Since the low FODMAP diet was established certain fruits were categorised as low FODMAP, and therefore should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS. Up until recently, bananas were among the list of low FODMAP fruits. New research published by Monash University earlier this year shows that whilst unripe bananas remain low FODMAP, ripe bananas do not. Now don’t freak out yet, this doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy this glorious golden fruit! There are, however, some things to keep in mind so you can still enjoy banana with no nasty side-effects.
Why the change?
To ensure accurate, up-to-date information is available – the team at Monash re-test different foods for their FODMAP content. This is important as some factors, such as environmental conditions and storage, can influence the FODMAP content of certain foods. When ripe bananas were re-tested they were found to be high in the FODMAP fructans. Unripe bananas, however, still remain low FODMAP.
Does this mean I can only eat unripe bananas on the low FODMAP diet?
The good news – no. The bad news – a low FODMAP serve is 1/3 medium ripe banana or ½ medium ripe sugar/lady finger banana.
Whilst unripe varieties are low FODMAP, this is at a serving size of 1 medium banana. A large unripe banana tips over into the high FODMAP category – so stick to a medium size.
What about using ripe bananas in baking?
You may notice most banana baking recipes, such as banana bread, call for over-ripe bananas. The reason being overly ripe bananas are much sweeter and softer, therefore more ideal for use in baking. If you are baking a low FODMAP banana recipe, divide the amount of ripe banana by the number of servings. Most recipes should be fine, as they generally call for 1-2 ripe bananas and serve at least 8-12. So say you are making a batch of 12 gluten-free banana muffins, with a recipe requiring 2 medium ripe bananas. Each muffin would only contain 1/6 of a ripe banana, so up to 2 muffins would be low FODMAP (in terms of banana).
What if I was previously OK with ripe bananas?
If you have previously followed/are currently following a low FODMAP diet and have had no issues with ripe bananas, then there is no need to cut them out. Like all FODMAPs, not everyone will react to ripe bananas.
Remember a strict low FODMAP diet is not a diet for life, and is intended on helping identify what YOU react to. Everyone is different – if you find you can tolerate ½ medium ripe banana then great! If you find your gut doesn’t agree with 1/3 ripe banana, then just stick to up to 1 medium ripe banana.
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.