In most households, bread is an absolute staple. However, bread made of wheat flour is typically high in fructans which are a type of short-chain carbohydrate that is resistant to digestion. If you are on a low FODMAP diet or find fructans to be a particular issue for you, you may be looking for a good alternative. Luckily, the variety of low FODMAP bread has boomed over recent years and is now fairly accessible.
In many cases, people can consume fructans without any symptoms at all and these fermentable carbohydrates can even contribute to good gut health. But for those who suffer from a sensitive tummy or IBS, there may be a limited threshold for fructans and they may experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and/or abdominal pain when consumed.
But there are quite a few options if you are looking for a low FODMAP bread.
Low FODMAP Bread VS Gluten-Free Bread
Fructans are most commonly found in wheat products which also happen to be a major source of gluten. It is common for people to refer to a fructan sensitivity as gluten intolerance, however, when it comes to IBS, gluten itself is not always the culprit.
What can make this even more confusing is that, because gluten-free bread is not wheat-based, they are often actually low FODMAP as well.
However, you can have low FODMAP breads that do contain gluten such as certain sourdough breads.
You can also have gluten-free breads that are not low FODMAP due to them containing other high FODMAP ingredients.
How To Find a Low FODMAP Bread – Gluten-Free
To ensure that a gluten-free bread is also low FODMAP, you will need to do a little bit of label reading.
Not all gluten-free grains and flours are low FODMAP and some gluten free breads can have additional ingredients that are also not low FODMAP. So a bread that is branded gluten free may not always be suitable for a low FODMAP diet.
High FODMAP grains that may be in some gluten-free breads include, besan, coconut, lupin, rye and soy flour.
Gluten-free bread may even contain dairy products, high FODMAPs sweeteners, or binding agents that are not low FODMAP.
How To Find a Low FODMAP Bread – Sourdough
The fermentation process that sourdough bread undergoes significantly reduces its fructan content.
The fructans actually act as feed for the fermentation process.
A 2021 study tested the fructan content in four different types of sourdough bread. Three were standard sourdough bread and one was a sourdough made with yeast.
The results showed an average 72% reduction in the standard sourdough breads. One bread actually had 92% less fructans after processing.
The fourth bread that was made with yeast only had a 20% reduction in its fructan content.
So whilst we know that sourdough breads are going to have a lower fructan content, it would be impossible to know for sure, without lab testing, if these products are suitable for a low FODMAP diet.
Because everyone with IBS has a different threshold to fructans, it would be most helpful to try different brands until you find one that works for you.
But do be mindful of imitation sourdough bread. These are typically marketed as sourdough style and simply have added flavors to make them taste like sourdough and haven’t undergone the fermentation process.
Low FODMAP Bread Options in Australia (By Brand)
Bakers delight has a range of Monash Certified, low FODMAP breads. These include:
- Wholegrain LowFOD™ Block Loaf
- Wholegrain LowFOD Pizza Base 2-Pack
- Wholegrain LowFOD roll
- Wholegain LowFOD cheeseymite scroll
These are wheat based breads that have undergone a fermentation process to reduce the fructans in the bread.
This means this range is not suitable for people with coeliac disease as they are not gluten-free but could be a great option for managing IBS.
Bakers delight has locations all around Australia, so this is likely to be an easily accessible option in most metro areas.
Healthy Bake is an artisanal bread company based in Victoria who specialise in making organic breads for those with allergies and different health conditions.
They offer a range of low FODMAP spelt sourdough products including:
- Spelt Organic Sourdough
- Wholemeal Spelt Organic Sourdough
- Wholegrain Spelt Organic Sourdough
- Spelt Rolls Organic Sourdough
- Wholemeal Spelt Rolls Organic Sourdough
- Spelt Pizza Base Organic Sourdough
- Sesame Spelt Organic Sourdough
- Oat Cob Organic Sourdough
- Oatbran Organic Sourdough
- Oat Multigrain Organic Sourdough
Their products are stocked Australia wide in independent health food stores but you can also order online and have them sent out to you. Great to order is bulk and freeze!
Pure life bakery specialises in sprouted breads and is located in Yamba, NSW. Their low FODMAP options include
- Sunflower sourdough
Their spelt bread, impressively, is made with only two ingredients, spelt and water.
Pure Life Bakery products can be found in stores all around Australia or purchased online.
Brumby’s in another bakery that has locations nationwide. When there is not a Baker’s delight, you will probably find a Brumby’s.
They don’t have quite the impressive range of low FODMAP options as Baker’s delight, but they do have one variety called the Quinoa & Linseed Low FODMAP Loaf. This variety also comes in a bread roll.
Alpine breads is a Victorian company and their products are becoming more widely accessible. They are selectively stocked in some Coles, Woolworths and IGAs as well as independent health food stores around Australia.
The have three low FODMAP varieties which include
- Spelt & barley
- Spelt & grains
- Sour rye
They use a combination of a slow fermentation process and sprouted grains to produce their low FODMAP sourdough options.
Bodhi’s Bakehouse is based in Western Australia. They make a range of low FODMAP products including:
- Hemp loaf
- Hemp loaf with rosemary
- Spelt 2 with chia
- Sprouted pure spelt bread
Bodhi’s Bakehouse products are available Australia-wide through their online shop.
There are a number of gluten-free breads that are also low FODMAP, but Helgas is likely one of the most accessible throughout Australia.
The following products are Monash certified, low FODMAP:
- Gluten-Free Traditional White
- Gluten-Free Traditional Wholemeal
- Gluten-free mixed grain
- Gluten-free 5 seed
- Gluten-free traditional white rolls
The only gluten free loaf that is not also low FODMAP, is the soy & linseed loaf.
Genius breads are also fairly accessible and can be found in selected Coles and IGAs. They offer two gluten free breads that are also certified low FODMAP with Monash University.
Their options include the triple seeded loaf and triple seeded bread rolls.
Low FODMAP Certification
If you are still searching for a good low FODMAP bread, you can also use the Monash low FODMAP app or look for the a low FODMAP certification logo on products.
Since all products approved by Monash university are lab tested to ensure they really are low FODMAP, you can rest assured that your choice of bread is a suitable one.
Otherwise, you can trial different brands of sourdough until you find something that works for you and your individual threshold for fructan consumption.
Leah is an accredited practising dietitian from Brisbane. She also competes as an under 75kg powerlifter with Valhalla Strength Brisbane. As both an athlete and dietitian, she spends much of her time developing her knowledge and skills around sports nutrition, specifically for strength-based sports. Although, she works with a range of athletes from triathletes to combat sports and powerlifting.
Leah also follows a plant-based diet and her greatest passion is fuelling vegan/vegetarian athletes and proving that plant-based athletes can be just as competitive as their non-vegan counterparts.