Yoghurt ticks plenty of boxes: healthy, delicious, and versatile. But is yoghurt low FODMAP? Before you scoop in on your breakfast or serve it as a snack, here’s what you need to know.
Is yoghurt low FODMAP?
Well, no. Despite being a fantastic source of protein and a healthy addition to a balanced diet, yoghurt does in fact contain FODMAPs. Specifically, yoghurt made from dairy contains lactose, which is a source of disaccharides and the ‘D’ in FODMAPs.
However, don’t put your spoon down yet! Most people who experience a FODMAP sensitivity are not reactive to all types of FODMAPs, and can tolerate some FODMAPs up to a certain amount. For this reason, it is so important to work with a dietitian if you are an Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferer to identify your trigger types and trigger amounts. In the case of lactose, found in yoghurt, people vary in the amount of lactose they can absorb. Therefore, it is a common misconception that dairy must be eliminated on a low FODMAP diet.
If you personally can tolerate yoghurt, it is a worthwhile food to include in your diet. In addition to being a good source of protein, natural or Greek-style yoghurts also contain calcium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins. Due to the fermentation process that yoghurt undergoes, it is also a natural source of probiotics, which contribute to a healthy balance of good bacteria within the digestive tract.
Is lactose-free yoghurt low FODMAP?
If your IBS symptoms are triggered by disaccharides, such as lactose, dietitians commonly recommend lactose-free yoghurt as an alternative. Lactose-free yoghurt typically provides the same beneficial properties of a natural or Greek-style yoghurt, minus the toilet troubles! How is lactose-free yoghurt made? Manufacturers add an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the lactose for you, so your tummy doesn’t have to! Note that the human digestive system does contain lactase naturally, but some people can produce more or less of it. Some examples of readily available yoghurt brands with lactose-free options include Liddell’s, Jalna, Vaalia and Farmer’s Union.
Are dairy-free yoghurts low FODMAP?
What about dairy-free options such as coconut yoghurt and soy yoghurt? There’s nothing wrong with including coconut yoghurt in your diet (hello, it’s delicious), but just be aware of the fact that coconut yoghurt has a different nutritional profile to its milk-based counterparts: coconut yoghurt is often lower in protein and higher in energy and fat. If you are wanting to try out coconut yoghurt, some options available at most supermarkets include Coyo, Cocobella and Nakula. Most of these brands will have both flavoured and plain varieties available, so can be used for sweet and savoury recipes.
Similarly, nut-milk based yoghurts can make for a good replacement taste-wise but can contain less protein, and more energy and fats. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, just know not to rely on these options as a protein-rich snack or breakfast addition! Nut-milk yoghurts are also far less common, but if you’re looking to try it out, So Delicious is one brand often stocked at major supermarkets.