If you are following a low-FODMAP diet, you might be wondering whether you can enjoy almonds without triggering symptoms like bloating and diarrhea.
A typical (1 ounce) portion of almonds is considered high-FODMAP, but smaller amounts and other forms of almonds can still be included in a low-FODMAP diet.
In this article we’ll go over the FODMAP content of various forms and portion sizes of almonds and discuss the best low-FODMAP almond alternatives.
We use the Monash University FODMAP app to identify low-FODMAP foods. It is considered the best resource on FODMAPs, because it is updated frequently and includes information about portion sizes.
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What are FODMAPs?
“FODMAP” is an abbreviation that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (1).
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented by gut bacteria and may trigger gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people.
There are 5 different categories of FODMAPs (2):
- Fructose: A type of sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey.
- Lactose: The natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.
- Fructans: A type of carbohydrate found in a wide variety of foods, including wheat. Also called “fructo-oligosaccharides” or simply “FOS.”
- Galactans: A type of carbohydrate found in legumes, such as beans, lentils, and soy. Also called “galacto-oligosaccharides” or simply “GOS.”
- Polyols: A group of carbohydrates that are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and can also be used as artificial sweeteners. Also known as “sugar alcohols.”
The low-FODMAP diet is one of the most common diets recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and other digestive disorders.
This diet begins with a short-term elimination of high-FODMAP foods, followed by the gradual reintroduction of foods to identify which types of FODMAPs trigger symptoms for the individual.
In people with IBS, a low-FODMAP diet has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life (3).
Are almonds low-FODMAP?
Almonds are low-FODMAP in portions of 10 almonds or less (roughly half the typical serving size for almonds) (4).
According to the Monash app, a serving of 20 almonds is high in a particular type of FODMAP called galactans.
If you are sensitive to galactans or are currently in the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet, consider avoiding almonds or reducing your serving size.
Is almond butter low-FODMAP?
Almond butter is made from almonds that have been ground into a creamy paste.
Many almond butters contain only almonds and salt, but flavorings and sweeteners like vanilla and honey can also be added.
Almond butter is low-FODMAP in servings of one tablespoon or less, according to data from the Monash app.
Larger portions are moderately high in fructans and galactans and should be avoided by anyone who is in the elimination phase or is sensitive to these FODMAPs.
Always check the ingredient label when purchasing almond butter. You may want to avoid brands that include high-FODMAP ingredients like honey, which is high in fructose.
Is almond flour low-FODMAP?
Almond flour (or meal) is a popular gluten-free alternative to wheat flour that is made by grinding almonds into a fine powder.
Almond flour is low in FODMAPs when consumed in one-third cup portions (about 33 grams) or less, according to the Monash app.
Servings larger than one-third cup are moderate or high in the FODMAP galactans and may need to be avoided on a low-FODMAP diet.
Is almond milk low-FODMAP?
Almond milk is a non-dairy drink made from almonds that have been soaked in water and blended until smooth, then strained to remove the pulp.
Almond milk is low-FODMAP in servings of one cup (240 mL) or less, according to the Monash app. However, they don’t specify which brand was tested.
The most popular store-bought almond milks contain as little as 2% almonds and often include added sugars, thickeners, flavorings, and vitamins and minerals (5).
It makes sense that these brands would be low-FODMAP despite being made from almonds because they are so diluted.
However, homemade versions and higher-quality brands are made with a much higher percentage of nuts and may not be low-FODMAP.
For example, one almond milk recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts for every 4 cups of water, which results in an almond milk that contains 20% almonds (6).
That means a 1-cup (8-ounce) serving size of homemade almond milk will contain a little less than a ¼ cup of almonds, depending on how much pulp is strained out.
According to Monash, a ¼-cup serving of almonds is high in FODMAPs, so you would need to reduce your serving of almond milk to a ½ cup (4 ounces).
Is almond oil low-FODMAP?
Almond oil (also called sweet almond oil) is a cooking oil made by extracting the fat from almonds. It is not the same as bitter almond oil, which is an essential oil made from bitter almonds (7).
Almond oil has not been officially tested by Monash University to determine its FODMAP levels.
However, since almond oil is a fat and does not contain any carbohydrates, it should be considered low-FODMAP (like all other oils) (8).
Sweet almond oil has a mild, nutty flavor and can be used in salad dressings and marinades or drizzled over fish, meats, vegetables, and grain or legume-based dishes.
Is almond extract low-FODMAP?
Almond extract is a type of flavoring made from alcohol (typically vodka), water, and bitter almond oil.
It has not been officially tested by Monash University, but we can assume almond extract is low-FODMAP because the ingredients naturally don’t contain any carbohydrates.
Low-FODMAP almond alternatives
Although almonds can fit into a low-FODMAP diet in small portions, you may want to use some of these low-FODMAP almond alternatives as well.
Walnuts make a fantastic all-around substitute for almonds in low-FODMAP diets.
They are widely available and can be used in a variety of ways, from snacking to baking. Like almonds, walnuts have a mild, nutty flavor and satisfyingly crunchy texture.
A serving of 10 walnut halves (about 30 grams) is considered low-FODMAP. However, much larger amounts (35 walnut halves or 135 grams) do contain moderate amounts of fructans.
Peanuts and peanut butter are affordable, low-FODMAP substitutes for almonds.
They taste bolder than almonds but can still be used in most recipes that call for almonds or almond butter.
Peanut butter is low-FODMAP as long as you keep your serving size under roughly ½ cup (140 grams). When consumed in greater quantities it can contain moderate amounts of excess fructose.
According to Monash, peanuts themselves contain only trace amounts of FODMAPs, so they can be eaten freely on a low-FODMAP diet.
Pecans are another delicious low-FODMAP alternative to almonds.
They have a slightly stronger, sweeter flavor and softer texture compared to almonds but can be used in many of the same ways.
To keep pecans low-FODMAP, limit your portion size to 10 pecan halves (20 grams). They contain moderate amounts of fructans when consumed in larger quantities (40 pecan halves or 100 grams).
4. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts make a good substitution for almonds in trail mixes and granolas.
They taste slightly more bitter than almonds, but have a much smoother, buttery texture. Brazil nuts are also quite a bit larger than almonds (up to 2 inches long).
A serving of 10 Brazil nuts is considered low-FODMAP, but larger amounts contain moderate amounts of galactans.
Almonds are low-FODMAP in small portions — about 20 nuts per meal or snack. However, larger amounts are high in galactans, a type of FODMAP.
Other almond-based products, such as almond butter, flour, and milk, can also be low-FODMAP depending on the serving size.
If you’re looking for alternatives to almonds on a low-FODMAP diet, consider walnuts, peanuts, pecans, or Brazil nuts.
Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today. Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.