There is a lot of confusion around almonds and FODMAPs. Some websites list almonds as high FODMAP, but others say they are okay. There are also lots of almond-based products in grocery stores now, including almond milk, flour/meal, butter, oil and extract. I’ve written this comprehensive guide to help make it clear how much almonds you can eat on the low FODMAP diet.
Monash University tests the fodmap content of food in their research labs. They release the results of these tests through their app. I strongly encourage anyone following the low FODMAP diet to download this app as it is the most up to date source of information. I use the app to regularly update my FODMAP food chart. For a basic overview of the low FODMAP diet and to see my chart click here.
The Monash app uses a stoplight system. Foods are labelled as green (low FODMAP), yellow (moderate) or red (high) at the average serving size that was tested. However, many red light foods are low FODMAP at a smaller serving size. It is important to click on each food in the app to get more details.
Almonds have a red light in the Monash app, but if we click on it we can learn more. Monash notes that 20 almonds (24 grams) contain high amounts of GOS, but a smaller serving of 10 almonds (12 grams) is low FODMAP. Therefore almonds can be included in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet, but it is important to limit almonds to maximum 10 per meal or snack.
Now, what about almond-based products?
The most popular almond-based product in grocery stores is almond milk. It is commonly used as an alternative to dairy milk. Monash has tested almond milk and found it to be low FODMAP at 1 cup (250 mL). If you drink almond milk instead of dairy milk make sure you choose a brand that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Almond flour and almond meal are the same product. It is commonly used in gluten-free baking since it can greatly improve the texture of baked goods and add moisture. Almond meal has a red light in the Monash app. Just like with almonds, is important to click on it for more details. Half a cup is high FODMAP, but a quarter cup (24 grams) of almond meal is low and okay for the elimination phase.
Monash has not yet tested almond butter. In general, if a food has not been tested for FODMAPs, I recommend avoiding during the elimination phase. However, almond butter is just simply almonds blended until they reach a paste consistency. Since 12 grams of almonds is low FODMAP, around 12 grams of almond butter should also be safe to eat. Limit almond butter to maximum one tablespoon of almond butter per meal/snack.
A small amount of almond butter is used in my Oatmeal Cookie Breakfast Smoothie recipe to add flavour and healthy fats.
FODMAPs are all specific types of highly fermentable carbohydrates. Oils only consist of fats and do not contain carbohydrates. All oils are low FODMAP, including almond oil, unless they have pieces of a high FODMAP food left in the oil (e.g., chunks of garlic or onion).
Almond extract is sometimes used in baked goods or food products to add almond flavour. Only a few drops are usually needed in a recipe. It is made using almond oil, water and alcohol. Monash has not specifically tested almond extract, but since it is made using almond oil it is safe to assume it is low FODMAP.
Even though almonds have a red light in the Monash app, many almond products are okay to eat during elimination, as long as you pay attention to portion size. Always remember to click on each food in the app for more details!
My FODMAP food chart has every food that has been tested by Monash and includes all maximum serving sizes. You can find almonds and other nuts under Meat and Alternatives. Click here to see my FODMAP food chart.
I hope this dietitian Q&A is helpful! If you have any questions please ask them down below in the comment section. Here are links to my past Dietitian Q&A blog posts: