Low FODMAP Guide to Halloween Candy
Just because you are on the low FODMAP diet, it doesn’t mean you need to miss out this spooky festive season! You can enjoy trick and treating with a bit of careful label reading. Check out the Low FODMAP Halloween Infographic below & keep reading for lots of handy hints:
Low FODMAP Checklist
- Check for low FODMAP sweeteners (these will quickly tell you if the candy is your friend or foe!).
- Watch out for sneaky FODMAPs.
- Control portion size. As you know low FODMAP portion sizes are often key to getting good symptom control. Even low FODMAP candy needs to be consumed with care. Low FODMAP dietitian Patsy Catsos recommends that you consume no more than 40g of sugar in one sitting…. Any more than that could lead to disaster, as your body may struggle to process the vast quantity of sucrose and end up malabsorbing the fructose (even though sucrose (sugar) contains an equal ratio of glucose and fructose).
Common Low FODMAP Ingredients In Candy
It’s easy to get confused when looking at ingredient labels. These ingredients are considered low FODMAP: corn syrup, dextrose, glucose syrup (from wheat or corn), sucrose, sugar, cane sugar, food acid, colours, gelatin, artificial flavours, soy lecithin, confectioners glaze, natural flavours*.
*Note on Natural Flavours: In savoury products natural flavours can be problematic as they can contain onion or garlic. However natural flavours derived from fruit used in sweet products are generally considered okay (Catsos, 2014). This might be because natural flavours extracted from fruit only provide flavour and do not add nutritional value (FDA, 2016). This means the amount of carbohydrates (FODMAPs) included in the flavouring is likely to be minimal and is unlikely to cause issues in small serves.
Watch Out For Sneaky High FODMAP Ingredients
One of your major sources of FODMAPs in Halloween candy will be high FODMAP sweeteners. Make sure you steer clear of candy containing: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, agave syrup, yacon syrup, sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), isomalt (953), erythritol (968), concentrated fruit juices (especially if made from high FODMAP fruit), fructose, inulin or high FODMAP fruit.
Any candy labelled as diabetic friendly could contain high FODMAP polyols. If you live outside of the USA/Canada make sure you check for the additive numbers listed above.
Other Problematic Ingredients
Depending on your serving size of candy, both invert sugar and molasses could be problematic. These ingredients are untested for FODMAPs, but have been deemed potentially high FODMAP by my dietitian team, so we recommend that you limit your serving sizes to 1 or 2 pieces of candy that include these ingredients. Wheat starch is also used in some candies. The amount of wheat starch in a few pieces should remain within the low FODMAP threshold… just don’t go eating the whole bag at once!
So now you know what to look for…. Let's look at some labels
Candy Number 1: Low FODMAP
Candy Number 2: High FODMAP
Contains honey which is a high FODMAP ingredient.
Candy Number Three: High FODMAP
This candy is high FODMAP as it contains sorbitol (a sugar alcohol).
Candy Number Four: Low FODMAP
Candy Number Five: High FODMAP
High FODMAP as it contains concentrated blackcurrent and apple juice.
Candy Number Six: Low FODMAP
Candy Number Seven: Portion Control Needed
Invert sugar is potentially problematic and the wheat starch will contain FODMAPs in large serves. This means you need to limit your portion to 2 to 3 candy pieces.
Candy Number Eight: Portion Control Needed
This candy contains semi-sweet chocolate, which can contain lactose. The low FODMAP serve for semi-sweet chocolate would be 15g. Depending on the size of the candy you might get away with 2 to 4 pieces.
There is no reason to miss out on trick or treating this year. Just make sure you check the Halloween candy labels to make sure they are low FODMAP and watch your serving sizes. Enjoy your treats!
- Catsos, P. Sweeteners & FODMAPs. IBS Free At Last. Updated: 2016-03-31. Retrieved from:http://www.ibsfree.net/news/2014/10/31/sweeteners-and-fodmaps. Retrieved on: 2016-10-08. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6l7bznhJq)
- FDA. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. FDA US Food & Drug Administration. 2016-04-08. Retrieved from:http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=501.22. Retrieved on: 2016-10-08. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6l7cEWaGb)
Catsos, P. FODMAPs and Protein Powders. IBS Free At Last. 2014-10-29. Retrieved from:http://www.ibsfree.net/news/2014/5/23/fodmaps-and-protein-powders?rq=protein%20powder. Retrieved on: 2016-10-08. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6l7bdzFEy)