Is Avocado Low FODMAP (What You Need to Know About Avocado and IBS)

Is Avocado Low FODMAP? (How to Navigate the FODMAPs in Avocados)

“Is Avocado Low FODMAP? (How to Navigate the FODMAPs in Avocados)” was written by Salisha Sial, B.A. (New York University graduate student in public health and nutritional sciences) and reviewed, edited and updated by Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT.

Monash University (the leading authority on all things FODMAPs) recently released new research regarding FODMAPS in avocados.  So, is avocado low FODMAP now?  In short, it can be – as long as you’re sticking to a serving size of ~3 tablespoons or less. 

And then there’s avocado oil – which is low FODMAP, but should still be consumed in moderation for reasons that go beyond FODMAPs.

Read on to learn more about new type of FODMAP  detected in avocados, and all the ways you can safely try avocado on a low FODMAP diet.

Disclaimer: This article was written for general educational purposes, not to provide or replace medical or nutritional advice.  

What are FODMAPs? (Quick review)

“FODMAP ” is an acronym which stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols

These are collectively the 4 different categories of short-chain carbohydrates not easily broken down or absorbed in our small intestine.  

For context, research confirms that consuming high-FODMAP foods may potentially trigger or worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) for many – but not all – people navigating these issues. (1, 2)

(You can read more in-depth about the low FODMAP diet for beginners here.) 

Is avocado low FODMAP?

The answer is yes and no… it depends!

As mentioned earlier, according to Monash University, up to 30 grams (or 3 tablespoons) of fresh Hass avocado is safe to try in the early stages of a low FODMAP diet. 

But the “gold standard” is still to avoid larger quantities of avocado and reintroduce it back to your diet later on down the road (as tolerated).

Keep in mind, not everybody with IBS or SIBO has an intolerance to the specific FODMAPs in avocado.  (The point of a low FODMAP elimination diet is to reintroduce higher FODMAP foods one at a time, and eat what you can tolerate in your diet – even if it’s high FODMAP!)

Which FODMAPs are in avocado?

Historically you may or may not have been told that avocados contain sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol belonging to the Polyols category (the “P” in FODMAP)

However, new research from Monash University has uncovered that perseitol is the type of sugar alcohol  in avocados, which researchers previously thought was sorbitol. (3)

(Note that Monash hasn’t yet updated the information on avocado on their FODMAP app which still shows sorbitol as being the FODMAP in avocados.)

What is perseitol?

Perseitol is a type of little-known sugar alcohol, naturally found in fruits and vegetables, particularly in avocados. (4)

This sugar alcohol is very similar in structure to sorbitol and thus can trigger symptoms such as gas, bloating and diarrhea in folks with IBS/SIBO.

An interesting observation noted by Monash was that perseitol content decreases during the ripening process. (3)

Is Avocado Low FODMAP?

Is avocado oil low FODMAP?

Yes!  Unlike fresh avocado, which contains carbohydrates, avocado oil is 100% fat, which means there are no FODMAPs of any kind in avocado oil.

So, you can safely consume avocado oil at any stage of a low FODMAP elimination and reintroduction diet, as tolerated.

But keep in mind, many people with IBS/SIBO also have digestive insufficiency which can make it difficult to tolerate large quantities of rich, fatty foods – so use sparingly!

Potential health benefits of avocado and avocado oil

Avocado is an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense food source rich in B vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fatty acids which can nourish and support our:

  • Heart health (5, 6)
  • Brain and central nervous system (7, 8)
  • Skin (9)
  • Blood sugar and hormone balance (10)

…And lots more!

Aside from adding creaminess and sustenance to your meals/snacks, avocado will give you a boost of nutrition that transcends into many facets of your health and wellbeing.

Creative ways to enjoy avocado on a low FODMAP diet

  1. Top low FODMAP salads with a few tablespoons of fresh avocado
  2. Add some fresh sliced avocado to your eggs or low FODMAP breakfast sandwich in the morning
  3. Integrate small amounts of avocado into low FODMAP sushi 
  4. Include a few tablespoons of avocado or low FODMAP guacamole into tacos or fajitas
  5. Top your sandwich with a slice of fresh avocado for extra sustenance and vitality
  6. Add a tablespoon (or 2, or 3) of fresh avocado into low FODMAP smoothies
  7. Roast your veggies using avocado oil instead of olive oil, for more variety and less oxidation
  8. Top a slice of toasted low FODMAP bread with 3 tablespoons of fresh avocado, a sprinkle hemp seeds, a dash of salt/pepper, and low FODMAP herbs/seasonings
  9. Make egg salad, chicken salad or tuna salad with 3 tablespoons of avocado in place of mayonnaise
  10. Use avocado oil mayonnaise in sandwiches and salads
  11. Try one of the low FODMAP avocado recipes (below)

10 low FODMAP avocado recipes to try

If you’re looking for new, creative and interesting ways to incorporate avocado in your low FODMAP diet, we recommended trying out any of all of the following recipes: 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

Does avocado cause bloating?

This is always possible, but not common, especially if you’re only consuming small (low FODMAP) quantities of avocado at one time.

Avocado may potentially cause bloating if consumed in larger quantities (aka “FODMAP stacking”).

Try to limit your avocado intake to less than 30 grams (3 tablespoons) at one time, to reduce the likelihood of this.

You may also want to be mindful of what else you could be consuming with the avocado, if you’re questioning whether or not the avocado is triggering your symptoms.

  • For example, garlic and onion (two common high FODMAP guacamole ingredients) could be the culprit of gas/bloating after eating guacamole.
  • Or when making avocado toast with a high FODMAP bread, it could potentially be the fructans (a type of FODMAP commonly found in regular bread) causing the bloating.

Can avocados give you diarrhea?

It’s possible – but it depends on the amount of avocado consumed at any given time.

Eating large amounts of avocados may cause diarrhea due to the high fat content and/or potentially high FODMAPs, if you’re “FODMAP stacking”.

You may also want to consider what you’re eating or drinking alongside the avocado in case something else is causing your diarrhea.

  • Are you reacting to garlic/onion in the guacamole or salsa?
  • Are you sipping on (and reacting to) a high-fructose margarita alongside tortilla chips and avocado dip?
  • Could it be the FODMAPs in the bread of your avocado toast?

Consider keeping an IBS food-symptom diary to help you see the bigger picture, so you and your treatment team can identify patterns and connect the dots.

Does avocado make you gassy?

It depends! Avocados are rich in fiber, and they do contain FODMAPs (specifically perseitol) which can add up.

Higher FODMAP servings of avocado (more than 3 tablespoons/30 grams) in one sitting can potentially contribute to gas production if you notice you’re sensitive to polyols.

You may also want to consider taking a look at what other foods you’re eating alongside avocado to see if there’s another culprit (like beans, garlic or onions to name a few!).

Is avocado easy to digest?

For most people, ripe-enough avocado is relatively easy to digest in small quantities. 

However, this always depends on your bio-individuality

For most people, sticking to the recommended low FODMAP serving size (~3 tablespoons of fresh, ripe-enough avocado) makes avocado generally easy to digest. 

However, it’s important to listen to your body and consider other factors like food allergies and sensitivities which may impact your ability to tolerate avocado from an immune system standpoint.

The bottom line

Avocado is low FODMAP in servings of 3 tablespoons / 30 grams or less, per serving.

Avocado oil, on the other hand, is low FODMAP inherently; however, we still don’t recommend consuming it in very large quantities since fat intolerance is common among IBS sufferers.

It might be worthwhile to note that avocados are also high in fat and this may be another trigger for those with IBS. 

In the early stages of your low FODMAP elimination diet, unless you have a known allergy/sensitivity to avocado, it’s generally safe to try it in low FODMAP quantities.

Once you’ve reintroduced and tested avocado during the reintroduction phase of your journey, you can eat larger quantities of avocado as tolerated.

As always, consume in moderation, listen to your body, and consult with your treatment team as needed!

Related articles & resources

Avocado can go great with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!  It also pairs well with beans and cheese, which can – believe it or not – sometimes fit into a low FODMAP diet.  Check out these resources for more ways to doctor up your low FODMAP diet:

Next steps

If you’d like to learn more about how to navigate IBS and the low FODMAP diet holistically, make sure to download the free gut health nutrition guide: 5 Common IBS Diet Mistakes to Avoid When Healing Your Gut!

Free Download - 5 Diet Mistakes to Avoid When Healing Your Gut - by Jenna Volpe RDN LD CLT

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