In this article, we will be answering your question, ‘is garlic low FODMAP?’
Garlic is a fundamental component of many dishes across different cultures.
Read on to find out if garlic is low FODMAP and we have also recommended some safe alternatives.
Garlic FODMAP Content
Garlic is high FODMAP due to containing a high amount of fructans and fructose.
FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that can cause symptoms in people with IBS. You can read more about the low FODMAP diet here.
Monash has tested the following types of garlic:
- Garlic – high in fructans
- Black garlic – high in fructans and fructose
- Garlic powder – high in fructans
Fructans are also found in foods similar to garlic, such as:
If you want to understand more about fructans, check out our post: Fructans – are you intolerant to them?
Can I eat garlic on a low FODMAP diet?
No, you should not eat garlic during the restriction phase of the Low FODMAP Diet.
However, during the reintroduction phase, you can test your tolerance to garlic to establish whether it triggers your symptoms.
Many foods contain hidden garlic, making it extremely tricky to avoid on the low FODMAP diet. Common foods that contain garlic ingredients that you should always check the labels for include:
- Soups (Click here for 25 low FODMAP soup recipes)
- Pasta with fillings
- Packet and jar seasonings and flavorings
On food labels, look out for and avoid any foods that contain:
- Garlic powder
- Garlic extract
- Garlic paste
- Salt infused with garlic
Low FODMAP Alternatives to Garlic
Garlic adds flavor to so many different types of dishes. If you want the same great taste of garlic but without the high FODMAP content, then try these low FODMAP alternatives to garlic:
Fructans are not soluble in oil, so the fructans in garlic will not leach out into the oil – however, the flavor of the garlic will.
Garlic-infused oil is a great way to get the same flavor from garlic that you love whilst keeping low FODMAP. Ensure you remove any pieces of garlic in the oil before consuming.
Garlic-infused oil can add flavor to dressings, marinades, pasta, soup, and drizzled-over vegetables.
Remember to note that large amounts of fat (such as in oil) can trigger IBS symptoms due to its effect on gastric motility.
Low FODMAP Asian Chives
Asian chives offer a mild and sweet garlic flavor and are low FODMAP (1). Larger serving sizes contain the FODMAP fructose.
Add Asian chives to add extra flavor to stir-fries, soups, stews, and salads. Or they can be used to add different tastes and textures when used as a garnish.
Raw Garlic Shoots
Raw garlic shoots can add a sharp garlic flavor without the high FODMAP content. They are an excellent low-FODMAP alternative in a small serving size of 6 tablespoons (1).
If you exceed this, the content of fructans and fructose increases.
Garlic shoots are great alternatives to include in stir-fries, salads, a garnish, or in dips.
The green tops of spring onions are low FODMAP. Do not include the white parts or the bulb, as this contains fructose and fructans.
Green tops of spring onions add light textures and subtle aromas in salads and work well as a garnish on food and in dips and spreads.
A spice common in Indian cooking is Asafoetida, also known as Hing, which has a similar flavor to garlic. Due to its strong flavor, this is a suitable low-FODMAP flavoring alternative to garlic.
Asafoetida is an excellent alternative to include in savory dishes such as stews and vegetable dishes to mimic garlic flavor. Asafoetida can also be used to enhance fish, egg, and cheese dishes.
Due to Asafoetida’s full-bodied and intense flavor, ½ teaspoon can replace two minced garlic cloves.
Low FODMAP garlic-inspired recipes
Cooking without garlic can be challenging because it is part of many recipes. However, using the alternatives we have recommended will provide you with lots of flavors without the FODMAPs.
To help you further, we have included some delicious recipes:
- Low FODMAP “Garlic” fries
- Crunchy low FODMAP garlic bread
- FODMAP Friendly Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Low FODMAP Garlic Infused Oil
What are the health benefits of garlic?
Garlic contains prebiotics.
A prebiotic is a food that helps feed the bacteria in our gut, helping them grow. Prebiotics can increase the diversity of our gut microbiome, which is essential for digestive and overall health.
You can read more about the effects of prebiotics on IBS here: ‘Do Prebiotics Help IBS Symptoms?’
There have been many clinical trials investigating the positive health effects of garlic; these have shown :
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Provides benefits to the immune system. Such as helping to reduce the severity of cold and flu
- Reductions in blood pressure
- Anti-cancer effects
And provides a source of :
- Vitamin C
To summarise, garlic has a high FODMAP content due to high amounts of fructan and fructose.
Garlic is often a hidden ingredient in pre-prepared and packaged food; caution should be taken when checking ingredients.
You can still enjoy the delicious flavor of garlic using substitutes such as garlic-infused oil.
Common alternatives that provide similar flavors to garlic include Asian chives, raw garlic shoots, spring onions, and Asafoetida.
We have included some recipes to help inspire you to cook flavourful dishes without the FODMAPs.
Article written by Georgina Taylor and reviewed by Beth Willson Specialist Gastroenterology Dietitian BSc Hons and Kirsten Jackson Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Beth is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian who specialises in gastrointestinal surgery. Beth graduated from University of Surrey in 2020 with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Last updated on October 22nd, 2023 at 12:23 pm