing low FODMAP for ibs can be challenging since there are a lot of high FODMAP ingredients in breads.
Be aware of these common high FODMAP ingredients and that can be found in baked goods like bread:
High FODMAP Ingredients
Agave, molasses, honey, fructose corn syrup, apple juice, apple concentrate, pear juice, pear concentrate, prune juice, prune concentrate, chicory root, coconut sugar, fruit sugars, FOS (Fructooligosaccharides), inulin, milk solids and dry milk solids.
High FODMAP Flours
Amaranth flour, bean flour, cassava flour, coconut flour, einkorn flour, emmer flour, freekeh, kamut flour, lupin (a type of legume) flour, nut flours, psyllium husks, rye flour*, soy flour, triticale flour.
*Alpine Bread’s Sour Rye Bread is low FODMAP certified and tested by FODMAP Friendly. Keep to 2 slices or 80 grams for serving size. This rye bread is a mix of rye and wheat flour.
It’s a great example of how the fermentation process of making this bread and a monitored portion size can result in a low FODMAP bread. Even when main ingredients like wheat and rye are known to be high FODMAP ingredients.
Now that you know what to look for, here are some green light items to look for in low FODMAP breads.
Low FODMAP Bread Flour & Ingredients
The ingredients and flours listed below are FODMAP certified bread ingredients:
Low FODMAP Ingredients
Brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, guar gum, locust bean gum and xanthan gum.
Low FODMAP Flours
Arrowroot flour, almond meal (1/4 cup serving size), buckwheat flour, cornmeal, maize flour, corn flour (includes cornstarch & masa harina), green banana flour, millet flour, oat bran & oat flour, potato flour and starch, quinoa flour, both brown and white rice bran, flour and starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and starch, and teff flour.
Since we’ve covered what to look for when buying low FODMAP breads, how about we look at making some at home? The next section is a compilation of our favorite sourdough recipes that you can make at home.
2 Low FODMAP Sourdough Recipes At Home
The best low FODMAP bread has got to be authentic sourdough. A lot of gluten-free breads or low FODMAP breads with substitutes, additives, or other grain flour, can lack the magic that wheat bread has.
Why not try making low FODMAP bread at home if they aren’t easy to find in your neighborhood? Sourdough bread is one of the ultimate breads because it uses only 3 ingredients (water, flour, sourdough starter) and produces delicious low FODMAP bread.
Here are 2 of our favorite low FODMAP sourdough bread recipes:
This basic sourdough bread recipe is the complete guide to making sourdough bread from scratch. Learn how to make artisanal sourdough bread at home and move on to our flavored sourdough like this black sesame sourdough bread:
This black sesame sourdough is deeply savory and nutty from the black sesame seed crust. It’s absolutely delicious and is an amazing bread.
That’s the end of this low FODMAP bread post! That was one heck of a post, folks. At the end of it, we hope you learned about breads and FODMAPs, where to buy certified low FODMAP bread, how to identify low and high FODMAP ingredients in breads, and the importance of serving sizes!
Will you try to make sourdough at home? We’ve used our basic sourdough bread recipe to make sourdough pizza and it was out of this world. Not sure which pizza toppings are safe? Check out this 28 low FODMAP pizza toppings post!
Trying to squeeze in baked goods with dietary restrictions? Check out our guide to low FODMAP baking!