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When a Certified Low-FODMAP Product Contains a High-FODMAP Ingredient

Q. A product I am interested in has apple fiber on the list of ingredients. Monash University has certified this product, but I know apples are not low FODMAP, so can you advise whether the product is OK? I want to do the low FODMAP diet right!

A. The short answer: Yes, this product is suitable for the elimination phase of a low-FODMAP diet even though it contains apple fiber.

Apples are high in FODMAPs because of their fructose and sorbitol content, not because of the type of fiber they contain. This product apparently contains fiber isolated from apples, not whole apples.

Apple fiber in a certified low-FODMAP product?

Apple fiber in a certified low-FODMAP product?

But, even if apple fiber was high in FODMAPs, you could still see it listed on the label of a certified low-FODMAP food. The bottom line on whether a food can be certified is the number of grams or milligrams of FODMAPs in one portion of the food as measured in the laboratory (not the names of the ingredients on the food label). Tiny amounts of even high FODMAP foods may contain few enough FODMAP grams or milligrams to pass the certification process.

A final bit of advice: don’t get too wrapped up in the idea of doing the low-FODMAP diet “right”. Even with a few mistakes and exceptions, a short trial of a low-FODMAP diet should give you a pretty good idea of whether a low-FODMAP diet can help you manage your symptoms. Perfection isn’t required or even possible. You are aiming for a low-FODMAP diet, not a no-FODMAP diet.

Do you have a question? Write to me, or ask questions via Twitter or Facebook. I will not be able to respond personally, so don’t expect an email, but I will select questions of general interest to answer here. I may re-word questions as needed. Consult your own healthcare provider for the personal stuff, or to get advice about your diagnosis or treatment. The information on this site is educational in nature. It is not medical advice and it may not be appropriate for all readers.

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