If you are following a low FODMAP diet, you may be wondering, “are cherries low FODMAP”?
Cherries are a stone fruit enjoyed by many, popular for their sweet taste as well as being a popular ingredient in baked goods.
When following the low FODMAP diet, knowing which fruits are okay and in what quantity is challenging.
This article discusses the exact FODMAP content of cherries according to Monash University.
Monash is an Australian university that researches the low FODMAP diet and advises on low FODMAP certified food via its website and app (1).
This article takes a look at the low FODMAP diet as well as the FODMAP content of different cherries, their nutritional value and alternatives to cherries that can be enjoyed on the low FODMAP diet.
What is the nutritional value of cherries?
According to recent research, we should be aiming to have 30 different types of plants in our diet in order to have a more diverse gut microbiome which is linked to better gut health (2).
Cherries can contribute to one of these thirty points. Below, we also discuss further health benefits of cherries.
The health benefits of cherries:
Cherries are antioxidant rich, meaning they can neutralize free radicals which may help to protect against diseases such as cancer as well as cognitive decline (3, 4).
Cherries are also anti inflammatory.
Compounds found in cherries may alleviate inflammation, reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (5).
Cherries are rich in a chemical known as anthocyanins which contribute to heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol (6).
Cherries may also help us to sleep better. Melatonin in cherries may improve sleep quality (7).
Low in calories and high in fiber, cherries can also support weight management (8).
Cherry consumption may reduce muscle soreness post-exercise, helping us to recover from exercise more quickly (9).
What is the low FODMAP diet?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are all types of fermentable carbohydrates (1).
Following a short term low FODMAP diet under the guidance of a dietitian may improve IBS symptoms.
The low FODMAP diet has been shown to be up to 70% effective at managing IBS symptoms (10).
To find out more, read our article, Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Low FODMAP diet.
You can also check out this Low FODMAP grocery list + meal plan (dietitian approved) if you are following the low FODMAP diet.
Are cherries low FODMAP?
No, cherries are not low FODMAP. Unless you count the very small portion of 2 cherries which is considered to be low FODMAP by Monash University.
Cherries contain the FODMAPs known as fructose and sorbitol (1).
Fructose is a type of monosaccharide commonly found in fruit. Monosaccharide stands for the ‘M’ in FODMAP.
Sorbitol is a type of polyol commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Polyol stands for the ‘P’ in FODMAP.
Are sour cherries low FODMAP?
Sour cherries, also known as ‘tart’ cherries, often belong to the cherry species known as Prunus Cerasus (11).
They are often used in baking as opposed to eating them raw.
Unfortunately, Monash does not currently distinguish between different types of cherries in its testing of FODMAPs.
Therefore, it should be assumed that no cherries can be eaten above the tested safe quantity on a low FODMAP diet.
Are dried cherries low FODMAP?
Dried cherries have not been specifically tested by Monash. However, dried cherries have the same contents of fresh cherries, just with the water removed.
Removing the water content makes the FODMAPs more concentrated.
Therefore we can say with confidence that dry cherries are higher in FODMAPs per gram when compared to fresh cherries.
So unfortunately, dried cherries should also be avoided while on a low FODMAP diet.
Are frozen cherries low FODMAP?
Unfortunately, frozen cherries are also high in FODMAPs.
Again, although not specifically tested we can assume that frozen cherries will have a very similar, if not identical FODMAP content to fresh cherries.
Are cooked cherries low FODMAP?
You may be wondering if cooking your cherries can reduce the FODMAP content.
Monash University currently reports that cooking your food is not a reliable way to reduce the FODMAP content and it is very unlikely to make a high FODMAP food low FODMAP (12).
Therefore we cannot currently recommend the use of cooking to lower FODMAP content. It should be assumed that cooked cherries are also high in FODMAPs.
What can I have instead of cherries on the low FODMAP diet?
You may be sad to hear that cherries are not low FODMAP. However, there are multiple types of other fruits that you can enjoy on a low FODMAP diet.
Unfortunately, a lot of stone fruits including plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines are also high FODMAP (1).
However, below I provide you with a list of delicious low FODMAP fruits to give you that sweet fruit hit, without the FODMAPs.
The fruits below can be enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet at varying portion sizes:
For more information on appropriate serving sizes of some of the fruits listed above, as well as recipe inspiration, see the below articles:
- Are raspberries low FODMAP?
- What is the cranberry FODMAP content like?
- Are blueberries FODMAP safe?
- Are strawberries low FODMAP?
- Are grapes low FODMAP?
If you are looking for more information on appropriate low FODMAP fruits, see our article Low FODMAP Fruits (with list).
It is important to note that the current recommendation is to eat at most three portions of fruit daily (even the low FODMAP ones) if you have IBS (13).
Cherries are a fruit which provide many health benefits. However, when thinking “are cherries low FODMAP?”.
Think no in all forms including fresh, sour, cooked and frozen.
If you are craving cherries, remember that a very small serving size of two cherries is low FODMAP, or opt for one of the alternative fruits provided above.
Thankfully, other delicious sweet fruits are low FODMAP and can be enjoyed in varying portion sizes while following the low FODMAP diet.
During the personalisation phase of the low FODMAP diet, you may be able to tolerate cherries if you are not sensitive to fructose or sorbitol.
My name is Elouise Rice and I am a registered dietitian, soon to be practising as a band 6 specialist gastro dietitian in a leading hospital in London. I previously worked as a band 5 gastro dietitian at world-renowned Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. I have a never ending curiosity about how our gut impacts our overall health. I am proud to be working as a dietitian and supporting individuals with improving their gut health.