How to Choose an Authentic Sourdough Bread

Published on: 10/10/2022

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 are uncertain 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.

When you start reintroducing FODMAPs, you can find out whether you tolerate it or not, and, if yes, you can then reintroduce bread and other wheat-based products in the personalization phase.

While you are reducing FODMAPs to find relief from IBS symptoms, or in case you find 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.

Why sourdough?

Authentic sourdough baking involves a long, slow fermentation process that allows the wild yeast and lactic-acid-forming bacteria the time to, literally, “digest” the FODMAPs (fructans) in the bread for you!

The result is a much lower FODMAP bread, and you can eat up to two slices per meal or snack. This makes it much easier to 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.

What is not authentic sourdough?

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.

Also avoid bread that contains baker’s yeast or simply yeast, as it may not have gone through the long fermentation process needed to break down the FODMAPs.

More facts about sourdough

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.

Final Thought

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!

Want to learn more?

Read more Low FODMAP Tips

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I’m a registered dietitian with a passion for helping women with IBS find their way back to eating without fear of painful gut symptoms and without unnecessary diet restrictions.

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