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May 31, 2012


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Alice Bradshaw

Solgar Whey to Go is a combination of isolate and concentrate - isn't whey concentrate unsuitable for elimination phase?


Hi Patsy,

My doctor recently advised me to start taking Triphala for my chronic constipation. Is Triphala safe on a low FODMAP diet? If not, are there any safe fiber supplements I can take? Psyllium Husk is brutal for me.

Thank you for your wonderful website. It is a wealth of information for those of us who have been suffering for so long!



Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder in the unflavored variety I believe is low-FODMAP. The only ingredients are pasturized egg white albumen and lechithin.

The chocolate variety is delicious but unfortunately contains xylitol as the second ingredient :( Haven't tried the unflavored yet but I'm placing an order soon. Used to have the chocolate all the time until I learned better.


Egg protein powder?


I think my SunWarrior vanilla protein powder should be??
Whole Brown Rice Protein (Bio-Fermented Raw Sprouted Whole GrainBrown Rice Protein),Vanilla, Pectin, Xanathan Gum (Natural Bio-Fermented Stabilizer), Stevia


Should be OK as long as there are no other FODMAP-containing ingredients.

Amy Jones

Along the line of supplements--do you have any experience with Natural Calm? I have a client taking this (for constipation) and I am wondering if it's appropriate for the elimination diet. Thanks!


Jen, I do not have enough experience with the ingredients of Triphela to say for sure whether it is OK on the FODMAP diet or not. The name apparently means "three fruits" and from what I have read it does not appear to be a stimulant laxative. Maybe it works as an osmotic laxative as do some other fruits (prunes)? If so, it might contain fructose and/or polyols.


Thanks for the egg protein suggestions!


The Sun Warrier vanilla protein powder does look technically OK for the Elimination Phase of the diet. Some particularly sensitive people do not tolerate xanthan gum, but it is not a FODMAP.


Natural Calm is essentially a magnesium supplement/laxative, even thought they are soft-pedaling the laxative aspect in the product labeling and marketing. Magnesium is not a FODMAP. For this or any other laxative, if it is part of a prescribed constipation prevention regimen, I generally don't change it during the Elimination and Challenge Protocol. I would not ADD it during the protocol either. If it is "as needed" and only used off and on, then maybe go "off" and give the diet a chance to show its stuff. As always, do not change a prescribed medication, even if over the counter, without consulting your health care provider.


I have your latest book and I wonder if lactose free versions of whipping cream/crème fraiche/sour cream/cream cheese would be allowed as a non-bold face type of ingredient in the "Allowed fats" section? If so, what would their serving sizes be?


Yes, lactose free versions of those foods would be allowed. Do share brand names of any commercial products, I have not seen them. As you know, if they have no FODMAPs at all the portion size doesn't matter at least as far as FODMAPs go. For general purposes such as weight management, you can just go with the portion sizes suggested on the nutrition facts of the products.


I actually live in Sweden and we have a large assortment of lactose-free products. (Dairy is a very important staple here and many Swedes are lactose intolerant.)

I am glad to hear that those products are allowed, it will make my elimination phase much easier!!

Christy Hughes

You list several varieties of Boost shakes as appropriate for a low-FODMAP diet. Due to the fact that I also have a dietary potassium intake restriction, I have used Boost Glucose Control shakes in the past (which have only 65g of potassium per serving as opposed to 300-400g for the other varieteis). However, as a newcomer to the low-FODMAP diet, I recently noticed that this variety of Boost appears to get it's 3g of per-serving fiber from inulin. Does this fact therefore disqualify it as a low-FODMAP food?


Yes, the inulin would disqualify it as a low-FODMAP food. I hope you are working with a dietitian or doctor who will help you sort out the risks and benefits of using the Boost given your medical situation.


I've got another one for you, Patsy. Though I'm not POSITIVE it's alright (at least for the elimination phase). It's On Gold Standard Whey (Vanilla Flavor, at least). Even includes lactase as an ingredient.

The label can be viewed here:


Let me know if I messed this up!


This one looks like it would do just fine, probably falls into the category of "99% lactose free"; with the addition of the lactase it would probably have somewhat less than 1 gram of lactose per serving, which the vast majority of lactose intolerant folks would be able to tolerate. Thanks!


A great protein powder to try is PerfectFit by Tone It Up: http://perfectfitprotein.com/
It's a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw, non-GMO, organic brown rice protein powder and it's really good.


Thanks for the suggestion.



I'm looking at this brown rice protein powder but I'm not sure if the brown rice syrup solids are okay.

I'm currently using the Sun warrior warrior blend vanilla but I'm not sure about the pea protein in it.

Patsy Catsos

Brown rice syrup solids haven't been analyzed but they have a much better chance of being low in FODMAPs than pea protein.


Hi Patsy, would hemp protein be low/free of fodmaps? I'm talking about 100% pure hemp protein (no additives or flavors, sweeteners, etc. added). Also, on the supplements front, are there ingredients one could find in vitamins/herbs/supplements that are NOT low/free of fodmaps? I want to make sure my enzymes, b vitamins, etc aren't doing more harm than good! Thanks!

Patsy Catsos

If the hemp protein really were verifiably 100% protein/0% carbohydrate then it would not have FODMAPs, since all FODMAPs are by definition, carbohydrates. Vitamins, minerals and enzymes are not FODMAPs. In supplements you have to watch out for fillers, sweeteners and dehydrated or concentrated high-FODMAP foods


Hi Patsy!

I tried the benecalorie after 3 or so weeks on the FODMAP diet, just added full cup to 8 oz of rice milk once daily for about 5 days. I started getting some cramping in my lower abdomen by day 2 (never happened before, my visceral hypersensitivity is usually upper stomach region), then constipation for the last few days. I bought it to help gain weight as it had the most calories from your list above and I have lost about 10 lbs since my recent visceral hypersensitivity/IBS diagnoses. I though at first it was just the illness but now I'm thinking my body doesn't like Benecalorie. Any ideas why that is? Is it the fat intake?

The FODMAP diet has worked wonders for me, then the pain came back after starting the benecalorie regimen. I stopped the benecalorie today. Can you suggest which protein powder out of your list would be the best to gain weight while continuing on this diet? I see a nutritionist for the first time in a month or so (full schedule, so have to wait, GI suggested I start the diet on my own and bring questions to the appointment), but, I don't want to loose any more weight while I'm finding out what triggers what.

Thanks and thank you for your book!


Doesn't brown rice contain fructans? I have fructose malabsorption and this diet has literally saved my life. I find that white rice is fine, but brown rice gives me a lot of trouble and pain. I'm trying to find a protein supplement, but I'm afraid of some of these that have brown rice in them.

Patsy Catsos

Sorry, I don't have a guess about the Benecalorie. Egg white, whey protein isolate or rice protein powders should be especially low in FODMAPs if there are no other FODMAP ingredients added to them.

Patsy Catsos

Brown rice has a very negligible amount of fructans, almost none. Whey and egg protein products probably do not have any brown rice in them, but do check the ingredients on the label just in case.


Do you know if the pea protein that is found in dairy free cheeses and dairy free butter replacements (earth balance) would be problematic?

Thank you!

Patsy Catsos

Pea protein has not been analyzed so we have to guess. A full serving of pea protein probably has FODMAPs. My guess is in a margarine product there is probably a negligible amount, but in cheese there could be quite a bit. Send me a link to the cheese and I will look at it.


these are the ingredients from a dairy free "cheese":

Filtered Water, Tapioca Starch, Palm Fruit Oil, Expeller Pressed non GMO Canola Oil and/or Expeller Pressed non GMO Safflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Pea Protein Isolate, Natural Vegan Flavors, Vegetable Glycerine, Brown Rice Syrup, Sea Salt, Yeast Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid (Vegan, for flavor), Annatto (for color) Carrageenan, Titanium Dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral), Vegan Enzyme.

Patsy Catsos

Pea protein "isolate" such as in this product, if anything like whey protein "isolate," has probably been so processed it does not have any fiber/FODMAPs associated with it any more.

D. Morris

Can you tell me if Palm oil is okay for someon on FODMAP diet?


Oils do not have FODMAPs, so it is OK.

Mollie K Gram

what in Ensure is of question? the soy?


The ingredients in these products seem to change from year to year. The vanilla Ensure label I just reviewed has maltodextrin as the source of sugar, and includes soy protein and pea protein. Maltodextrin is not a specific sugar, so it is hard to know its FODMAP status without being analyzed in a lab, which has not been done for the US Ensure product. The other two are potential sources of oligosaccharides. The fiber grams say "zero" but they are allowed to round down, so there could be as much as .4 grams of these fibers per serving, which would not qualify for low FODMAP. Too many unknows to feel comfortable recommending it.


Is isolated soy protein acceptable? I want to use it to make protein bars. I found bulk protein powder with only "Isolated Soy Protein With Less Than 2% Lecithin". I also found just whey protein isolate. Which is safer to use? Thanks.


Not sure the answer to your question about the isolated soy protein. Can't really tell from the food label bc they are allowed to round down, and .3 or .4 grams of oligosaccharides might be enough to cause issues. I would go with the whey protein isolate, I know more about it and .4 grams or less of lactose are very little. Just verify "zero" sugars on the product label.


Are Manitoba Hemp Hearts (only ingredient is shelled hemp hearts) and Chia Seeds (only ingredient is black chia seeds) allowed on the FODMAP diet?


Hemp hearts are on tested. Chia seeds are low FODMAP and are allowed on the eliminations phase of the diet.


Hi, I have been reading about "monosaccharides" and that dextrose is absorbed directly and easily through intestinal villi. Namely that it doesn't feed the bacterial overgrowth of SIBO. Has anyone else heard about this?

Also, has anybody tried combination of FODMAP and Elemental? Success?


Patsy Catsos

Dextrose is another name for glucose. Yes, it is a monosacharide that does not require any further digestion and tends to be well and rapidly absorbed. I tend to think it could still be fermented by bacteria that are present in the small intestine, though because they will have access to it even before it can be absorbed. Likely less of a problem than the poorly absorbed carbs though. I should be learning more about this at the SIBO symposium I'll be attending tomorrow and Sunday.


Are there any UK protein powders that are suitable? I haven't been able to find any of these unless ordered from America etc, apart from the Jarrow one but I'm worried about the gums in it.

The one I used to use contained: Cross Flow ion exchanged micro filtered whey protein, partially hydrolysed whey protein isolate, lecithin, natural flavour and colour, sweetener: aspartame. Contains Phenylalanine.

I imagine this wouldn't be okay, partly because of they whey and because it doesn't state what the flavourings are?


Would the following be okay?

Ingredients: Soya Protein Isolate Powder, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Anti-Caking Agent (SiliconDioxide).
Contains (or contains an ingredient/s derivedfrom) soya.

Can be found here: http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=548&prodid=221

I wonder if because it's the protein isolate and not made from beans? I'm on the elimination part of the process.

Or, alternatively, this? http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=2211&prodid=2461


The natural flavorings are mostly a concern if they might be onions or garlic, so probably OK in this case. Does the company make a lactose-free claim or 99% lactose-free claim for the product? I'm not familiar with UK brands, but best bet is to keep looking for a whey protein product with a lactose-free claim, plain or vanilla.

Jenny Morgan

What about the chocolate flavor version of any of those recommended above? Nutribiotic for example, has "natural chocolate and vanilla flavors" - would that fall under the "cocoa powder" high FODMAP category, or is that chocolate flavoring safe? It has <1g fiber.


That particular product actually looks OK. You will find that many of the chocolate-flavored protein powders contain fructose or other FODMAP sweeteners and that is the potential problem with them.


What about Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein? It contains organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein isolate, organic sprouted whole grain brown rice syrup solids, gum Arabic, organic sunflower oil.

My daughter has fructose malabsorption and I'm trying to fulfill a recipe ingredient for gluten free bread that requires rice protein isolate or whey protein isolate. My daughter appears to also be intolerant to milk protein. She is very sensitive to fructans and polyols too.

I'm also trying to determine if she can eat some of the dairy free cheeses, but I keep running into glycerin. Isn't that the same as glycerol?


That protein powder appears to be OK. Glycerin and glycerol are the same thing. Many products that contain it have very little, though. It's hard to tell from reading the label how much is in there.


Do you have a suggestion of a protein powder that is 100% safe for the elimination phase? I'm a vegetarian & looking for some extra protein sources. I've also had a tough time with the elimination phase (still some symptoms) so looking to be more "strict" in order to establish a good baseline for the challenge phase. Thanks!


See my pinterest board for suggestions on vegan protein powders, www.pinterest.com/pcatsos. But note I have no way of knowing if anything is 100% safe for a particular person, and unless a product has actually been analyzed in the lab (which none of my suggested products have been) there is no guarantee of FODMAP status. We can only read the ingredients on the label and do our best to make an educated guess.


Hi Patsy,
Can you expand on why Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla is acceptable, even though it has whey concentrate? Furhtermore, can you site why a 'pure whey isolate - chocolate' is not FFree? 'Jay Robb Whey Isolate - Chocolate', for example, seems like it would be ok. Or is the cocoa powder the problem?

Patsy Catsos

Can you send me links to the specific products in question? If whey protein concentrate has a 99% lactose free claim I usually say it is OK. Many chocolate protein powders have fructose in them as a sweetener, though ingredients do change over time. I'd be happy to take another look at either of those.


Thank you so much for responding. Below I've provided three links. The first is to a powder you list as FFree on your pintrest page. I just want to verify it's FFree (apears to have some whey concentrate, but claims it's mostly isolate). The second two are two choclate powders. I'm hoping to get a little more of an explanation as to why they're potentially not FFree. AFter looking around on this page a little, it seems the cocoa powder may be the issue? I'm not sure becuase your book lists both chocolate and cocoa powder as FFree.

(For the first two I've found it easier to click on 'label'. It provides it in a .PDF)




Thank you so much!

Patsy Catsos

Part of the confusion may be that I have gone back and forth on cocoa powder over the years depending the available information. The most recent info shared by Monash, although the exact FODMAP data has NOT been published, is that cocoa powder is OK in limited portions, such as 1.5 Tbs. For the Gold Standard, although there are no guarantees (this product has not been specifically analyzed in the labe) I still think this one looks OK for the vast majority of people with only 1 gram of potential lactose plus lactase enzyme added to help with that. Very, very few people cannot tolerate less than 1 gram of lactose. The second one IS going to be higher in FODMAPs. No lactase, and the cocoa powder will contribute FODMAPs. Whether it is "too much" is hard to tell from reading the label. Might be worth a try if the chocolate is that important to you. As far as the Jay Robb product, it might be fine but they don't really say what the 1 gram of carbohydrate is from (likely a combination of lactose and fiber from chocolate), and as a rule I don't recommend products with added xanthan gum.


On the FODMAP diet, I'm unsure if I'm allowed yeast extract powder?

Patsy Catsos

Yeast extract powder shouldn't be a problem if it is a minor ingredient. It is a source of glutamates though, so people who are sensitive to MSG should avoid it.

Katherine Robinson

Hello, can you please tell me if either the vanilla or chocolate versions of the Formulx Whet Protein would be acceptable while eliminating? I was just told today to start Following Fodmap. But recently told by a different doc to start drinking whey protein smoothies...and I recently ordered this product. Now I'm not sure if I should try it?


Thanks! Katherine

Patsy Catsos

Not suitable for a FODMAP elimination diet. See pinterest.com/pcatsos for some why proteins that are more suitable.

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