Avocados are a nutritious fruit enjoyed by many. However, for those following a low FODMAP diet, the FODMAP content of avocados may be a concern. In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at the FODMAP status of avocados and discuss how to enjoy avocados on a low FODMAP diet.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates that some people have difficulty digesting. FODMAPs can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive issues.
The low FODMAP diet involves limiting high FODMAP foods for a period of time to identify trigger foods. Foods are then systematically reintroduced to pinpoint tolerances. Knowing the FODMAP content of foods is key to following this diet.
Are Avocados High or Low FODMAP?
The good news is that avocados are generally considered low FODMAP in normal serving sizes.
According to Monash University, a certified testing facility for FODMAP content, 1/2 medium avocado (80g) contains only 0.03g of fructans and 0.5g of sorbitol. This is well within the cut-offs for the green “low FODMAP” category.
Specifically, avocados contain very minimal amounts of two types of FODMAP carbohydrates:
Fructans: Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides that some people don’t absorb well. Avocados have low amounts.
Sorbitol: A sugar alcohol that can cause issues in large doses. Avocados have moderate amounts of sorbitol.
So in normal portions, avocados can be enjoyed freely on a low FODMAP diet.
Portion Size Matters
It’s important to stick to reasonable portion sizes of avocado, usually you eat no more than 1/2 medium avocado.
Consuming very large amounts may tip you over the edge into high FODMAP territory. Polyol sugars like sorbitol can have a cumulative effect when eating large quantities.
As long as you don’t overdo it, the small amounts of FODMAPs in avocados aren’t likely to cause problems for most people following a low FODMAP diet.
Tips for Eating Avocado on a Low FODMAP Diet
Here are some tips for enjoying avocado safely on a low FODMAP diet:
Stick to 1/2 medium avocado or less per serving
Read labels before buying pre-made guacamole or avocado products
Avoid extra large or giant avocados which have bigger servings
Spread avocado thinly rather than eating thick chunks
Combine with other low FODMAP foods like eggs, chicken, salad greens, etc.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about avocados and the low FODMAP diet:
Are mashed or pureed avocados low FODMAP?
Yes, mashed and pureed avocado are safe on a low FODMAP diet. Just be sure to pay attention to portion sizes. Note: don’t eat giant amounts of avocado smoothies or dips.
Can you eat avocado daily on a low FODMAP diet?
It’s fine to eat up to 1/2 an avocado daily, though you may want to rotate it with other low FODMAP fruit options for variety.
Are specific varieties of avocados higher or lower in FODMAPs?
No major differences. Common varieties like Hass avocados have minimal FODMAPs in regular servings. That said, extra large avocados could have more total sorbitol and fructans.
Can avocados be a problem if you have just a fructan intolerance?
Possibly, since they do contain miniscule amounts of fructans. Try a small serving and see if you tolerate it. Fructan content varies batch to batch.
The Bottom Line
Avocados are generally considered low FODMAP in typical servings of around 1/2 medium fruit or 80g. This makes them a great addition to an IBS-friendly diet. Just be mindful of portion size and your individual tolerances. If you experience any GI issues after eating avocado, try reducing your portion or avoiding the skin and high-fructan areas. With a little care, avocado can be enjoyed safely by most people following a low FODMAP diet.