Low FODMAP swaps: what to eat instead of onion, garlic etc.

20 low FODMAP swaps

One of the most asked questions that I get is “Before the low FODMAP diet, I used to eat x. What is a low FODMAP swap for that”.

In some cases, it is very easy to name a replacement, but in some cases it is a little more nuanced.

For example: gluten-free bread is a good replacement for wheat bread, but not all gluten-free bread is low FODMAP. In this blog, I have listed 20 low FODMAP swaps for products and ingredients that you use often in meals.

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Seasonings

Except for onion and garlic, all herbs and spices are low FODMAP. You can use lots of fresh or dried herbs to give your low FODMAP meals flavour.

If you want to use a spices mix, it is important to check if no onion and garlic has been added. You can also use a low FODMAP spices mix, such as FODY’s spices mixes

In the Netherlands, you sometimes see only “spices” listed on an ingredient list. If this is not further specified, it might be that the spices contain garlic or onion powder.

The only way to find this out, is by contacting the producer. I always advise to not take the product if you are not sure what the spices are.

ProductReplacement
OnionSpring onion (the green part), leek (the green part), chives, asafoetida, onion-infused olive oil
GarlicGarlic-infused olive oil
Asian saucesShiro miso paste, soy sauce*, tamari, fish sauce, oyster sauce
Stock for soupsLow FODMAP stock, such as FODY’s chicken soup base and vegetable soup base
HoneyMaple syrup, rice syrup, sugar

*Soy sauce contains a little bit of wheat. For most people this will be fine, but if you are very sensitive to wheat you can use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead. 

Onion

Spring onion and chives are great replacements for onion. When you use normal onion, you usually add this in the beginning when you are cooking.

When you use spring onion or chives, you can best add them at the end to get the most of the flavour out of it. Asafoetida is also an often used replacement for an onion flavour.

I have never used this myself because I was never a huge fan of onion and I don’t really miss it, but I have heard several fodmappers that love it.

Another option to replace onion is an onion-infused olive oil, such as this shallot-infused olive oil from FODY. 

Garlic

You can swap garlic for garlic infused oil. Because FODMAPs are not oil soluble (they are water soluble), you can make garlic infused oil. You simply heat some oil in a pan.

When the oil is hot, you add a few cloves of garlic and fry them for a few minutes. Then you remove the garlic from the oil and use the oil in your recipe. This creates oil with a garlic flavour, without the FODMAPs!

You can also buy a garlic-infused oil. I really like this garlic-infused olive oil from FODY. Just make sure that you don’t buy oil that has tiny pieces of garlic in it, otherwise you can accidentally add the pieces of garlic to your meal and make your meal high in FODMAPs.

Honey

Honey is often used in healthier sweet recipes as a sugar replacement. You can swap honey for rice syrup or maple syrup. Normal sugar is also low FODMAP.

Honey in a small bowl with flowers next to it

Low FODMAP swaps for dairy products

ProductReplacement
MilkLactose-free milk, oat milk (125 ml), rice milk (200 ml),
almond milk (240 ml), coconut milk (120 ml)
YoghurtLactose-free yoghurt, coconut yoghurt (125 ml)
QuarkLactose-free quark
Creme fraiche or sour creamLactose-free creme fraiche or sour cream
MascarponeLactose-free mascarpone
Cream cheeseLactose-free cream cheese
Cheese on a wooden board

Cheese

Dutch yellow cheeses (that we eat a lot here in the Netherlands) or other hard cheeses, such as Gouda cheese are low FODMAP because only contain traces of lactose. Next to that, there are more kinds of cheese that are low FODMAP.

Cheeses, such as brie, feta, camembert and mozzarella are also allowed during the low FODMAP diet. These cheeses only contain a small amount of lactose and most people with a lactose-intolerance can tolerate them.

You can read all about it in my blog Cheese and the low FODMAP diet. Also butter doesn’t need to be replaced because butter is low FODMAP.

Low FODMAP servings for dairy products are based on the amount of lactose that most people with a lactose intolerance will tolerate. It is important to test for yourself how much lactose you tolerate.

This might be a little less (or more!) than the recommended serving size from Monash University. 

Wheat products

ProductReplacement
BreadSourdough spelt bread or gluten-free low FODMAP bread (several breads from Schär are low FODMAP for example)
TortillasHomemade tortillas or corn tortillas
Pitta breadsGluten-free pitta breads (I use the brand Genius)
FlourGluten-free flour (I use Mix It Universal from Schär)
BreadcrumbsGluten-free breadcrumbs
PastaGluten-free spaghetti or another kind of pasta
Lasagna noodlesGluten-free lasagna noodles
CouscousGluten-free couscous (made from corn flour)
CookiesLow FODMAP cookies, such as FODMAP oat cookies or gluten- and lactose-free Oreos*
CrackersRice cakes (max. 2 per serving), Schär fette croccanti crackers

*Check to make sure that no high FODMAP ingredients have been added. 

As you can see, there are quite a lot of products that you can directly swap for a low FODMAP products. With these low FODMAP swaps, you can easily make a lot of recipes low FODMAP. What are your favourite low FODMAP replacements? 

Bread on a plate with dips

Together we go for a calm belly!

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2 Comments

  • Francis says:

    Hello, thank you for your website. It is very helpful. Can I ask under crackers you have said max 2 per serving of rice cakes? I thought rice was low fodmap.

    • Karlijn says:

      Rice is low FODMAP indeed, but Monash university has also tested rice cakes and has found that these are only limited low FODMAP. If you check the Monash app you will see that they recommend a serving of 2 rice cakes 🙂

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