Dr. Rachel’s Recipe Ingredient Switches, Swaps & Substitutions for the Low-FODMAP Diet

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For those starting on a low-FODMAP diet, it can be a bit overwhelming. At first you may think there aren’t any foods you can eat! Be comforted; it gets easier … and your body will feel so good it will make it worthwhile.  I’m happy to be able to share my low-FODMAP Happy Gut guide and lists of low and high-FODMAP foods to help out.  You can save them to your phone, or post them on the fridge.

For me, transitioning to a low-FODMAP diet and becoming more FODMAP aware was a process. As I learned what foods kept my tummy happy,  I figured out how to alter a recipe to create a low-FODMAP version of my favorite meals.

So don’t despair — and don’t throw away your cookbooks! Many recipes can be finessed to become a low-FODMAP recipe and still taste like what Momma used to make.  Or peruse over 500 low-FODMAP recipes on my blog.

For other ideas, check out my low-FODMAP Grocery Shopping List.

Note 1:  I may sometimes use ingredients in my recipes that are not certified gluten-free, although they do not appear to contain gluten.  If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive to gluten, please be aware and make adjustments to these ingredients.

Note 2: One of the things that comes in very handy with cooking is a little kitchen scale to help ensure your portion sizes are always on point.  These are not too expensive either!

Note 3: For vegan versions of the recipes, please ensure that you are selecting vegan certified options of the ingredients (examples in the case of sugar, brown sugar and confectioner’s sugar, or other processed ingredients)

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD

P.S. Did you know that I have 2 COOKBOOKs ?!

The BEST resources for low-FODMAP diet know-how, and to navigate all three phases of the low-FODMAP diet.

Low-FODMAP Ingredient Swaps/Switches/Substitutions for Recipe Modification, and a few other low-FODMAP tips!

AgaveMaple syrup
Bread crumbsPanko crumbs (check ingredients; some contain additives that could trigger IBS symptoms) or make your own breadcrumbs (see blog for my recipe) or cornflake crumbs in a food processor. Watch out for cornflake brands with added juices, honey, or gluten (if you have celiac)
CouscousQuinoa or rice (brown or white)
FlourMany gluten-free flours are also low-FODMAP (They may or may not have added xanthan gum; this helps with the texture in the absence of gluten). Make sure to check ingredients, as some products contain chickpeas/almonds or other legumes which could irritate your tummy
HoneyLight corn syrup or maple syrup
KetchupOrganic ketchups with no high-fructose corn syrup and minimal seasonings
MilkLactose-free milk (*see note below), almond, rice, hemp. Soy milks made with soy protein test low in FODMAPs (not brands in U.S.). Canned coconut milk (1/4 cup serve)
MolassesDark corn syrup or brown rice syrup
Onion powder or garlic powderUse asafoetida (an Indian spice) to simulate onion/garlic flavor, or an infused oil (my preference) in place of regular oil. Experiment with other fresh herbs, spices and flavors; many are low FODMAP. See later in this table re: fresh garlic and onion substitutes
Pasta, noodlesRice noodles, soba noodles, risotto, gluten-free pastas made with rice or corn flours.
See notes below for some pasta brands I like
Whipped or heavy creamHeavy cream is low in lactose, but for a vegan option use the creamy layer from top of a can of coconut milk or canned coconut cream
ButterSince butter is low in carbohydrates it is naturally low-FODMAP. However alternatives that are vegan include coconut oil, vegetable shortening and dairy-free, soy-free, cashew-free vegan spread (check ingredient list to ensure no other high-FODMAP additives)
BreadSelect a gluten-free bread with low-FODMAP ingredients, or try a sourdough product for tolerance (*see note below)
Fresh onionFresh chives and green scallion tips are low in FODMAPs. If you use the green parts of the scallion, then place the white bulb in a small jar with fresh water and new green shoots will continue to grow
Fresh garlicPlant a bulb (head) of garlic in soil and in a few weeks you can grow a 'garlic plant'. These shoots (or scapes) are low in FODMAPs in 30g servings and taste like a mix of garlic and chive!

*Note: The low-FODMAP diet is NOT a gluten-free diet OR a dairy-free diet:

  • Wheat is a FODMAP, therefore many products that contain gluten are naturally avoided during the elimination phase. However, small amounts of wheat may be tolerated if you don’t have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. Additionally, sourdough bread products that are fermented long enough to allow the ‘fructans’ in the wheat to be broken down enough are more easily digested.  Test for your tolerance.
  • Lactose is a FODMAP,  but if you tolerate dairy, then you may be able to consume a certain amount of lactose.  Cheeses, butter, and certain other dairy products are naturally low in lactose.  Lactose-free milk and yogurt are also acceptable during the elimination phase.  If you can’t find those easily, you can purchase enzyme drops that make a product lactose-free or lower in lactose.  These include Milkaid, Lacteez and others.  In order to allow them to work, you would add the appropriate drops to your product and keep it refrigerated for 24 hours prior to use.  Be aware that these products may not work for acidic dairy items such as yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream.

Here are a few of my favorite low-FODMAP things, and where to find them:

Also check out my low-FODMAP Grocery Shopping Tips blog for even more product information!

The listed commercial brands have not been formally tested for FODMAPS but appear tolerable based on the ingredients.

Please check out my recipes for condiments and baking additions: low-FODMAP breadcrumbs,  low-FODMAP salsalow-FODMAP ketchup, low-FODMAP pizza sauce, low-FODMAP spaghetti sauce/marinara sauce, low-FODMAP tartar sauce, low-FODMAP barbecue sauce and low-FODMAP dressings/dips.  Homemade always tastes better than from the store!

  • Original Gluten-free Bisquick®: I love this for pancakes and to coat chicken for frying/baking, it contains low-FODMAP ingredients
    • Available at most groceries near me
    • Here is a copycat recipe if you can’t find this easily but *leave out the step that adds the vegetable shortening as my recipes call for that to be added later
  • Trader Joe’s® Organic Tomato Ketchup: I use this in many recipes, or to dunk the occasional french fry!
  • Green Valley Organics Lactose-free dairy products: cream cheese and sour cream
    • I find this at Whole Foods and Meijer Stores
  • Coconut Oil: I use this a lot in place of butter (like my low-FODMAP granola), so delicious with a hint of coconut
    • Available at most groceries
  • Earth Balance vegan spreads, soy free: This also is very close to butter and can be used in recipe substitutes to keep things dairy-free and vegan
    • Available at most groceries near me
  • Infused Oils, various brands
    • Infused oils do not absorb the FODMAPs so you may enjoy these without the tummy ache!
    • Buy these at specialized ‘oil boutiques‘ if you have them locally or at farmers markets
    • Amazon.com
    • Can also infuse your own- several websites offer step-by-step instructions
  • Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend Flour
    • My favorite flour for baking, this blend appears has low-FODMAP ingredients, a fine grind and amazing texture and results in recipes (check out my low-FODMAP bake-off blog to see why)
    • I order this from Vitacost.com, in large bulk size, then freeze in smaller ziplocks until ready to use
    • A large bulk order can last 6 months to a year and is much more affordable
  • Ronzoni, Barilla, Jovial and other gluten-free pasta brands (used in my low-FODMAP Macaroni & Cheese, low-FODMAP Minestrone Soup and low-FODMAP Beef lo Mein for some recipes)
    • Sold at Kroger and most large stores
    • Available items are spaghetti, thin spaghetti, macaroni, penne, lasagna, and rotini noodles, to name a few
    • Ingredients to look for include white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, and quinoa flour. Avoid products that contain chickpea or legumes
  • Rao’s® Sensitive Formula Marinara and Prego Sensitive Marinara sauces
    • Both are fantastic and work well in pasta dishes, or just on their own
    • Should be available at Kroger stores, Meijer, Whole Foods and Fresh Market
  • Canyon Ranch Bakehouse bread products (buns, white bread, rolls)
    • Available at Kroger, Meijer, Whole Foods

Have fun experimenting and remember to enjoy eating 🙂 !!


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As an IBS-sufferer myself, I know how badly you want to feel healthy and happy. I’ve spent over a decade researching IBS and FODMAPs, and my recipes and guidance will help you succeed.

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