Without support, a low FODMAP diet can often feel rather restrictive. One category that people often struggle with the most whilst following a low FODMAP diet is sauces. This is largely due to the fact that sauces generally contain multiple ingredients, making it harder to identify whether the product is in fact low or high in one or more FODMAPs. Many sauces also contain onion and garlic, which are high FODMAP.
Here’s a list of some low risk sauces to enjoy during the elimination phase of a FODMAP diet.
Soy sauce. Although some soy products are in fact high FODMAP, such as silken tofu and soy milk created with whole soybeans, the fermentation process that is used to create soy sauce actually reduces the FODMAP content of the end product. Individuals on a low FODMAP diet can usually enjoy soy sauce in serving sizes of up to 2 tablespoons (roughly 42g) without triggering symptoms. For a gluten-free version – opt for a GF soy or tamari.
Mayonnaise. Supermarket bought mayonnaise can in fact be low FODMAP. Check the ingredients list and opt for brands that contain only egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar and oil. Brands to be more cautious of are the ones that state onion or garlic powder in the ingredients, or spices or natural flavourings. Otherwise, enjoy up to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise but be mindful that the fat content may trigger symptoms.
Oyster sauce. If you’re into Asian cooking, this one will be music to your ears! Oyster sauce is low FODMAP in amounts of up to 1 tablespoon (or 20g). Larger servings of 2 tablespoons or more may trigger symptoms due to the products fructan content. Oyster sauce is made with oysters, salt and sugar.
Fish sauce. Enjoy up to 1 tablespoon (44g) on a low FODMAP diet. This is another sauce that is very commonly used to bring out the flavours of Asian based dishes such as curries and stir fries.
Miso paste. Like soy sauce, miso paste is another soy based product that undergoes fermentation. Miso paste can be used in amounts of up to 12 grams, which is approximately 2 teaspoons. Very popular in Japan, miso is a great addition to soups, salad dressings, or used as a glaze for oven baked fish or tofu.
Balsamic Vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is safe in amounts of up to 1 tablespoon, despite generally being categorised as a moderate FODMAP product. Get too generous with your salad dressing though (i.e. 2 tablespoons or more per person), and you are heading into symptom trigger territory.
Mustard. There are many types of mustard available on the supermarket shelves. The key is to check the ingredients list. Pass on the brands that contain onion or garlic powder. As with any product, be cautious of brands that list spices or natural flavours, as this may in fact be onion or garlic powder! 1 tablespoon is generally considered a low FODMAP serving of mustard.
Worcestershire sauce. This sauce does usually contain onion and garlic, however because Worcestershire sauce is fermented, it is categorised by industry experts as low FODMAP in small amounts. One serving size is 2 tablespoons (around 42g).
Ketchup or tomato sauce. A low FODMAP serving is suggested to be 13g, or roughly 2 teaspoons. Watch out for brands that contain onion/garlic.
Hot sauce. People with IBS may find that spice can trigger symptoms, so use hot sauce at your discretion. If it is tolerated, hot sauce brands that tend to be lower in FODMAP content are those with minimal ingredients; simply chillies, salt and vinegar.
Salsa. Although harder to find, some salsas out there are FODMAP friendly. This means opting for brands that omit onions. We will list some helpful resources below! One product in particular that Monash University has tested and approved in 1.5 tablespoon servings is FODY mild or medium salsa. Alternatively, get creative and make your own!
Tahini. Hummus lovers and bliss ball makers rejoice! A 1 tablespoon (20g) serving is considered a low FODMAP amount of this delicious stuff!
- Sauces that tend to be higher in FODMAPs are those that contain garlic, onion, or sweeteners. Learn how to read ingredient labels and alternative names for FODMAP ingredients. Speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitian if you need help.
- Sauces that contain FODMAP ingredients may be okay in small amounts. Learn ‘safe serving sizes’, such as the ones we have outlined for you in this article.
- When eating at cafes or restaurants, request for salad dressings, sauces, marinades or dips to be served on the side, so that you can monitor and add appropriate amounts.
- Individuals’ experiences with IBS and FODMP trigger types and amounts can vary. There is no one size fits all approach, so ‘go with your gut’ – if something feels fine for you, enjoy, but if it doesn’t, honour your body and adjust accordingly.
There are some fantastic brands available in supermarkets, in health food stores and particularly online for people following a low FODMAP diet. Check out NOGO and FODMAPPED for their extensive range of sauces, condiments, and even pasta sauces. FOD Shop is another online hub offering FODMAP friendly sauces and condiments, as well as a huge variety of other food products and grocery items.