“Spelt” out: Fodmap diet gets even more confusing

Low Fodmap For Life Spelt

The Fodmap diet is one of the most complex “dietary requirements” and I have always had praise for the Monash Uni’s Low Fodmap App, as it helps to shine light on the extraordinary complexities of food types and serving sizes across the food groups. Their new app update though has me reeling in dismay…. It takes the fodmap diet from confusing to disorientating… 

To just get started, spelt flour, which I have always understood to be low fodmap is now determined to be high fodmap, which also includes spelt pasta, spelt flakes and spelt bread. Unless the bread happens to be of the sourdough variety where the fermentation process assists in the breakdown of the fodmaps and enhances its digestibility.

But, the craziest part is this: spelt flour, white or wholemeal, is high fodmap, however, if you take that same flour and put it through a sieve it is now low fodmap!

The next one to blow my mind is this: 1 cup of coarse, organic oatmeal (oat flakes) is low fodmap, however 1 cup of fine, organic oatmeal (quick oats) is high fodmap. And yet fine, organic, gluten free oatmeal is medium for fodmaps.

If you are eating buckwheat groats/kernals in the US, go for it, as they are low fodmap at 3/4 cup, cooked. But seemingly, if you eat them in Australia they are only low fodmap at 1/8 cup, cooked. However, perhaps we should just go for buckwheat flour instead, as it is low fodmap even at 2/3 cup.

Part of me is grateful that we are getting even more science-based information to help inform our dietary planning and hopefully help us minimise the awful symptoms of IBS. The other part of me thinks that this type of seemingly non-sensical information may just leave many people putting it in the “too hard basket” and giving up altogether in frustration. I am hoping that someone at Monash Uni can take a methodical approach that can put some kind of sense around the entirety of the fodmap system so that it can be even more user-friendly for people like us who have to live with this every day.

What are your views on this?



15 thoughts on ““Spelt” out: Fodmap diet gets even more confusing

  1. I totally agree, some app information is really confusing. I am having trouble sorting out corn products (e.g. corn flakes, corn thins). I understand corn as such does not contain or contains little FODMAPs. Thus, corn flakes made out of nothing but corn (no fructose etc. added) should be equally no/low FODMAP?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corn is an interesting one – and very confusing! I have found that with many of these issues I have had to rely on myself and monitor my own tolerance to corn. I know that I don’t tolerate corn products very well, but I still have a little every now and then. I love corn thins but usually, I avoid them and only occasionally have one or two. Have you tried quinoa porridge? That is quite nice once you get accustomed to it!
      Thank you for leaving a comment, I loved hearing from you. Take care, Sacha


  2. I was thrown by the “sieved vs. un-sieved” spelt also until I came across something on the Monash U. website. Sieved spelt is spelt that, as part of the processing, is sieved so that the bran is removed. What that means is that none of us can “sieve” spelt simply by shaking it through a sieve or sifter in our kitchen.

    In the United States Bob’s Red Mill offers organic spelt (which is presumably un-sieved), spelt, and light spelt. The description of “light spelt” on the package label is that some of the germ and bran is removed (sieved), but it doesn’t indicate how much. I suppose trial-and-error would be the only way to try the light flour in baking.

    And as has been noted, sourdough bread made with spelt is a low FODMAP. My next step will be to make a sourdough with Bob’s “light spelt” and see how well that is tolerated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your insight around the “sieved” spelt flour! In Australia we can buy “White” spelt and “Wholemeal” spelt, so it sounds like the “White” spelt should be the same as “sieved”!

      Thanks for clarifying this for me!


    • How is your light spelt sour dough bread….is it the same consistency as wheat flour bread? My husband has all but stopped eating gluten free bread because of the texture/density is just too heavy. I should be able to locate the Bob’s Red Mill light spelt living on the high desert in Oregon. Thank You for the information.


      • Hi Sandee,

        It is Sacha replying to your message. The light spelt sourdough bread I have found in Australia is a close texture to wheat bread, so it could be worth trying. It is much better than gluten free bread. I have also used light spelt to make pizza dough from scratch – very very good!!

        Let me know what you can find. Good luck!


  3. I am totally confused about Buckwheat. The app says buckwheat groats are fine (135g), but Buckwheat kernels are moderate fructans (54g). In the UK groats and kernels are the same thing, am i missing something?
    Even more confusingly, several fodmap reintroduction challenges suggest using Buckwheat groats as a challenge food for fructans (50g).
    Are they ok or not??


  4. My view on it is: just don’t eat it. There is no need to eat spelt products. Just stick with potatoes and white rice as a main source of carbohydrates. You could also try high fat diet which seems ideal for IBS people.


    • Buckwheat is one of the best option in my opinion. Regarding your comment on hight fat diet, those with IBS have to be very cautious of this as high levels of fat can be a gut irritant. I have dabbled in this area and found that it doesn’t suit me and I have to be careful to not eat much food with a v high fat content. Thanks for commenting!


  5. I feel so relieved to read this- the elimination is so confusing. I feel less alone 🙂

    I decided with my dietician to just follow her list of low fodmaps and don’t even think of portions BC I was getting so crazy about it all it was ineffective


  6. I am glad I found your site, I am from Canada and feel alone on my journey with low fodmap but having this site, gives me support. I am just starting the app. Been on the diet a year but had a relapse. M.L


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