Chocolate is one of the world’s most popular foods and it’s often not eaten in small amounts either, so unfortunately for FODMAPers chocolate may be a no go. Here’s our guide on how to eat chocolate safely on a low FODMAP diet, because no one deserves to miss out on their square, row, or block, of choc.
Chocolate and FODMAPs
To stay safe the recommendations for chocolate consumption, and what FODMAPs they contain is outlined below:
- Dark chocolate 30g – 80g (Lactose) – 125g (Fructan)
- Milk chocolate 20g – 30g (Lactose) – 85g (Lactose)
- White chocolate 25g – 30g (Lactose) – 110g (Lactose)
I recommend trying to stick to plain brands to avoid higher risks of stomach upset. For a pricer option you could also aim for vegan and lactose free chocolate. Though these options may also contain some extra high FODMAP ingredients (i.e. honey, high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols). Therefore be careful and remember the laws of low FODMAP, read your labels and eat to your tolerance level.
For other foods and drinks such as chocolate flavoured milkshakes, desserts and biscuits its good to be mindful of the contents in the food as well as the amount your having. For example if its a home baked chocolate cake and you are aware of the ingredients, gobble it up, but if its some chocolate biscuits from the office cupboard, beware. These chocolate containing foods can also contain some of the big non-FODMAP triggers for IBS symptoms such as caffeine and a high fat content, or be rich in other high FODMAP ingredients, such as wheat.
There are ways around this, luckily you can have your chocolate and drink it too. Raw cocoa/cacao powder is considered low FODMAP in serves of 10g (2 heaped teaspoons) or less. Varieties containing 23%, 60% and 70% cacao in ‘drinking chocolate powders’ can be consumed safely. Add this to your cereal or smoothies for a nice chocolatey flavour without the excess sugar or fat from commercial blocks of chocolate.
Tip: If you are having a safe serving size of a chocolate flavoured sweet after a main meal, don’t forget about FODMAP stacking which can irritate your gut, causing uncomfortable symptoms. You can read more about FODMAP stacking here.
Chocolate based recipes
Cooking yield matters. Don’t forget if the recipe has a greater amount of FODMAPs per g from chocolate compared to the recommendations outlined above, its okay. For example 85g of milk chocolate would not be suitable for a recipe which creates 4 cupcakes, bur rather 8. Equalling 10.625 grams of milk chocolate per cupcake (safe).
Dark chocolate is your best bet, 85% to be exact. It can be consumed safely with a serving size of 30g. Often this is enough as well due to its intense flavour and bitterness. If you are switching from milk or white based chocolate to a dark chocolate, it may be best to test the percentage first. Start at a lower tier and work your way up to the 85% or higher. This is so it doesn’t turn you off straight away.
Struggling to identify your triggers? Sign up to The FODMAP Challenge to get meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular, expert support to to help you take control of your gut health, improve your symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and better your quality of life.
By Nathan Cook