Eating Celery on a FODMAP Diet
Celery is a tricky one because for many years it has been considered low FODMAP and as a result, is on a lot of low FODMAP lists and included in many low FODMAP recipes.
Part of the reason it is considered low FODMAP is because if you do eat it in small enough quantities then it is indeed low FODMAP. However, when you start to look at the allowed portion size you can start to see why you should probably avoid it.
For celery to be considered low FODMAP you need to eat a maximum of 5 to 10 grams.
This may seem like enough but when you measure it out you are looking at about a quarter of a stalk of celery. This is not enough for most snacks and recipes! As soon as you include more than this celery is immediately considered high FODMAP.
If you wanted to eat just two stalks of celery you would find that it is not just high FODMAP but it is considered to be very high!
The problems with celery occur because it contains high amounts of mannitol. This is a type of sugar alcohol and it can trigger IBS and all sorts of digestive system issues.
This is also a type of sugar that is used in a lot of sweeteners or sweetened food produce because even in someone with a healthy digestive system it is known that this sweetener is poorly absorbed by the body.
This is what makes it low calorie but it is also what can cause that nasty bloating in your gut after eating it. As offputting as it sounds, what is happening in your body is that the mannitol isn’t absorbed by your intestines which means it is sitting in your gut and bacteria love this and they feed and ferment the food causing all that painful bloating.
Low FODMAP Alternatives to Celery
As with most foods containing FODMAPs your body will react slightly different than someone else’s will. This is why it is important to listen to your body and work with it for what it can cope with and what upsets it.
If you are one of those people that can’t digest celery then you might want to look into using alternatives and eliminating it from your diet.
You can try other vegetables such as cucumber and carrot. For snacks, then you can also use bell peppers and try some fennel. If none of these work or they don’t appeal you may have to rethink your snacks and opt for something else entirely.
Other Celery Products
Perhaps you’re wondering whether or not other celery products or parts are low FODMAP? These questions might help:
Are Celery Leaves Low FODMAP?
Thankfully, if you want to add a hit of celery flavour to your cooking then there is some good news because celery leaves are low FODMAP. Generally speaking, only a small amount of leaves is needed to add that refreshing celery flavour.
The problem, of course, is that you can rarely buy just celery leaves from the supermarket so would have to waste an entire packet of celery.
An alternative is to use lovage. This is a herb that tastes similar to celery and looks like celery leaves. It’s easy to grow in a pot in the garden.
Is Celery Juice Low FODMAP?
Celery juice is high FODMAP and should be avoided if you are following a low FODMAP diet. As you can imagine, you need to use a lot of celery to make celery juice. Whereas, anything over 10g is considered high FODMAP.
As you can imagine, you won’t get much juice out of 10g of celery.
Common Celery FAQs
There are some common questions about celery that crop up often when following a low FODMAP diet. We’ve answered them for you:
Is Celery OK For IBS?
Because of the high concentration of mannitol, celery is not likely to be OK for anyone suffering from IBS. It can cause severe bloating with just a small amount consumed so, if you do suffer from IBS, we would strongly recommend not consuming celery where possible.
Is Cooked Celery Low FODMAP?
Whether it’s cooked or raw, celery remains high FODMAP. If you’re following a low FODMAP diet then the easiest thing to do is to cut it out of your diet entirely.
In very very small amounts you may be able to get away with eating a little celery. But you would need to stick to about a quarter of a stalk for it to be low FODMAP. Any more than this and celery quickly becomes very high in FODMAP’s and could cause you problems.
With this in mind, it may well be best to just stay away from celery instead and not risk any painful bloating.