Delicious, quick and versatile, pasta is a firm favourite in the diets of many. Whilst pasta is good for the soul, it might not be good for the tummies of those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who are following a low FODMAP diet. Pasta made from wheat is in fact high in FODMAPs, specifically fructans, which are a type of oligosaccharide (the ‘O’ in FODMAP).
You’ve probably heard us say before that it’s important to work with a dietitian if you’ve been recommended a low FODMAP diet or are experiencing IBS symptoms. This is because individuals tend to react more or less to particular types of FODMAPs, and can tolerate some FODMAPs in particular amounts known as a threshold or a ‘safe amount’ (i.e. an amount where symptoms are not triggered). This means that you may not need to eliminate wheat pasta from your diet permanently, or at least not entirely. With that being said, if wheat (or fructans) is a known trigger for you, then you might need to put the pappardelle down.
The good news is that with increasing awareness of FODMAPs, brands are catering to dietary requirements and some fantastic alternatives to wheat pasta are now seen on the shelves. Low FODMAP pasta options include:
- Quinoa pasta
- Rice pasta
- ‘Gluten-free’ pasta made from rice/quinoa/tapioca/corn flours
- Buckwheat pasta
- Brown rice pasta
- Chickpea pasta in amounts < 1 cup
Because wheat pasta is high in FODMAPs, people may presume that any gluten-free pasta is therefore low FODMAP, however, it is not the gluten that triggers the IBS symptoms, it’s the fructans in the wheat! Gluten is in fact a type of protein, whereas FODMAPs such as fructans (oligosaccharides) are a type of carbohydrate. Always check the ingredients list on the back of a pasta packet to ensure it does not contain high FODMAP ingredients such as soy or lupin, even if it says it is wheat-free.
Here are some readily available brands to try:
- Organ: gluten-free kale, quinoa and brown rice pasta.
- Buontempo: gluten and wheat free pasta.
- Simply Wize: gnocchi.
- Macro: buckwheat spirals.
- Barilla: gluten-free range.
- San Remo: gluten free range.
- Keep It Cleaner: brown rice and quinoa spaghetti.
- San Remo: chickpea spirals (remember, < 1 cup!)