The answer to your question, ‘is sweet potato low FODMAP?’ is yes, if you stick within the recommended serving size.
This article will discuss the low FODMAP serving size of sweet potato and the nutritional benefit you will gain from including it in your diet. We will also explain the difference between sweet potato and yam, as the two are often used interchangeably.
At the end of the article, we will share 16 low FODMAP recipes for sweet and savoury dishes.
Is sweet potato low FODMAP?
Sweet potato contains the FODMAP mannitol – a type of polyol. But this doesn’t mean you must avoid sweet potatoes altogether when following a low FODMAP diet.
Sweet potato is low FODMAP in a smaller portion size of 75 g, which is roughly ½ cup, according to Monash. Serving sizes larger than 75 g should be avoided during the restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet.
During the reintroduction phase, you can test your tolerance to sweet potatoes by gradually increasing your intake over three days. This can be done under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian who can help you discover if mannitol triggers your IBS symptoms.
If you tolerate sweet potato in larger quantities, you likely tolerate other foods that contain the FODMAP mannitol.
Other foods high in mannitol are (1):
- Mushrooms (such as porcini and shiitake)
- Butternut pumpkin
Sweet potato is low FODMAP in smaller quantities so you may think it is easier to avoid it on the low FODMAP diet than include it in your meals.
However, sweet potatoes have many nutritional benefits. Sweet potato is a starchy vegetable and a good source of fibre. One low FODMAP portion (75 g) of sweet potato contains roughly 2 g of fibre (2). That serving provides you with 7% of your recommended daily intake of fibre.
Due to its fibre content, sweet potato can contribute to diversity in your diet, which is essential for a healthy gut microbiome.
When preparing potatoes, leave the skin on as the skin contains half of the fibre present in the potatoes (3).
- Heart disease
- Bowel cancer
- Diabetes type 2
Sweet potatoes are also abundant in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. With one low FODMAP serving of sweet potato, you will get approximately 60% of your daily vitamin A requirements (2).
- Skin health
- Lung health
- Eye health
Which other potatoes are low FODMAP?
Sweet potato is low FODMAP in smaller quantities, but that is not the same for all types of potato.
The following potatoes are low FODMAP and can be eaten freely, according to Monash:
- Red potato
- White potato
What is the difference between sweet potato and yam?
Sweet potatoes and yam belong to different plant families and originate from different continents (8). They are often used interchangeably, but they are pretty different.
Sweet potato flesh can be in various colours – white, yellow, orange, red, and purple and has smooth skin with a sweet taste. In comparison, yam has white flesh, rough brown skin and a more starchy taste.
Both yam and sweet potato are low FODMAP at 75 g. However, at a serving size of 300 g, yam is moderate in fructans (1). Therefore, if you poorly tolerate mannitol but have no issues with fructans, you may choose to have yam instead.
How to make low FODMAP mashed sweet potatoes?
When making low FODMAP mashed sweet potato, it is essential to stick to low FODMAP serving of sweet potato. As the serving is small, you can add FODMAP-free vegetables to bulk up your side dish.
FODMAP-free vegetables you can add to sweet potatoes are (1):
- White and red potatoes
To make mashed sweet potatoes low FODMAP you have to use low FODMAP milk or cream, such as lactose-free milk or lactose-free cream (1). If you want to add some butter to mashed sweet potatoes, go for it as butter consists primarily of fat and is FODMAP-free (1).
Sweet potato recipes
Starting a low FODMAP diet is difficult due to its restrictive nature and therefore requires plenty of planning.
To make your journey a bit easier we linked below low FODMAP recipes so you can experiment in the kitchen with confidence and no subsequent IBS symptoms due to FODMAPS.
Sweet potatoes are versatile tuber vegetables and you can use them in sweet and savoury dishes. When making recipes with sweet potatoes, such as sweet potato fries, remember to use low FODMAP seasonings.
The most common high FODMAP seasonings to avoid are (1):
- Garlic – fresh and powdered. Instead, try garlic-infused oil (as long as this is free from pieces of garlic).
- Onion – fresh and powdered. Instead, try the green parts of spring onion or chives.
Sweet potato recipes: Sweet
Sweet potatoes can add a sweet, creamy texture to desserts and puddings.
If you need some inspiration on incorporating sweet potato in IBS-friendly sweets, here is a list of low FODMAP sweet potato recipes for desserts:
- Sweet Potato Cobbler
- Sweet Potato Cake with Crumble Topping
- Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cake
- Sweet Potato Spice Cake with Frosting
- Sweet Potato Cookies
Sweet potatoes recipes: Savoury
If you prefer sweet potato in savoury dishes, this is the section for you!
To try some new recipes, you can use this list of savoury low FODMAP recipes with sweet potatoes:
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pecans
- Loaded Sweet Potato Skins
- Sweet Potato Hash Browns
- Slow Cooker Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Sweet Potato Mash with Spinach and Goat Cheese
- Sweet Potato Nachos
- Sweet Potato Toast
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Sweet potato is low FODMAP in a serving of 75 g. At larger portion sizes, the FODMAP content is increased due to the presence of mannitol – a type of polyol.
Sweet potato is a nutritious vegetable with a good source of fibre and beta-carotene. It is also very versatile, so it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.
We hope we have given you some inspiration for using sweet potato in your low FODMAP dishes, and enjoy trying the 16 delicious recipes we have shared in this article.
Written by Barbara Lešnik, Student Dietitian, reviewed by Bethany Willson, Specialist Gastroenterology Dietitian 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 January 28th, 2023 at 12:46 pm