What Alcohol is Low FODMAP?

What Alcohol is Low FODMAP?

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Alcohol & The Low FODMAP Diet

Everyone likes to have an occasional alcoholic drink and you don’t need to miss out just because you are on the low FODMAP diet. There are multiple low FODMAP alcohol options to choose from, however you will need to be smart about your drinking to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

It is important to understand that alcohol is a gut irritant, which means even if you choose a low FODMAP drink it could be an IBS trigger (Bahls, 2013NICE, 2015). Alcohol can cause your stomach to produce more acid than usual, which can cause gastritis, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea (Drink Aware, 2015).

5 Tips for Enjoyable Drinking

  1. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. I know that many people think ‘eating is cheating’ when it comes to drinking. However when you have gastrointestinal issues, drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Have a decent meal before you have a drink.
  2. Drink in moderation. I know this can be really hard to do but your body will thank you for it. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommend limiting your drinking to two standard drinks at a time (NICE, 2015Great Western Hospitals: NHS, 2012).
  3. Alternate your drinks with water. Drink water in between your alcoholic beverages to help reduce how much alcohol you consume. My tip is to drink chilled water from a wine glass.
  4. Choose your alcohol carefully. Make sure your alcohol and your mixes are FODMAP friendly. Many sweetened spirits contain high FODMAP ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, honey, or sugar alcohols.
  5. Choose your mixer carefully. Carbonated soft drinks can be full of sneaky high FODMAP sweeteners so check the ingredient list before selecting. If you are mixing your drinks with juice choose carefully as most juices are high FODMAP. Cranberry juice is low FODMAP. Also take care to have only one low FODMAP fruit juice over a two to three hour period otherwise you could consume a high FODMAP serve.

Which Alcohols are Low FODMAP?

Beer (Low FODMAP)

Beer is low FODMAP despite being made from wheat and rye, which are high in fructans (Monash University App, 2015). During the manufacturing process the yeast ferment the fructans and converts them into alcohol. Beer does contain gluten so if you suffer from Coeliac disease you will need to choose a gluten free beer instead.

Cider (Untested Potentially High FODMAP)

Cider is normally made from apple, pear or berries and the FODMAP content of different ciders is currently untested. During the fermentation process for apple cider the fructose, sucrose, and glucose are converted into alcohol and are normally only present in the cider if they have been added as a sweetener (Williams, 1974). However, it appears that some sugar alcohols (glycerol, hexitol, mannitol and inositol) remain after the fermentation process (Williams, 1974). This means that some ciders could be high FODMAP.

Wine (FODMAP Content Depends on Type)

 Low FODMAP  High FODMAP
 Red wine

 Sparkling wine

 Sweet wine

 White Wine

 Dry white wine

 Sticky wine

 

 Low glycaemic index wine

Red wine (Low FODMAP)

Red wine is low FODMAP at 150ml (1 glass) serve (Monash University App, 2015). This means you can enjoy your glass of pinot noir, cabernet, shiraz, or zinfandel.

Sparkling wine (Low FODMAP)

Sparkling wine is usually a white wine or rose that contains carbon dioxide to make it fizzy (Kallsen, 2012). Champagne is a classic example of a sparkling wine (Kallsen, 2012). According to Monash University it is low FODMAP at a 1 glass serve (Monash University App, 2015).

Sweet wine (Low FODMAP)

Sweet wines are also listed as low FODMAP at 1 glass serves (Monash University App, 2015).  The amount of residual sugars in sweet wines range from 35 to 120g per litre (Wine Folly 2015). According to Wine Folly, sweet wines can include Muscato, Sweet Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc (Wine Folly, 2014Wine Folly 2015)

Sticky wine (High FODMAP)

It is likely that Monash is referring to fortified wines or sweet dessert wines (like sherry, port and ice wine) by using the name ‘sticky’.   According to the NUTTAB nutritional database both port and sherry contain excess fructose, which would make them high FODMAP (NUTTAB, 2010). This aligns with the Monash app which notes that sticky wine contains excess fructose and is high FODMAP (Monash University App, 2015).

White wine (Low FODMAP)

According to Monash University white wines are low FODMAP and safe to drink in 150ml (1 glass) serves (Monash University App, 2015).

Dry white wine (Low FODMAP)

Dry white wines have less residual sugar than standard white wine. This means dry white wine is considered the safest if you malabsorb fructose (Jacob, 2013). For a wine to be classified as dry it should have less than 4g of sugar per litre (Fraizer, 2015). Types of dry wine include sauvignon blanc, albarino, chardonnay, and muscadet (Fraizer, 2015). According to Monash University dry white wines are low FODMAP and safe in 150ml (1 glass) serves (Monash University App, 2015).

Low glycaemic index wine (High FODMAP)

According to Monash University wines that have a low glycaemic index can be high in fructose and should be avoided during the elimination phase (Monash University App, 2015).

Spirits (FODMAP Content Varies)

Several spirits are low FODMAP however you need to be wary of sweetened spirits as these can contain high FODMAP ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave syrup and sugar-alcohols.

Gin (Low FODMAP)

There is good news for those of you who enjoy a gin and tonic. Gin is low FODMAP and safe to consume in 30ml serves (Monash University App, 2015). Just watch out for sneaky FODMAPs in the tonic water.

Rum (High FODMAP)

According to Monash rum is high in fructose and should be avoided in the elimination phase (Monash University App, 2015).

Vodka (Low FODMAP)

Vodka is low FODMAP and the safe serving size is 30ml (Monash University App, 2015). For a simple low FODMAP vodka drink, mix 1 part vodka with 2 parts cranberry juice then add ice and a wedge of lime. Make sure you check the cranberry juice doesn’t have any sneaky FODMAPs.

Whiskey (Low FODMAP)

If you like whisky on the rocks then you are in luck. Whiskey is low FODMAP and safe for the elimination phase. Monash lists a serving size of 30ml as safe (Monash University App, 2015).

Tequila (Not Tested)

Tequila is made from blue agave syrup (Cooks Info, 2015). Agave syrup is known to be high in fructose. The sugars from the agave stems is fermented and then distilled to produce tequila (Cooks Info, 2015). During the fermentation process the sugars are converted into alcohol and it is possible that any remaining fructose does not make it through the distillation process. However, until Monash tests tequila we will not have a definite answer on its FODMAP content.

Final Thoughts

Just remember that you can indulge in an alcoholic beverage while on the low FODMAP diet. Just remember to choose your beverage wisely, look out for sneaky FODMAPs, and if possible limit yourself to a couple of drinks.

REFERENCES

  1. NICE. Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. 2015. Retrieved from:http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg61/chapter/1-recommendations. Retrieved on: 2015-06-07. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6Z6RJ49TK)
  2. Bahls C. 11 Foods to Avoid When You’re Having Digestive Problems. Everyday Health. 2013-08-27. Retrieved from:http://www.everydayhealth.com/digestion-photos/foods-to-avoid-during-digestive-problems.aspx#01. Retrieved on: 2015-06-07. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6Z6SCXLrK)
  3. Great Western Hospitals: NHS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help Guide. NHS Foundation Trust. 2012. Retrieved from:http://www.gwh.nhs.uk/media/140791/ibs_self_help_diet_sheet.pdf. Retrieved on: 2015-06-07. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6Z6RdxtLz)
  4. Drink Aware. Is alcohol harming your stomach?. Drinkaware.co.uk. 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/is-alcohol-harming-your-stomach. Retrieved on: 2015-06-07. (Archived by WebCite®at http://www.webcitation.org/6Z6SfMR9y)
  5. Monash University App. Food GuideThe Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App. 2015: Version 1.5 (295). Date retrieved: 2015-11-14. Retrieved from:http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/iphone-app.html. Accessed: 2015-11-14. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6Wog73c8B)
  6. Williams, A. Flavour Research And The Cider Industry. Journal of The Institute of Brewing. 1974: Volume 80. P.445. Retrieved from:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1974.tb06795.x/pdf. Retrieved on: 2015-11-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dK3oF7d9)
  7. Kellsen, J. Sparkling Wine vs. Champagne. The Wine Company. 2012-12-06. Retrieved from:http://www.thewinecompany.net/sparkling-wine-vs-champagne/. Retrieved from: 2015-11-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dK2GSaXX)
  8. NUTTAB Database. NUTTAB Database Search: Port & Sherry (Fortified Wines). 2010. Retrieved from:http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/nutrientables/nuttab/Pages/default.aspx. Retrieved on: 2015-11-29. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dPkBwzE3)
  9. Wine Folly. 5 Types of Dessert Wine. Wine Folly. 2015-11-29. Retrieved from:http://winefolly.com/review/types-dessert-wine/. Retrieved on: 2015-01-01.(Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dPkY4DIt)
  10. Wine Folly. Sugar In Wine. Wine Folly. 2015-05-22. Retrieved from:http://winefolly.com/review/sugar-in-wine-chart/. Retrieved on: 2015-11-29.(Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dPkNkF5p)
  11. Jacob, A. Fructose Malabsorption & Alcohol. Livestrong. 2013-10-21. Retrieved from:http://www.livestrong.com/article/448609-fructose-malabsorption-alcohol/. Retrieved on: 2015-11-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dK2pS7TV)
  12. Fraizer, K. Types of Dry White Wine. Love To Know. 2015. Retireved from:http://wine.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Types_of_Dry_White_Wine. Retrieved on: 2015-11-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dK2avdtK)
  13. Cooks Info. Tequila. Cooks Info. 2015. Retrieved from:http://www.cooksinfo.com/tequila. Retrieved on: 2015-11-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6dK4M705e)

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Comments

  • Ashton 12/11/2016 11:59pm (12 months ago)

    What about rice wine?

    • Alana Scott 13/11/2016 9:08pm (12 months ago)

      Hi Ashton,

      Rice wine is currently untested for FODMAPs so you will need to test your tolerance levels to it. Normally you would start with a small amount and work your way up to a standard serve. Also keep in mind that all gut alcohol is a gut irritant so limit your serve to 1 or 2 standard drinks.

      I hope that helps!

  • Giuliana Di Paola 14/09/2017 1:57am (2 months ago)

    Hey
    A lot of people talk about what types of alcohol are fodmap friendly so I know which ones are but how much can you consume in a day? For example I see red one at one glass is low and one ounce of gin is as well so my question is can you have both in a night or is it strictly one glass of one thing per day?
    Help!

    • Alana Scott 14/09/2017 11:03pm (2 months ago)

      Hey Giuliana,

      Thanks for commenting! Okay so yes you can have a couple of different low FODMAP alcoholic beverages in a night. Just keep in mind that even low FODMAP alcohol can be a gut irritant and cause IBS symptoms so we recommend that you enjoy your drinks in moderation. See how you go having 2 standard drinks in a night. If that goes well then you might find you can get away with a little bit more (this really varies per person). You might also find that it helps leaving a couple of hours between each serve of alcohol. I hope that helps!

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