If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you might be wondering whether you can enjoy goat cheese without causing a flare-up of your symptoms. A low FODMAP diet is often recommended for people with IBS, so let’s take a closer look at whether goat cheese is FODMAP-friendly. In this article, we will explore the truth about whether goat cheese is safe to eat on a low FODMAP diet, as well as other things to consider when it comes to your gut health.
What is FODMAP?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates found in many types of food. They can be poorly absorbed by some individuals and lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, among others.
Why do people with IBS need to follow a low FODMAP diet?
IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. People with IBS often have hypersensitive intestines that react to certain foods, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation. A low FODMAP diet has been shown to reduce symptoms in people with IBS by limiting the intake of the types of carbohydrates that can trigger symptoms in some people.
What is goat cheese?
Goat cheese is a type of cheese made from goat’s milk. It is a popular cheese that can be used in many dishes, such as salads, pasta dishes, and baked goods. Goat cheese has a distinctive flavor and texture that sets it apart from other types of cheese. It is also popular among people who are lactose intolerant, as goat’s milk is lower in lactose than cow’s milk.
Is goat cheese low FODMAP?
Goat cheese is generally low in FODMAPs, making it a good choice for people on a low FODMAP diet. According to the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App, a one-ounce serving of goat cheese is considered low FODMAP. However, like all foods, goat cheese can still trigger symptoms in some people, so it’s important to monitor your symptoms and consult a registered dietitian or healthcare provider if you are unsure.
What are some high FODMAP ingredients found in goat cheese?
While goat cheese is generally considered low FODMAP, it’s important to be aware of any ingredients that may be added to the cheese, as these can contain high FODMAP foods. For example, some goat cheeses may contain garlic, onion or other high FODMAP flavorings, so it’s important to read the ingredient list carefully.
What are some goat cheese varieties that are low FODMAP?
There are several types of goat cheese that are considered low FODMAP, including fresh goat cheese, feta-style goat cheese, and goat milk ricotta cheese. However, it’s important to note that the type of cheese and the serving size can affect the FODMAP content, so it’s important to consult the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App or a registered dietitian to determine which types and amounts of goat cheese are safe for you.
Other Things to Consider for Gut Health
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They can help improve gut health by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Goat cheese is a natural source of probiotics and can be a good addition to a gut-healthy diet. However, it’s important to note that not all types of goat cheese contain probiotics, so it’s important to choose the right type of cheese.
Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in the gut. They are present in many types of food, including certain fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Some goat cheeses, particularly aged and semi-aged varieties, may also contain prebiotics. However, like probiotics, the amount of prebiotics in goat cheese can vary, so it’s important to be aware of the type of cheese you are choosing and the amount you are consuming.
Digestive enzymes are proteins that aid in the breakdown of food, making it easier to digest and absorb nutrients. They are produced naturally by the body but can also be found in some foods, including goat cheese. Goat cheese contains digestive enzymes such as lactase, which can help those who are lactose intolerant to digest the lactose in goat’s milk. However, like probiotics and prebiotics, the amount of digestive enzymes can vary depending on the type and age of the cheese.
Tips for Incorporating Goat Cheese into a Low FODMAP Diet
- Choose fresh or feta-style goat cheese without added high FODMAP ingredients.
- Avoid aged goat cheese, which may contain higher levels of FODMAPs.
- Stick to small serving sizes, especially if you are unsure about your tolerance.
- Pair goat cheese with low FODMAP fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, grapes or cucumber, for a delicious and gut-healthy snack or meal.
Goat cheese can be a tasty and gut-healthy addition to a low FODMAP diet, thanks to its low FODMAP content and natural probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes. However, as with any food, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and choose the right type of cheese in the right amounts. Consult the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App or a registered dietitian for guidance on incorporating goat cheese into your gut-healthy diet.
FAQs About Goat Cheese and FODMAPs
- Is goat cheese high FODMAP? No, goat cheese is generally low in FODMAPs, making it a good choice for people on a low FODMAP diet.
- Does goat cheese have probiotics? Yes, some types of goat cheese contain natural probiotics that can help improve gut health.
- Can I eat goat cheese if I have IBS? It depends on the individual. Some people with IBS can tolerate goat cheese, while others may experience symptoms. It’s best to start with small amounts and monitor your symptoms to determine if it’s safe for you.
- What types of goat cheese are low FODMAP? Fresh goat cheese, feta-style goat cheese, and goat milk ricotta cheese are generally considered low FODMAP. However, it’s important to check for any added high FODMAP ingredients and choose the right serving size.
- Can I eat aged goat cheese on a low FODMAP diet? Aged goat cheese may contain higher levels of FODMAPs, so it’s best to avoid it or consume it in small amounts if you are on a low FODMAP diet.
Monash University. (2019). The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App. Retrieved from https://www.monashfodmap.com/