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Are Bananas Low FODMAP?

Are bananas a trigger food for IBS sufferers? If you’re someone with IBS that swears that bananas cause annoying and painful tummy problems, but others around you beg to differ, you may find it interesting that Monash University has retested bananas.

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The FODMAP content found in bananas depends explicitly on the degree of ripeness. Unripe bananas are low in FODMAPs; however, they accumulate the FODMAP oligo-fructans as they ripen. So, you can enjoy one-third or 1.06 oz of ripe bananas or around 3.5 oz. of unripe bananas on a low FODMAP diet.

A yummy yellow fruit, bananas differ in FODMAPs based on ripeness and variety. So, let’s take a look at whether bananas are a triggering IBS food or if you can safely enjoy them without the recurrence of IBS symptoms.

Are Bananas Low FODMAP?

Raw Banana Slices

With over a thousand types of bananas available, we will focus on the Cavendish and Sugar Lady Fingers, the two “common” banana varieties found in U.S. stores and tested for FODMAPs by Monash University.

Cavendish bananas are large and long bananas that transition from green to yellow as they ripen. According to Monash University and the FODMAP Friendly app, these bananas are low in FODMAPs when firm and fresh (typically yellow without any brown spots). However, they become high in FODMAPs when they ripen (brown spots).

Overripe bananas are specifically high in the FODMAP oligo-fructans. These high levels of fructans are known to trigger unpleasant symptoms for individuals with IBS or similar gut problems.

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Sugar Lady Fingers are shorter and fatter than the Cavendish bananas. According to Monash University, unripe Sugar Lady Fingers are low in FODMAPs in 3.95 oz. serving sizes. At the same time, ripe Sugar Lady Fingers are high in FODMAPs from portions upwards of 1.98 oz.

Ripe Sugar Lady Fingers contain the FODMAP fructose. So, to play it safe, eat bananas in moderate portion sizes of one-third of a medium-sized banana.

Can You Enjoy Bananas On A Low FODMAP Diet?

Banana Diet

You can eat Cavendish bananas on a low FODMAP diet; however, the portion sizes and ripeness of the banana play a critical role during the elimination phase. Then, during the reintroduction phase, you can test your tolerance to bananas by eating one medium size (3.53 oz.), firm Cavendish banana.

In theory, a medium, firm Cavendish banana should not contain enough FODMAPs to trigger IBS symptoms. More so, avoid consuming more than 1.06 oz. ripe banana. According to the Monash app, more significant amounts receive the Red Light as a low FODMAP food,

Then, limit portion sizes of Sugar Lady Finger bananas to 3.95 oz. firm, medium-size banana when testing your tolerance.

Consider giving our low FODMAP Banana and Sultana Flapjack Recipe a try.

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Can Someone With IBS Eat Bananas?

If you have IBS, you may wonder whether you can enjoy bananas as a quick snack without a recurrence of uncomfortable IBS symptoms.

In short, IBS is a condition characterized by recurrent and persistent stomach pains and cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. In addition, there appears to be a link between IBS and the imbalance of gut bacteria in your colon.

A low FODMAP diet recommends that you avoid following a diet that avoids foods that contain FODMAPs, known as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols – a type of carb that rapidly ferment by your gut bacteria.

Since ripe bananas contain high FODMAP contents, it’s best to avoid eating them in more significant portions than about one-third of a medium banana.

While bananas are allowed in moderate servings on a low FODMAP diet, it’s critical to note that bananas contain food chemicals and resistant starches that can aggravate or trigger IBS symptoms.

Ripe bananas can contain high levels of amines. While amines aren’t a FODMAP, they are a naturally occurring food chemical. These chemicals can trigger gastrointestinal problems.

More so, unripe bananas contain resistant starch, a type of prebiotic fiber that lies in our gut which our gut bacteria then feed on, causing fermentation. Then, the fermenting process also contributes to gastrointestinal symptoms.

Are Banana Chips Low FODMAP?

Dried candied banana slices or chips

Banana chips or dried bananas are a great-tasting and nutritious snack. However, they are primarily a no-go on a low FODMAP diet if you consume portions upwards of 1.06 oz in one sitting.

As a general guideline, only consume about ten banana chips per serving.

How to Keep Your Bananas Low FODMAP?

To ensure that your bananas do not turn brown and exceed the ripeness of low FODMAP food, consider only purchasing one or two bananas at a time; this will allow you to get the chance to enjoy them before they overripen.

Alternatively, buy a bunch of firm bananas and freeze them. You’ll want to ensure that the bananas are equally ripe. Then, strip the bananas from their peel, place them in an airtight container, and pop them in the freezer.

Freezing your bananas prevents them from ripening and increasing in FODMAPs. You can enjoy frozen bananas in a nutritious smoothie or healthy pancakes.

Alternative Low FODMAP Fruit To Bananas

Although unripe bananas are a low FODMAP fruit, ripe ones are high in FODMAPs if you consume portions larger than 1.06 oz. So, if you’re still looking for a low FODMAP snack to fill the last hole in your belly, consider these superb alternatives.

Plantains are FODMAP-free and the closest alternative to bananas. Plantains have a milder and less sweet taste. Although a plantain tastes slightly different from a regular banana, it’s an excellent replacement for baking. You can always sweeten your recipe with maple syrup or pure stevia.

In addition, a few excellent fruit substitutes for a healthy low FODMAP snack include:

  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges

So, Are Bananas Low FODMAP?

You can enjoy bananas in small portions depending on the degree of ripeness. For example, while bananas have the Red Light, you can safely eat 1.06 oz or one-third of a ripe banana, according to the Monash app.

So, there is no need to avoid eating bananas altogether while following a low FODMAP diet. Try testing your tolerance, and enjoy them in moderation as a healthy snack or quick way to pad out breakfast.