French fries are a popular snack among people around the world. It is consumed as a stand-alone food or in combination with burgers, sandwiches, and other snacks. Many people love the taste of the crispy, salty fries but are often concerned about their effect on their gut health. People who follow a low FODMAP diet, especially those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), often ask whether French fries are low FODMAP or not. In this article, we will explore this topic in-depth and provide you with all the information you need to know about the FODMAP contents in French fries.
What are French Fries?
French fries, also known as chips in some countries, are a popular snack made from deep-fried potatoes. The process of making it involves peeling or slicing potatoes into desired shapes and then frying them in hot oil until they turn golden brown. The fries are then salted or seasoned with spices before serving. French fries are commonly consumed as fast food, usually served with burgers, sandwiches, or hot dogs.
The Nutritional Content of French Fries
French fries are a source of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. However, the cooking method used to make French fries significantly affects their nutritional content. French fries that are deep-fried in oil are high in fat and calories, while those that are baked or grilled are low in fat and calories. A serving of 100g of French fries contains approximately:
|Amount per Serving (100g)
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are a group of fermentable carbohydrates that are not easily digested in the small intestine. The term FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. When FODMAPs reach the large intestine, they are fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas and causing bloating, flatulence, and other digestive symptoms in people who are sensitive to FODMAPs. Following a low FODMAP diet can help reduce these symptoms in people with IBS or other digestive disorders.
What Foods Contain FODMAPs?
FODMAPs occur naturally in many foods, including:
- Wheat and other gluten-containing grains
- Legumes (such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils)
- Lactose-containing dairy products
- Certain fruits (such as apples, pears, and mangoes)
- Certain vegetables (such as garlic, onions, and mushrooms)
- Polyols (such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol) found in certain fruits, vegetables, and artificial sweeteners
Are French Fries Low FODMAP?
The answer to whether French fries are low FODMAP or not depends on various factors. French fries are made from potatoes, which are a low FODMAP food. However, the way they are seasoned or cooked can add FODMAPs to them. Here are some factors that affect the FODMAP content of French fries:
The Type of Potato
The type of potato used to make French fries can impact their FODMAP content. Russet potatoes, which are commonly used to make French fries, are low in FODMAPs. However, other types of potatoes, such as red and new potatoes, are higher in FODMAPs.
The Cooking Method
The cooking method used to make French fries can impact their FODMAP content. French fries that are deep-fried in oil are higher in FODMAPs due to the high fat content. Additionally, seasoned French fries, such as garlic or onion fries, can add high FODMAPs to the dish.
The Serving Size
The serving size of French fries can impact their FODMAP content. A small serving size may be low in FODMAPs, while a large serving size can be high in FODMAPs, depending on the type of potatoes and the cooking method used.
How to Include French Fries in a Low FODMAP Diet?
If you want to include French fries in your low FODMAP diet, here are some tips to consider:
Choose the Right Type of Potatoes
Choose Russet potatoes, which are low in FODMAPs, over other types of potatoes such as red or new potatoes, which can be higher in FODMAPs.
Use the Right Cooking Method
Use baking or grilling instead of deep-frying to reduce the fat content and FODMAPs in French fries. Additionally, avoid seasoned fries, such as garlic or onion fries, as they can add high FODMAPs to the dish.
Control the Serving Size
Stick to small serving sizes to keep the FODMAP content low and reduce the risk of digestive symptoms.
The Bottom Line
French fries can be included in a low FODMAP diet if you choose the right type of potato, use the right cooking method and stick to small serving sizes. However, seasoned fries, such as garlic or onion fries, and those that are deep-fried are high in FODMAPs and should be avoided. If you are unsure about the FODMAP content of French fries, consult a dietitian for advice.
Common Questions and Answers
- Can I eat French fries if I have IBS? It depends on the FODMAP content of the French fries. Choose Russet potatoes, use baking or grilling instead of deep-frying, and stick to small serving sizes to keep the FODMAP content low.
- Are McDonald’s French fries low FODMAP? McDonald’s French fries contain added seasoning, which can increase the FODMAP content of the dish. However, if you choose a small serving size, it can still be included in a low FODMAP diet.
- Are sweet potato fries low FODMAP? Sweet potatoes are high in FODMAPs, and therefore, sweet potato fries are not low FODMAP.
- Are air fryer French fries low FODMAP? Air fryer French fries can be low FODMAP if made with Russet potatoes and no added seasoning.
- Gibson, P. R., & Shepherd, S. J. (2010). Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: the FODMAP approach. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 25(2), 252-258.
- Monash FODMAP. (2021). Potatoes. Retrieved from https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/high-and-low-fodmap-foods/potatoes/.