Are Coconuts Low FODMAP?

Coconuts are one of the more versatile fruits. You can eat them fresh, add them to foods for a natural sweetener, cook in coconut oil or pop some coconut into your savoury meals for a tropical taste.

You can even drink the coconut water or milk that is naturally inside the coconut! But what about your low FODMAP diet? Are coconuts low FODMAP?

The Quick Answer

Yes, coconuts can be low FODMAP but it depends on what form they are in. We’re lucky that coconuts are so incredibly versatile. This does mean, however, that knowing whether coconut is low or high FODMAP is challenging.

Eating Coconut on a FODMAP Diet

Whether or not coconut is low FODMAP or not depends on what type of coconut you are using and how much of it you are using. The short answer is that in theory, yes, coconut is low FODMAP.

This is because the white flesh of the coconut itself is fairly low in FODMAPs. The problems start to occur when you process coconut into its various forms such as desiccated coconut, coconut oil sugar and even into milk.

To start with let’s talk about coconut itself. The white part of the coconut that you can actually eat is considered moderately low FODMAP because although it does contain some sorbitol which is a FODMAP.

As long as you stick within portion guidelines you should be fine. Obviously, there are many more forms you could be eating coconut in and we talk about some of these below.

Recommended Coconut Portion

When it comes to eating coconut or adding it to your meals it is recommended that you keep your portion to less than ¾ of a cup. This may not seem like a lot but it is enough to get a good taste of delicious coconut into your meal.

FODMAP Tip: Under ¾ of a Cup of Coconut is Low FODMAP

How to Use Coconut

If you want to get some coconut into your diet whilst keeping FODMAPs to a minimum then give one of these options a go:

Blend Coconut Into Your Smoothie

Take a few chunks of fresh coconut and add them into your blender with the rest of your fruits and veggies. Blend for a delicious smoothie that is full of goodness.

Add Coconut to Your Stir Fry

You can give your stir fry a new tropical flavour by adding coconut. Chop it into small chunks and pop it into your pan with the rest of your stir fry veggies.

It may take a little longer to cook than some of the other ingredients so add the coconut first and then add the rest of your vegetables after a couple of minutes.

Make Shredded Coconut for Baking

You can shred your own fresh coconut by grating it with a cheese grater. You can then add the resulting coconut into your baking to give your goodies extra sweetness, flavour and moistness.

Be careful not to get carried away though. It is too easy to add too much coconut and inadvertently make it high FODMAP by accident.

Low FODMAP Coconut Recipes

If you’re looking for delicious recipes containing coconut that are low FODMAP then give these a go:

Other Coconut Products

As you are well aware, coconut comes in a huge range of forms so knowing what is and what is not low FODMAP can be a struggle. That’s why we’ve gone through 7 different coconut forms below:

Is Desiccated Coconut Low FODMAP?

Desiccated coconut is simply the flesh of a coconut, shredded up and then left to dry out. You’d, therefore, think that you can use the same guidelines as above for desiccated coconut.

The problem is, as you dry the coconut, it becomes far more concentrated so you do need to reduce the portion sizes.

According to Monash University, one of the leading research centres into FODMAPs, you should limit yourself to 50g servings. When you increase the serving beyond this, the level of polyols begins to increase rapidly.

Desiccated Coconut Low FODMAP

Are Coconut Yoghurts Low FODMAP?

Good news! Coconut yoghurt is low FODMAP. One standard pot of 125g is a suitable serving. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story.

You will want to check the ingredients list for the usual culprits including any added high FODMAP fruit or sweeteners such as honey or agave which are all high FODMAP.

Is Coconut Milk Low FODMAP?

Both coconut milk and coconut cream are the base ingredient for a variety of dishes including Asian curries. So not being able to consume it would be incredibly frustrating. So is coconut milk low FODMAP?

Coconut milk is low FODMAP in up to 125ml servings.

What’s more frustrating is that coconut cream hasn’t officially been tested. However, it is produced using the same method as coconut milk so the same portion control should be applied when looking to add coconut cream to a dish.

Some people claim that the higher fat content of coconut cream should mean it is low FODMAP compared to coconut milk but there is no research backing this currently.

Is Coconut Water Low FODMAP?

Coconut water has become the trendy, hip drink of the yoga mums alongside quinoa and chia seeds… But is coconut water low FODMAP, you ask? Unfortunately, coconut water is one coconut product you will want to avoid.

It is high in both sorbitol and fructans which makes it a big no-no for anyone on a low FODMAP diet. Some research has shown low FODMAP in small 40ml servings of coconut water but we would still recommend avoiding it, unfortunately.

Is Coconut Water Low FODMAP

Is Coconut Oil Low FODMAP?

As long as you stick to cooking using one tablespoon of coconut oil then it is low FODMAP and is a great way to cook using an oil that contains some great healthy fats.

Is Coconut Flour Low FODMAP?

Coconut flour is, unfortunately, a no go for anyone following a low FODMAP diet. It is high FODMAP even at small servings. As soon as you get to a 3tbsp serving of coconut flour, the level of sorbitol is high.

When you go beyond this, the levels of fructan and fructose also skyrocket. Simply put: Avoid coconut flour!

Coconut flour is also known to be packed with fibre.

For most people, this would be a good thing. But if you’re following a low FODMAP diet because you suffer from IBS then this might be a further reason to avoid coconut flour. Such a high concentration of fibre can cause severe flareups for IBS sufferers.

Is Coconut Sugar Low FODMAP

Coconut sugar is only considered low FODMAP if you have it in very small amounts. You can use it to sweeten your coffee as long as you only have one teaspoon. This small amount means that it isn’t suitable for baking as this would then be high FODMAP.

Quick Summary

Fortunately, although some coconut products should be avoided, plenty of coconut products are low FODMAP and can make for a great addition to a range of dishes.

As always, it’s very important that you follow strict portion sizes with most of the coconut products to ensure they remain low FODMAP. Answering whether coconuts are low FODMAP or not is not easy, but hopefully, this article goes some way to answering it.

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