Are Sweet Potatoes Low FODMAP? 2023 Updates
Sweet potatoes are a staple in many kitchens — and for a good reason. They’re incredibly versatile, chock-full of nutrients, and easy to find at local grocery stores. But are sweet potatoes low-FODMAP?
Yes! The good news is that sweet potatoes are relatively low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols — or FODMAPS. This means they can be enjoyed as part of a low-FODMAP diet. But moderation is key.
Here’s everything you need to know about sweet potatoes, including their nutrition profile, health benefits, and FODMAP content. We’ll also discuss healthy ways to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.
Are Sweet Potatoes Allowed On A FODMAP Diet?
Yes, moderate amounts of sweet potatoes are allowed on a low-FODMAP diet. But it’s important to limit your servings to less than half of a cup. Larger servings contain moderate amounts of mannitol, a polyol that may cause gastrointestinal upset in people with IBS.
Sweet Potatoes Nutritional Benefits
Sweet potatoes are considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables. One medium-sized sweet potato provides around:
- Calories: 103
- Protein: 2.3 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 23.6 grams
- Fiber: 3.8 grams, or 14% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin A: 122% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 25% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the DV
- Potassium: 12% of the DV
In addition, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a plant pigment with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that interact with and neutralize harmful free radicals, preventing them from damaging cells in your body.
The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is converted in the body to vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, immunity, and reproduction.
This root vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties. Vitamin C is needed for a strong immune system and collagen production. Collagen is a protein that plays a vital role in joint and skin health.
Thanks to their high fiber content, sweet potatoes may help support the following:
- Blood sugar control.
- Weight management.
- Heart health.
- Gut health.
Recommended FODMAP Serving Size Of Sweet Potatoes
According to Monash University, the creator of the low FODMAP diet, sweet potatoes are allowed on the diet. However, they should be consumed in moderation. High amounts may be problematic.
For example, a half-cup serving of cooked sweet potato is low in FODMAPs. Yet, serving sizes greater than ¾ of a cup exceed the recommended amount of the polyol or sugar alcohol, mannitol.
What About Yams?
Yams have a drier and starchier texture, similar to regular potatoes, and are not as sweet as sweet potatoes. Yams are also lower in FODMAPs. This means you can consume a larger serving of yams before digestive discomfort may occur.
Why Would Someone Follow A Low-FODMAP Diet?
FODMAPs are fermentable sugars that are poorly absorbed in the gut. They’re found in various foods, including cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and sweeteners.
High-FODMAP foods tend to produce gas. They may be particularly troublesome for people with an intestinal disorder called irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
People with IBS who consume high-FODMAP foods may experience gastrointestinal symptoms. These include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea. There is evidence that a low-FODMAP meal plan may be an effective treatment for those suffering from IBS.
However, it should only be followed under the supervision of a registered dietitian or healthcare provider as it is restrictive. The diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies and unhealthy weight loss because it restricts many foods that should be included in a healthy diet. A healthcare provider may also recommend supplements for digestion, like probiotics, that may help with IBS.
Low FODMAP Sweet Potatoes Dishes
Stick to the low-FODMAP serving size of one-half cup to avoid potential side effects.
Sweet potato recipes that contain large amounts of sweet potatoes are unlikely to be tolerated. Planning ahead can help you avoid side effects while maximizing the benefits of the vegetable.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy sweet potatoes while sticking to your low-FODMAP diet.
- Make a sweet potato soup. Instead of using only sweet potatoes, combine them with white potatoes. Regular potatoes can be enjoyed on the low-FODMAP diet in larger amounts.
- Make sweet potato tacos. This easy, low-FODMAP recipe combines lean ground beef with low-FODMAP seasonings like chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika. Serve on hard corn tortilla shells and top with diced sweet potato, lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Make low-FODMAP mashed sweet potatoes. Combine baked sweet potatoes with a pinch of sea salt, cinnamon, and butter. Remember to control your serving size and aim for about a half-cup portion. Drizzle with maple syrup for added sweetness.
- Make low-FODMAP sweet potato fries. Slice one sweet potato and two regular potatoes into long strips. Toss with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp and tender.
- Add sweet potato to your salad. Top your salad with roasted sweet potato cubes to boost fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Make sweet potato toast. Slice sweet potatoes and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender. Top with scrambled eggs and spinach leaves.
You can also do a quick internet search to find other low-FODMAP recipes that include sweet potatoes.
The Bottom Line
FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that can trigger gas, bloating, and bowel changes in some people with IBS. When consumed in moderation, sweet potatoes are a low-FODMAP food. They are well-tolerated in people who require a low-FODMAP diet. However, serving sizes should be limited to half of a cup.
Listening to your body and adjusting your intake based on your tolerance levels is essential. Minimize potential symptoms by watching your portions and combining sweet potatoes with lower fodmap foods, such as regular potatoes.
If you are following a low-FODMAP diet, it is essential to do so under the guidance of a registered dietitian or other qualified healthcare provider. They can help ensure your nutrient needs are met while you work to manage your condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since sweet potatoes are low in FODMAPs, consuming them in moderation is unlikely to cause any symptoms in IBS patients. However, it’s important to stick with half-cup servings.
Yellow-skinned, red-skinned white potatoes, and purple potatoes are very low in FODMAPs. Sweet potatoes are also reasonably low in FODMAPs when consumed in moderate amounts.
Sweet potatoes are generally well-tolerated. However, consuming them in excess may lead to bloating and gas, especially in people with IBS. That’s because they contain moderate amounts of mannitol, a polyol.
Limit sweet potatoes to less than a half-cup serving. You can eat more regular potatoes as they are lower in FODMAPs. However, sticking with a standard serving size: one medium-baked potato is still a good idea.
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