Is Sourdough Bread Low FODMAP?
If you are starting a low FODMAP diet and are confused about bread, you are not alone! You may have heard that sourdough bread is low FODMAP. But you are not sure about which kind to buy and how much you can eat. The issue with bread is that wheat is a high-FODMAP ingredient. And, during the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet, you need to reduce wheat and other products made from wheat. Later on, when you start reintroducing FODMAPs, you can find out whether you tolerate it or not.
Whether you are reducing FODMAPs to find relief from IBS symptoms, or you found out that wheat is a trigger for you, you need to find a substitute for regular wheat bread. While some types of gluten-free bread are also low-FODMAP (but not all), authentic sourdough bread is much tastier and usually a more nutritious alternative. Let’s discuss why sourdough bread is low FODMAP and how to choose authentic sourdough bread.
Why is sourdough bread low FODMAP?
Authentic sourdough baking involves a long, slow fermentation process. This allows the wild yeast and lactic acid-forming bacteria the time to, literally, “digest” the FODMAPs (fructans) in the bread for you! As a result, sourdough bread is a much lower FODMAP bread. This means that you can eat up to two slices per meal or snack (according to the Monash FODMAP App). Therefore, you can have toast as part of your breakfast or a sandwich for lunch.
The easiest way to find authentic sourdough bread is to look for it in the fresh bakery section of your grocery store. Or visit a local bakery in your neighborhood or town. That’s because not all bread labeled as sourdough is true authentic sourdough bread that involves fermentation.
What is not authentic sourdough bread?
Beware of sourdough-flavored bread, usually found in the bread aisle of the grocery store. If the ingredients include vinegar, it is likely, not authentic sourdough bread, and therefore, it is not low FODMAP. In addition, you want to avoid bread that contains baker’s yeast or simply yeast. When yeast is used, the bread may not have gone through the long fermentation process needed to break down the FODMAPs.
More facts about sourdough bread
You want to choose sourdough bread made with white, whole wheat, or spelt flour. If it contains any other flour (such as barley) it won’t be low enough in FODMAPs even after the long fermentation process.
Interestingly, bread can be authentic sourdough bread even though the word “sourdough” does not appear on the label. Just look at the ingredients – if it is made of wheat or spelt flour and includes just water and salt (or sometimes a starter/fermented dough), but no yeast or vinegar – it’s authentic sourdough!