Fiber without FODMAPs

It’s not unusual to minimize fiber on the low FODMAP diet. 

Fiber needs vary depending on age and gender.  I have found in my clinical experience that fiber tolerance is very variable patient to patient.  Often, adding too much fiber can aggravate IBS symptoms.  Work with a registered dietitian to help assess if you may need to increase or perhaps decrease the fiber in your diet for best symptom management!

The Institute of Medicine fiber guidelines are the following:


14-50 years old:  38 grams fiber/day

50 +:  30 grams/day


14-18 years old: 26 grams/day

19-50 years old: 25 grams/day

50 +: 21 grams/day 

FOOD Portion Size Fiber grams
Oatmeal ¼ cup, dry 2
Oat bran ¼ cup, dry 3.5
Chia seeds 1 tablespoon 5
Strawberries 1 cup 3
Blueberries 1 cup 3.6
Orange 1 medium 3.4
Spinach ½ cup cooked 3.5
Baked potato, with skin 1 medium Russet 4
Quinoa 1 cup, cooked 5.2


Source: USDA nutrient data bank, accessed December 18, 2011 & label packaging



26 thoughts on “Fiber without FODMAPs

  1. Great site – thank you!

    I am confused about probiotics and digestive enzymes. Now taking the former w/water first thing in the am & a ‘broad spectrum’ digestive enzyme w/ dinner the fodmap plan making the difference?

    1. I typically try the diet first and then add in probiotic or digestive enzymes as needed. Hard to know what’s making the difference in there are too many moving parts.

  2. Continued thanks for your great website Kate and your generosity in responding. I am curious if there is a difference between wheat bran alone and whole wheat grains? Are the researchers finding differences between the different parts of foods (wheat is just an example)?

    1. Lora, Excellent question!!! Yes, different parts of wheat have different fibers that impact our body differently–there are fructans (the FODMAP) component that are rapidly fermentable and draw water into the bowel. AND, the wheat bran part of wheat is also rich in insoluble fibers which are not rapidly fermented. The skin in fruit tends to have more insoluble fibers while the flesh has more soluble. There is a great medical article recently published that helps define the different types of fibers and their impact on the body. Many foods, however, will have combinations of different types of fibers. In order to access this article, you need to register to the site (medscape)–but its free. Here is the link to the fiber article:

      1. Thank you so much! It is so frustrating that for years the answer to everything has been fiber and it isn’t even always helpful. Sigh.

  3. One more question. Do you have any recommendations of anything to take after eating something that upsets one’s system? Sometimes I kick myself for accidentally (or intentionally) eating something I shouldn’t and have yet to find a good solution other than waiting it out. Is there anything you have found that works for your clients?

    1. I wish I did Lora, I think the best is to wait it out and try to stay low FODMAP while your body gets back on track. I do find warm baths can relax the gut and help with motility for some.

  4. Hi Kate, I have a question I am hoping you can answer. I am curious to know why most of the literature out there does not talk about fructose malabsorption being related to constipation. The majority of information on fodmaps and/or fructose malabsorption just talks about it causing diarhea. There are plenty of individuals who suffer from constipation with fructose malabsorption. Even on the Food Intolerance Institute of Australia website, they only mention diarrhea. Fructose malabsorption was overlooked with my daughter because she did not fit the description due to having the constipation side of it. She was overlooked at 2 major medical medical centers in the midwest and on our local pediatric hospital’s website, it only says it will cause diarhea. Which, unfortunately meant, between the ages of 4 through 7, she had to endure many painful exams (including a barium enema, barium swallow, endoscopy, 24 hour impedience testing and gastric delay studies). In the end, after all of that, it ended up being fructose malabsorption and reducing fodmaps has eliminated almost all of her symptoms and she had a bunch (still working on constipation as we are trying to come up with her individual fiber tolerance levels). Anyways, it is disheartening to see on many sites that constipation is never mentioned in the articles as being a symptom. Can you explain why this is?? I just hate to think of all the other little children, like my daughter, who have the constipation side of fructose malabsorption, not being offered breath tests for this, and having to go through all those tests on such little ones, when there are breath tests.
    Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I agree with you Deborah. Same with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth…many health care professional don’t realize that this condition can cause constipation as well. It’s likely dependent on what type of bacteria reside in the gut and the movements in the intestine (fast or slow transit).

  5. Well, you just keep going around the country and training professional then please!! And thank you and Patsy for your dedication to help others like my daughter. I am on a couple different “mommy” sites for parents with fructmal kids and there are other children being denied the breath tests for both Fructmal and SIBO b/c they are constipation dominant. It’s just sad… And, I do believe my daughter had SIBO, but once we started the diet it turned things around for her. We are still trying to find the right balance fiber wise for her, but we are in a much better place now than a year ago. Also, I know the dieticians in Nebraska would love it if you could do a conference here!! We only have one or two trained in fodmaps in our state.

    1. Sure, Kristi, I like the figure put out in the Pediatrics journal back in 1995 suggesting a good minimal goal of fiber per day for children over the age of 2, 5 grams of fiber plus the age of the child. So, a 6 year old should consume 11 grams of fiber per day or more.

  6. Hi Kate,
    Wondering if you could explain how to go from ibs safe foods (no dairy, red meat, fat, etc), as I’m recovering from severe attack – to making the transition to low fodmap diet. I’m afraid to eat anything besides sweet potatoes and bananas. (I’ve have ibs-c)
    Thanks! And I am really happy to have found your site- looks like it will be a great resource!

    1. Rebecca, I would encourage you to work with a registered dietitian to help provide a personalized approach to transitioning your diet. It’s difficult to provide individual info in a blog setting.

  7. Hi Kate, I had a question about bamboo fiber. I am looking at a GF hot dog bun package, and it says it has 6 gms of fiber, and bamboo fiber is listed. Is bamboo fiber fodmap friendly?

    1. Deborah…Bamboo fiber??? Yikes…who eats bamboo–panda bears? 😉 I think the bamboo fiber is mostly cellulose–not sure that would be a major FODMAP issue–but I am weary of these added fibers.

      1. Hi Kate,
        Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of bamboo fiber before either. Question though, when looking at GF breads, buns, and etc – how much fiber in a serving would you consider “too much fiber” even if it’s possibly a safe fiber, just as kind of a guideline. The GF brand of bread and buns I was looking at 4gms in 2 slices of bread, and then 6 gms fiber in the buns. I’m thinking that might be too much at one meal. What are your thoughts??? Seems like many manufacturers strive to make their products as high as possible in fiber, as part of the whole “fiber marketing”. Thanks for your help.

  8. Is cellulose (can’t remember if it is in Metamucil or Citrucil) okay on the FODMAP diet? I am having a hard time getting enough fiber on this diet. Thanks. Kate

  9. My son who is 8 has IBS (as does his father–but that’s another story–Dad is not very interested in managing his condition). One challenge we have found is that my boy cannot tolerate much fiber. Is this typical? He is on a pretty low fiber diet at the moment, as we follow the Fodmap guidelines as much as possible, and he is not constipated at all. The minute I allow him something high fiber–like a bowl of popcorn–he will have diarrhea. I just want to make sure that this is not unheard of for an IBS sufferer and that he is okay with relatively little fiber.

    It’s all very interesting because when we first went to a GI about his constant diarrhea, she had us upping the fiber and upping the fiber–and he just got worse and worse. (Didn’t help that a lot of the fiber was fruits like apples and cereals like All Bran.) Only once I realized he had IBS like his father did I figure out we were going in the wrong direction.

    And thank you for your website, it is a great resource.

  10. Hi Kate,

    I had a positive HBT a month ago and your website has been so important in following the fodmap diet. Thank you!!!

    I did antibiotics for ten days but two days later my symptoms came back even though I had not stopped following the low fodmap diet. It’s now been about 2 weeks since the antibiotics ended and I have been very constipated and still have indigestion. I do not have IBS…I had abdominal surgery as a kid and was on PPI meds for too long and those were likely of my SIBO symptoms (mostly heartburn/indigestion). I am wondering if there is any research on SIBO without IBS and any changes I should make to the diet. I have tried incorporating the fibers you list but it’s still not enough. I’m big on researching so would love any leads.



    1. M,
      I wonder if perhaps your were not treated long enough for the overgrowth. Typically, I find 14 days is better and more effective than 10. For most people 550 mg rifaximin 3 times per day works well. If you are prone to constipation–then the breath test should have checked for methane. If your levels of methane are high–than you might consider a dual threrapy of rifaximin and neomycin…this has a better track record of treating overgrowth w/ methane positivity.
      From diet perspective–this often needs a little individual tailoring –would encourage you to find a good digestive health oriented registered dietitian. Meal spacing really can be helpful for some people–spacing meals about every 3-4 hours.

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