According to the Monash App, white potatoes are low fodmap, but there is much more to know about potatoes than whether white potatoes are low fodmap.
Potatoes of all varieties are low fodmap, except for sweet potato. But even sweet potato can be enjoyed on the low fodmap diet when consumed in the appropriate portion size.
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These days potatoes can get a bad rap as they are a starchy vegetable, but they are still nutrient dense, an excellent source of resistant starch (more on this later), and are a low fodmap food that is often well tolerated by people with irritable bowel syndrome.
First off, let’s clear up one big question.
Are potatoes low fodmap, and what portion size is low fodmap?
A 75-gram serving of half a cup of white potatoes is low in fodmaps. Half a cup of white potato is considered one low fodmap serving size, yet the Monash university fodmap app advises that white potatoes are low in fodmaps in a serving size of up to 500 grams. Larger amounts of potatoes can be consumed if they are well tolerated.
According to fodmap everyday, different types of potatoes are low fodmap, including russet potatoes, red potatoes, and all white potatoes. Now there is one exception, and that is the sweet potato.
Are sweet potatoes low fodmap?
The short answer is that sweet potatoes are low fodmap but only in a 1-serve size of ½ a cup per meal or 75 grams. Sweet potato becomes a moderate fodmap food in a portion size of 2/3 cup and high fodmap in portions above 100 grams or 2/3 of a cup.
Mannitol is the fodmap in sweet potatoes that can trigger IBS symptoms, especially when someone is intolerant to the mannitol fodmaps in sweet potatoes.
While sweet potatoes can quickly become high fodmap in large amounts, they are a way higher source of vitamin A for the immune system lining the gut. Sweet potato also contains higher amounts of vitamin c than white potato.
So yes, sweet potato is high in fodmaps in portions over 2/3 of a cup but is also higher in vitamins A and C! It’s always good to be aware of each food’s positive and negative sides and take what applies to your situation.
Not everyone reacts to the mannitol fodmap; if that is the case for you, enjoy sweet in larger amounts. Yup, I’m a rule breaker and would like to give you permission to make and break the rules according to your unique situation and health concerns.
Ways to enjoy potatoes on the low fodmap diet.
Potatoes are versatile root vegetables that can be enjoyed in many ways when following the low fodmap diet. They are also an easy side dish to accompany main meals.
For example, potatoes can be eaten, boiled, and mashed with salt, pepper, and butter, then served alongside some baked salmon with a low fodmap salad. Such a delicious and healthy low fodmap meal!
You can also roast potatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and low fodmap herbs such as oregano, a fantastic antimicrobial herb for SIBO. Oregano also inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Another delicious meal is a baked potato topped with melted butter served with a steak or chicken skewers with low fodmap green beans.
This low fodmap potato salad is another great side dish to accompany the main meal.
Low fodmap potato recipes
If you need some ideas for low-fodmap potato recipes, check out the following recipes:
- sweet potato smoothie
- low fodmap quiche with spinach and feta
- low fodmap mashed potatoes
- low fodmap roasted potatoes
What you need to know about resistant starches and potatoes
While white potatoes are low fodmap, they are also high in resistant starches, a prebiotic fiber for gut bacteria. While resistant starches are not rapidly fermentable like fodmaps, they can still be a trigger for people with IBS and SIBO.
That was the case for me, and how I identified SIBO as the cause of my acid reflux. Whenever I take on a new client, I ask the question: how do you tolerate foods high in fodmaps, such as onion and garlic? I also ask how so you tolerate foods high in resistant starches, such as potatoes and bananas.
Before I knew about the fodmap diet or the SIBO diet, I listened to a podcast with Norman Robillard, the author of Fast Tract Digestion Heartburn. He mentioned that high-fiber foods such as chia seeds and resistant starches could be problematic for people with SIBO and acid reflux.
When bacteria ferment-resistant starches in the small intestine instead of the colon, these foods can cause acid reflux. I started to pay attention to my trigger foods for acid reflux, and indeed it was potatoes and banana, which are both high in resistant starches.
I identified SIBO as the root cause of my acid reflux due to potatoes being one of my triggers. You can learn more about my story of healing SIBO in this post.
On the flip side, resistant starches are great for gut health as good bacteria make postbiotics such as butyrate from feeding on resistant starches such as those found in potatoes.
Resistant starches are not rapidly fermentable like high fodmap foods, but they can still be a trigger food for some people with SIBO. For this reason, potatoes are not allowed on phase 1 of the SIBO diet.
Now that I have symptomatically healed SIBO, I enjoy potatoes in my diet again and do not experience acid reflux. Just because a portion of food can trigger symptoms doesn’t mean we should eliminate that food forever.
Instead, I encourage you to dig deeper and discover why you are reacting to certain foods. Once you know why foods trigger symptoms, you can take action to resolve your problem. In the meantime enjoy eating potatoes when on the low fodmap diet if they don’t trigger IBS and SIBO symptoms.
For more information on healing from SIBO and IBS, check out this SIBO resource page!