FODMAPs Coconut: Is Coconut ok on the low FODMAP diet? 

FODMAPs Coconut: Is Coconut ok on the low FODMAP diet? 

Are you wondering if coconut is low FODMAP? If so, you are certainly not alone!

Coconut's unique flavor, antioxidants, and versatility make it a popular food among all dietary lifestyles and especially for people with IBS symptoms. As a result, many have been asking the question: Is coconut low FODMAP? The answer isn’t as cut and dry as one may think.

This blog is designed to provide an in-depth look at what makes some coconut products high FODMAP compared to products that are low in FODMAPs. We also touch upon how much of each kind can be safely consumed on the low FODMAP diet, and why limiting your coconut intake may still be necessary even if this superfood appears to fit into the program.

Read on to discover more about this tropical treat!

Coconut palm tree with fresh coconuts.

Why is Coconut Such a Popular Food?

Coconut has long been a favorite food among people with dietary restrictions.

It's low in carbs and has important nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and selenium. It is also a great source of fiber, helping to keep your digestive system running smoothly, and protein. And it contains healthy fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation in the body Because of the high fat content, most coconut products are high in calories which might not be desired for weight loss. Because of the health benefits, many people rely on coconut as a safe and delicious ingredient in their diets.

Coconut is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes both sweet and savory, adding a unique flavor to many meals, smoothies, and baked goods.

But what about high FODMAPs? Are there any potential issues associated with consuming coconut on your FODMAP journey that triggers symptoms? Let’s explore this further.

Whole and halve coconuts with their palm leaves on a pink background.

Does coconut cause bloating and stomach issues?

The short answer is yes, coconut can cause bloating and stomach issues. Most of the FODMAPs in coconut are located in the flesh of the fruit, not in the water or milk as these are considered low FODMAP.

The FODMAPs include fructose, sorbitol, and polyols which can be difficult to digest for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders.

Coconut with a straw on a white beach.

That said, it is important to remember that everyone’s FODMAP tolerance level is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. It is always best to experiment with small quantities first, keep track of your own body’s response when consuming coconut products, and then adjust accordingly.

Two coconuts on a table, one is broken open.

Is Coconut Low FODMAP?

The good news is that yes, coconut is generally considered to be FODMAP-friendly. Depending on the serving size and the type of coconut you are consuming, it can contain varying amounts of FODMAPs.

It is important to remember that everyone’s tolerance level is different, so if you are unsure about how your body will respond to coconut, start with a small quantity and monitor your symptoms before consuming larger servings.

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Different Types of Coconut and Their FODMAP Content

There are many different types of coconut available, each with its own unique FODMAP content.

(Shredded) coconut

Shredded or desiccated coconut contains higher levels of sorbitol than other forms of coconut, a max intake of 1/2 cup (30 gr) is low FODMAP.

Coconut water

Coconut water is generally considered safe to consume up to 100ml as long as they are unsweetened. Larger intakes do contain sorbitol and fructan, which can exceed tolerance levels.

Different types of coconut products: a whole coconut, coconut flesh, coconut flour, coconut oil.

Coconut cream & (canned) Coconut Milk

Coconut cream and canned coconut milk are generally considered to be low FODMAP in small servings (up to 1/4 cup). For coconut milk, it depends if it has inulin, is sweetened, and has a long life (UHT).

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is high in fats, which can cause digestive symptoms, but one tablespoon does not contain high FODMAP levels.

It is possible to enjoy coconut on the low FODMAP diet as long as you pay close attention to your body’s response and limit your intake.

Is coconut water OK for FODMAP?

Coconut water is generally FODMAP friendly if consumed in small servings, up to 100ml, however, it is important to monitor your tolerance levels.

If you experience any symptoms of bloating or discomfort after consuming coconut water, it may be best to avoid the product altogether.

Additionally, make sure that the coconut water you are consuming is unsweetened and doesn’t contain any added ingredients. Some brands of coconut water can be high in FODMAPs due to the added sugar or flavors.

Coconut water falling on a hand.

It is best to check the label on the product before consuming it to make sure it meets your dietary needs. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you can enjoy coconut water without worrying about exacerbating your symptoms.

In conclusion, coconut can be a great addition to many dishes on the low FODMAP diet as long as you pay close attention to your tolerance levels and limit your intake to small servings. Coconut water is generally considered healthy and safe in moderation, however, it is important to make sure that it is unsweetened and doesn't contain additives.

How Much Coconut Can You Eat on the Low FODMAP Diet?

When it comes to coconut on the low FODMAP diet, it is important to remember that everyone's tolerance level is different. It is best to start with small amounts of coconut and monitor your symptoms carefully.

Generally, a ¼ cup serving of shredded or desiccated coconut should be tolerated by most people. Coconut milk and coconut water can also be consumed in small servings (up to ½ cup) as long as they are unsweetened.

If you find that your symptoms worsen after eating a certain type of coconut, it may be best to avoid the product altogether. Ultimately, it is important to be aware of your own body’s response when consuming coconut products.

Coconut based curry with chili peppers and lime.

Should You Limit Your Coconut Intake Even if it is Low FODMAP?

The short answer is yes. Coconut is still high in calories and fat, so even if it fits into your diet, you should still be mindful of how much you are eating.

In addition to this, coconut can also contain a significant amount of FODMAPs depending on the type you are consuming; therefore, limiting your intake may be a wise choice if you have digestive issues.

When choosing your coconut, opt for unsweetened versions like coconut water and coconut milk as they contain the least amount of FODMAPs. Low FODMAP chia pudding, if you tolerate chia seeds, is a great option. You can find the recipe in our FODMAP app.

Coconut can be a great addition to a low FODMAP diet as long as it is consumed in moderation and the right type of coconut is chosen. As always, it is important to listen to your body’s response and adjust accordingly.

Coconut cookies with blackberries.

Should Coconut Products Be Cooked or Heated?

When consuming coconut on the low FODMAP diet, it is best to avoid heating it or cooking with it as this can cause it to break down into its component sugars, leading to increased FODMAP levels. Additionally, some coconut products can be high in certain FODMAPs when heated, such as galactooligosaccharides (GOS).

The best way to consume coconut on the low FODMAP diet is by eating it fresh or adding it to dishes without heating or cooking. This will help to ensure that you can enjoy coconut without increasing your FODMAP intake.

Coconut & FODMAPs

In conclusion, coconut can be a great addition to many dishes on the low FODMAP diet as long as you pay close attention to your tolerance levels and limit your intake to small servings. You can use a resource like the Nutrive FODMAP app to find serving sizes that are specific to your FODMAP intolerances.

Coconut water is generally considered safe in moderation, however, it is important to make sure that it is unsweetened and doesn’t contain any added sugars or sweeteners. Avoid heating or cooking with coconut and always speak to a healthcare professional before adding it to your diet.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of coconut while still maintaining your low FODMAP diet.

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