Eating Honey on a FODMAP Diet
Honey is a little tricky because it is a natural product and how it is made and the specific breakdown of its sugars and other elements depends on the bees, where they are and what flowers and nectar they have access to.
In general, if your honey is labelled as pure honey then you should be okay to have a little as part of a healthy low FODMAP diet. Monash University tested different types of honey and this is the basic advice for many types of honey.
Things get more difficult when talking about other types of honey. Clover honey for example tests at being higher in FODMAPs than other types of honey so you should eat less of this.
The reason honey can become a problem if you have too much of it is that it is largely made of fructose and glucose. Fructose is a FODMAP and if it is high in foods then you should generally avoid that food when following a low FODMAP diet.
However, it is a little more complicated than this. If there is both glucose and fructose present (and there often is) then as long as there is more glucose than there is fructose You can get away with eating a little of the food.
If there were higher amounts of fructose rather than glucose the food would be considered high FODMAP. Honey has more glucose than fructose so you can eat a little of it.
Recommended Honey Portion
According to Monash University, with most honey, you can have about a teaspoon of honey as one portion. This is about 7grams.
With some more natural kinds of honey that contain higher amounts of fructose, you may need to lower this portion size to half a teaspoon or 4 grams.
FODMAP Tip: Honey is Low FODMAP Up To 1 Teaspoon
How to Use Honey
Honey is an incredibly versatile sweetener and it can be added almost at any time you feel you need a little extra sweetness in your food or drink.
Drizzle Honey Over Greek Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is high protein and makes a great breakfast. If you go for the natural flavour then it can be a little tangy to eat on its own. You can add some low FODMAP fruits if you like but you can also drizzle a little honey into it.
This makes for a deliciously creamy breakfast that should keep you full until lunch.
Sweeten Your Herbal Tea With Honey
If you are trying to avoid caffeine and sugar but struggle to drink herbal teas without sugar then try adding a teaspoon of honey instead. It adds flavour, sweetness and it is slightly better for you.
Just stir in a teaspoon of honey once you have brewed the tea and drink as normal.
Bake With Honey
You can use honey as a sweetener in your baking. This helps you to cut down on the other types of sugar you are using. The results are likely to be different and have a delicious honey tang too. Take a look online for plenty of honey cake and cookie recipes you can try.
Low FODMAP Honey Recipes
If you’re looking for delicious recipes containing honey that are low FODMAP then give these a go:
Other Sweet Products
Simple honey isn’t the only product that can be used to sweeten foods. There are a number of other natural (and unnatural) sweeteners available. But are they all low FODMAP?
Is Manuka Honey low FODMAP?
Manuka honey is thought to help relieve all sorts of symptoms and help with health concerns but when it comes to IBS and digestive issues you should proceed with care.
It is high in fructose and sugars which can cause flare-ups and if you are in the middle of an episode you should definitely avoid it.
Manuka honey hasn’t been tested specifically so we would recommend you avoid it rather than taking the risk.
Is Syrup Low FODMAP?
Whether syrup is low FODMAP or not will depend largely on the type of syrup it is. Corn syrup is considered low FODMAP although be careful because this is not the same as high fructose corn syrup which is high in FODMAPs and should be avoided.
Glucose syrup is a low FODMAP type of syrups and you can eat this in small portions. Golden syrup is a pale treacle type of syrup and unfortunately, it is a high FODMAP food and should be avoided.
Is Maple Syrup Low FODMAP?
Pure maple syrup is considered low FODMAP and is another natural sweetener. It consists of 30% water and 60% sucrose with a little glucose and other sugars. This means that you can eat around two tablespoons of pure maple syrup as part of a low FODMAP diet.
One thing to be careful of is that not all things marketed as maple syrup are pure maple syrup. Many are flavoured syrups or maple syrup with other types of syrups added to make the maple syrup go further and make it more affordable.
You should avoid these as they are unlikely to be low FODMAP and may cause you to flare up.
Is Treacle low FODMAP?
There are two main types of treacle. One is molasses, also known as black treacle and this is made from crystallised sugar cane or sugar beet juice. It is considered to be high in fructose which makes it unsuitable for a low FODMAP diet.
Golden syrup is also a treacle although it is much paler in colour and thinner in its consistency. It is made using similar methods as black treacle and should also be avoided on a low FODMAP diet.
Common Honey FAQs
There are a handful of honey related questions that get asked frequently. We’ve gone through those below:
Is Manuka Honey Good for IBS?
Although manuka honey has been proven to help with many ailments, it is unknown whether it can be helpful to dull the symptoms of IBS. We would advise avoiding manuka honey where possible.
Most types of honey can be used on a low FODMAP diet as long as you remain within the recommended portion size. This is only one teaspoon or 7 grams which may not seem like a lot.
However, there are plenty of times you need to add a tiny bit of sweetness and adding a little bit of honey is the perfect answer. Be careful not to mix honey up with other types of sweetener and syrups because many of these are considered to be high in FODMAPs
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