Rice and the Low FODMAP Diet

Let me set the record straight, the low FODMAP diet can be a bit confusing! You can not make any assumptions when it comes to the FODMAP content of foods.  And rice, can be one of the more tricky foods.

Before we get started in on rice, let me point out a few things. One might think that if a 1 cup serving of grapes are low FODMAP then raisins would be low FODMAP too.

Aren’t raisins just dried grapes? BUT… just 2 tablespoons of raisins contain fructans. It appears that a chemical change occurs when grapes are dried.

{Note: small amounts of raisins, such as 1 tablespoon are low FODMAP.}

And…while fresh or canned tomatoes are low FODMAP, sun dried tomatoes, just 5 pieces, contain high amounts of excess fructose. How could this be?

FODMAP content in foods can change with processing, ripening and with the addition of additives.  Of course, check the Monash University low FODMAP diet app to see if the food you would like to eat has been officially tested and verified to be low FODMAP when on the elimination phase of the diet.

So…let’s talk a bit about rice and the low FODMAP diet today, shall we?

White rice

Basmati, white, and brown rice are low FODMAP.

Rice oil of course is low FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates and there is no carbs in oil!

Rice cakes are low FODMAP if you eat 2 (which is a good serving)….but 4 will contain some fructans. Yes, portion size matters.

rice cake

Rice milk tested by Monash University was HIGH FODMAP.  (see below…for update!)  This might be due to the processing of the rice to make it into milk. And, as with many processed foods, FODMAP content might vary brand to brand.  The Monash University folks can’t test every rice milk brand around the globe. So… if you find a rice milk that you seem to tolerate….by all means, enjoy. The Monash Team explains some of their thoughts on rice milk being high FODMAP…found here on their blog! If you are unsure if you tolerate rice milk, then perhaps try another brand or choose hemp milk, almond milk or lactose free cow’s milk instead which have been tested and found to be low FODMAP.

UPDATE: May 19, 2016  True to my word, I will tell you the low FODMAP diet can be confusing and sometimes…downright frustrating!! BUT…the latest on rice milk is that it is low FODMAP! New testing methodology –and a new rating.  To learn more about rice milk, FODMAP content and testing, check it this post by Dr. Jane Muir of the Monash FODMAP team.

What about rice flour?

rice flour

Rice flour appears to be low FODMAP per Monash University testing…but certainly with different processing and other ingredients added to it, some rice flour products may vary in FODMAP content. Try different products to assess your tolerance. I have found these flour blend products made with rice flour and other flours to work well for my FODMAP friends:  Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour blend and King Arthur Multi-purpose gluten free flour.

Different rice has different starch profiles–some are higher in difficult to digest, amylose, while others have more amylopectin, which can be digested quicker. Starch is not a source of FODMAPs, as starch consists of long chains carbohydrates while FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates. If you find basmati rice causes you symptoms perhaps try jasmine which might be easier for your tummy.  I find most of my clients can tolerate rice without an issue…but if rice appears to trigger your symptoms, work with your registered dietitian to help identify the best diet for you.

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