Is coffee low FODMAP?

The question “Is coffee low FODMAP?” cannot be answered immediately with “yes” or “no” and requires a little more explanation.

Black coffee is considered low FODMAP. But you may have also heard that caffeine can be a trigger for additional IBS complaints.

How exactly does that work? In this blog, I will tell you all about coffee, IBS, and the FODMAP diet.

Is caffeine an IBS trigger?

An article published by Monash University in which various studies surrounding IBS and caffeine are discussed does not provide a clear conclusion as to whether coffee is a trigger for IBS or not.

Coffee can cause you to have to go to the toilet shortly after drinking coffee. But this also occurs in people who do not have IBS.

For people who have a constipation-dominant form of IBS, this can be beneficial because coffee can help them go to the toilet more easily.

In people who have a diarrhea-dominant form of IBS, it can cause them to have to go to the toilet even more often, which is not always desirable.

What is a fact and what Monash University also indicates in the FODMAP app is that caffeine in large quantities can cause more IBS complaints (is a symptom trigger).

And that you therefore have to be careful with excessive amounts.

Should I avoid drinking coffee on the FODMAP diet?

What you can conclude from the above information is that the reaction to coffee is very personal.

If you feel that coffee has a negative impact on your complaints, it is good to monitor this.

For example, by keeping a food diary together with your dietician and seeing whether the complaints indeed seem to be caused by coffee.

You can then temporarily omit coffee from your diet to see whether this reduces your complaints.

Or test whether drinking decaffeinated coffee makes a difference.

Do you drink a lot of coffee and do you feel that this affects your complaints? Then you can try reducing the amount of coffee and see what that does to your complaints.

What coffee is low FODMAP?

When we look at the Monash University FODMAP app, we see that two types of coffee have been tested:

  • Espresso: a single shot espresso (30 ml) and a double shot espresso (60 ml) are both low FODMAP
  • Instant coffee: 1 full teaspoon of instant coffee mixed with 230 ml of water is low FODMAP.

What coffee beans and coffee cups are low FODMAP?

If you use coffee beans or ground coffee to make your low FODMAP coffee, you can choose from all brands.

Well-known brands that are often served in restaurants, such as Lavazza and Illy coffee, are all fine. As long as it’s 100% coffee, you’re good.

With instant coffee, you have to pay extra attention to this. Sometimes ingredients are added to instant coffee that are not low FODMAP, such as chicory fiber.

Therefore, always check the ingredients to see if it is 100% coffee.

The same applies to coffee cups. Cups and pods from well-known brands of coffee makers, such as Dolce Gusto cups or Nespresso capsules are all low FODMAP.

Make sure that you use cups for espresso and lungo. Special cups for cappuccino, latte macchiato, or cafe au lait, for example, contain lactose, which is also a FODMAP.

If you cannot tolerate lactose, you should be careful with this.

Nespresso often has cups with special flavors, such as caramel. These cups are usually low FODMAP.

Because the cup consists of roasted and ground coffee, the flavor is only added through a natural aroma, which is low FODMAP.

Drinking low FODMAP cappuccino or latte

If you like to drink a cappuccino or another coffee with milk, there are fortunately plenty of ways to make a low FODMAP cappuccino.

Then make sure you choose a low FODMAP milk. For example: lactose-free cow’s milk, oat milk, or almond milk.

It is better not to take soy milk. Soy milk based on soybeans (which is the variant sold most often) is high in FODMAPs and is therefore better avoided.

Fortunately, there are also more and more options available in coffee chains and restaurants that are low FODMAP, such as oat milk or lactose-free cow’s milk.

I always take lactase enzymes with me when I go out. If I can’t find a lactose-free option, I order a normal cappuccino and take a lactase pill.

Hopefully, this has made it clearer what the situation is with coffee during the FODMAP diet. And if you like coffee, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee now and then!

Other blogs about the FODMAPs in foods

Would you like to read more about whether certain foods are low FODMAP and in what quantities? Check out the articles below:

Fruits and vegetables

Dairy and grains

Other foods and drinks

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