Grocery shopping for a low FODMAP diet just got a little easier.

If you’re following a low FODMAP diet, it’s important to shop for the right foods. A key component in identifying low FODMAP foods at the grocery store? Reading food labels. 

Food Labeling 101: 5 Things to Consider

Grocery shopping while on a low FODMAP diet can feel intimidating. But these tips can make things easier.

1. For starters, be sure to bring any FODMAP lists provided by your dietitian, so you have a reference on-hand as to what you should (or shouldn’t) be shopping for. 

2. When in doubt, you should actually choose foods that don’t have food labels—stick with low FODMAP fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and animal proteins.

3. However, you can’t always avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store. When that happens, you’ll want to focus on the ingredient list part of the food label. A good rule of thumb is to choose foods that have a small ingredients list—one that has ingredients that are easily recognizable.

4. When you look at the ingredients of a particular food, they’re listed in order by weight or amount—meaning there’s a higher quantity of the first ingredient listed compared to the last ingredient listed. 

5. And certain labels don’t necessarily matter when it comes to a low FODMAP diet, such as:

  • All-natural
  • Gluten-free
  • Fresh
  • May contain
  • Organic

High FODMAP Ingredients to Avoid

Here’s a list of terms on ingredient lists that may indicate a high-FODMAP food:

  • Agave nectar or syrup
  • All-purpose flour
  • Amaranth flour
  • Barley flour
  • Bulgar wheat
  • Buttermilk
  • Carob powder
  • Celery salt
  • Chicory root or extract
  • Chocolate (specifically, white or milk chocolate; dark chocolate is ok in small amounts)
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dry milk solids
  • Enriched flour
  • Erythritol
  • Evaporated milk
  • Fennel leaves 
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Garlic (whole, or powder, flake, and salt varieties)
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Goat’s milk
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Inulin
  • Isomalt
  • Kamut
  • Lactitol
  • Lactulose
  • Kamut
  • Malitol
  • Maltodextrins
  • Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS)
  • Mannitol
  • Molasses
  • Natural flavors (may indicate onion or garlic)
  • Onion (whole, or powder, flake, and salt varieties)
  • Polydextrose
  • Preserves
  • Rye
  • Seasoned salt
  • Semolina flour
  • Sorbitol
  • Spelt flakes
  • Sprouted wheat
  • Tahini
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Tomato paste
  • Wheat (flour, bran, flakes)
  • Wheat berries
  • Whey protein
  • White flour
  • Xylitol

Low FODMAP Ingredients to Look For

Here’s a list of FODMAP-friendly ingredients to look for on food labels:

  • Asafoetida
  • Aspartame
  • Baker’s yeast
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Bar sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Berry sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Brown rice malt syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Can sugar
  • Cane syrup
  • Carageenan
  • Caster sugar
  • Cocoa butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup & corn syrup solids
  • Dehydrated sugar cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Gelatin
  • Gellan gum
  • Glucose
  • Gluten
  • Golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Guar gum
  • Gum acacia
  • Gum Arabic
  • High-maltose corn syrup
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt extract
  • Maltose
  • Modified food starch
  • Organic sugar
  • Palm sugar
  • Partially hydrolyzed guar gum
  • Pectin
  • Raw sugar
  • Refined sugar
  • Resistant starch
  • Saccharine
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Soybean oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Stevia
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Sugar syrup
  • Superfine sugar
  • Sucralose
  • Tara gum
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Wheat dextrin
  • Wheat maltodextrin
  • Wheat starch
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Xanthan gum

Before You Shop

Ask your dietitian if you can review a few sample food labels together to identify high FODMAP ingredients to avoid, and low FODMAP ingredients that get the green light. That can help boost your confidence to make smart FODMAP choices on your next grocery shopping trip.