Low FODMAP Nuts, Nut Butters, and Peanuts

Low FODMAP Nuts, Nut Butters, and Peanuts – Oh My!

“Low FODMAP Nuts, Nut Butters, and Peanuts – Oh My!” was originally written by dietetic intern and functional nutritionist Krista Wale, B.S. and reviewed and updated by Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT.

When you’re following a low FODMAP elimination diet, it can be tricky to know for sure which types of nuts, nut butters, peanuts and/or peanut butter (and how much of each) you can safely eat at any given time.

But the good news is you can still enjoy certain types of nuts and nut butters, as well as peanuts and peanut butter  (in certain quantities) on a low FODMAP diet – as long as you aren’t allergic or sensitive to them.

Nuts, peanuts, nut butters, and peanut butter can and should (if well tolerated) be a part of a balanced low FODMAP diet!

Read on to get the full low-down on how you can incorporate these healthy fats into your nutrition plan for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Disclaimer:  This article was written for general education purposes, not to be taken as medical/nutritional advice! Consult with your doctor and a gut health dietitian nutritionist for custom advice tailored to your individual needs.

What makes nuts high or low FODMAP?

The main FODMAPs present in nuts are a type of short-chain carbohydrate called oligosaccharides (the “O” in FODMAPs), or more specifically galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructans.

Humans don’t make the enzymes needed to break down these FODMAPs, and because of this, these carbohydrates pass through the digestive system mostly unabsorbed.

Nuts and IBS:  the low-down

When the poorly digested galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructans from high FODMAP nuts reach the small intestine in people who have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), bacteria in the intestines have a feast on them, ferment and produce gas (whether in the form of methane, hydrogen, or hydrogen-sulfide).

In some people, poorly digested FODMAPs in the colon can create an osmotic effect, which means lots of water will get pulled into the colon, creating diarrhea and cramping. (This is also what happens in cases of lactose intolerance and in cases of sucrose intolerance!)

The aftermath is usually unwanted symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea, and overall digestive discomfort.

Long story short, reducing your intake of high FODMAP nuts (as part of a 6-8 week low FODMAP elimination diet) may help you to find some relief.

Benefits of nuts for gut health

On a positive note, most types of nuts are a natural source of prebiotics, which means they can help support the growth of probiotics (healthy microbes) in your gut.

A list of low FODMAP nuts

The following nuts have been tested and seem to generally be well tolerated by most people with IBS! I encourage you to start small and increase the amounts as tolerated.

  • Almonds – up to 10 whole nuts
  • Brazil nuts – up to 10 nuts (although a serving is only 2 to 3!)
  • Chestnuts – up to 20 boiled or 10 roasted nuts
  • Hazelnuts – up to 10 whole nuts
  • Macadamia nuts – up to 20 nuts or 40 grams
  • Pecans – up to 10 pecan halves or 20 grams
  • Pine nuts – up to 1 tablespoon or 14 grams
  • Tigernuts – up to 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons (untested by Monash University but presume to be low FODMAP)
  • Walnuts – up to 10 walnut halves or 30 grams

Low FODMAP nut butters

A general rule of thumb is that if a nut is low FODMAP, it’s like the nut butter version is low FODMAP as well.

Just to be sure, double check the ingredients lists for any sneaky FODMAP additives.

We generally recommend choosing natural nut butters with limited ingredients!

  • Almond butter – up to 1 tablespoon or less
  • Cashew butter – up to 1 teaspoon or less
  • Hazelnut butter – up to 1 tablespoon or less
  • Pecan butter  – up to 2 tablespoons or less
  • Walnut butter – up to 2 tablespoons or less

Low FODMAP peanuts and peanut butter

Luckily, peanuts and peanut butter are *generally* low FODAMP – as long as you’re staying within the following parameters:

  • Peanuts – up to 32 nuts or 28 grams
  • Peanut butter – up to 2 tablespoons or less

Recommended readingIs Peanut Butter Low FODMAP? (Expert Guidance on Peanut Butter and IBS)

Frequently asked questions

Is almond flour low FODMAP?

It depends! Almond flour is only considered low FODMAP up to 24 grams (1/4 cup).

This is because almond flour, which is made from ground almonds, contains high amounts of oligosaccharides (the “O” in FODMAP) and may potentially trigger IBS symptoms if consumed in excess of the recommendation above.

However, many people with IBS can tolerate almond flour at this amount and it’s an excellent alternative to wheat flours when following a low FODMAP diet.

Is almond milk low FODMAP?

Almond milk is considered low FODMAP at up to 1 cup (8 ounces), according to the Spoonful app which can help you find low FODMAP grocery items more quickly and easily.

  • Enter Whole-istic Living’s affiliate code JENNA20 to get 20% off!

Still, it’s important to remember that just because a milk alternative is low FODMAP doesn’t make it IBS-friendly! (Read more about the best milks and milk substitutes for IBS here.)

Are cashews low FODMAP?

Cashews are generally high FODMAP in relatively small quantities.

However, “activated” cashews are considered low FODMAP and can be enjoyed in amounts up to 20 nuts (10 grams).

  • “Activated” means the cashews are soaked in water and some salt overnight, which neutralizes phytic acid (an antinutrient) and helps break down the oligosaccharides, ultimately reducing the FODMAP content and making cashews more digestible.

Are pistachios high or low FODMAP?

Steer clear of pistachios as they are not low FODMAP at any serving, according to the Monash University App.

Note that it’s best to avoid pistachios, even if they’re “activated”.

Is peanut butter low FODMAP?

Yes! Peanut butter is low in FODMAPS and generally well tolerated by most people with IBS.

We recommend limiting your daily spoonful 2 tablespoons or less, to stay within low FODMAP parameters.

From a holistic gut health nutrition standpoint, as functional nutritionists, we also recommend opting for a natural, unsweetened peanut butter versus a mainstream brand which often contains added sugar and hidden trans-fat in the form of partially hydrogenated oils. 😉

Recipes with low FODMAP nuts and peanut butter

Low FODMAP sweet and spicy nuts

Made with a mix of low FODMAP nuts, this sweet and spicy blend is a delicious indulgent snack!

Just make sure you don’t get carried away, only consume the amount that you are able to tolerate!

Low FODMAP maple walnut granola

We love this 6-ingredient granola recipe because it’s low in refined sugar, full of micronutrients, and packed with fiber.

Made with whole grains, a variety of low FODMAP nuts and seeds, and sweetened with real maple syrup, this granola is a great option for those who are looking to go beyond symptom management when it comes to optimizing your gut microbiome.

For a balanced snack idea, try sprinkling this granola on top of low FODMAP yogurt of choice!

Peanut butter energy balls

These energy balls are a healthy grab and go snack that are made with real ingredients like oats, maple syrup and peanut butter.

You may like to make these ahead of time and enjoy them as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Low FODMAP peanut butter cookies

Peanut butter cookies are a classic! Who would have thought they could be low FODMAP?

Warm, delicious peanut butter cookies go perfectly with a glass of low FODMAP milk or milk substitute!

The final verdict

Nuts, nut butters, peanuts, and natural peanut butter are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Additionally, nuts are a prebiotic food and can potentially support your gut microbiome on your gut healing journey, when eaten responsibly!

Not all nuts, nut flours, nut milks, and nut butters are FODMAP friendly, but you’ve got options. Refer back to our list of low FODMAP nuts to choose from.

Lastly, just because a certain type of food is low FODMAP doesn’t necessarily mean it’s you-friendly. Consider tracking your food intake and symptoms via an IBS food diary, listen to your body, and always make sure to consult an expert when in doubt!

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