Garlic FODMAP is a common trigger for IBS symptoms. This article will provide you with suitable alternatives for the low FODMAP diet.
Garlic FODMAP Content
Garlic is high FODMAP due to containing a high amount of fructans and fructose.
FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates which 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?
Table of Contents
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 flavourings
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 flavour 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 flavour of the garlic will.
Garlic-infused oil is a great way to get the same flavour 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 flavour 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 flavour and are low FODMAP (1). Larger serving sizes contain the FODMAP fructose.
Add Asian chives to add extra flavour 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 the sharp garlic flavour 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 flavour to garlic. Due to its strong flavour, this is a suitable low-FODMAP flavouring alternative to garlic.
Asafoetida is an excellent alternative to include in savoury dishes such as stews and vegetable dishes to mimic garlic flavour. Asafoetida can also be used to enhance fish, egg and cheese dishes.
Due to Asafoetida’s full-bodied and intense flavour, 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 flavours 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 flavour of garlic using substitutes such as garlic-infused oil. Common alternatives that provide similar flavours 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 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.
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