If you have digestive symptoms caused by certain foods, you’re not alone.
Fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols, commonly known as FODMAPs, are a group of carbs known to cause symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea due to the way your body breaks them down.
Not everyone is sensitive to FODMAPs, but this sensitivity is common among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (
Some foods are high in FODMAPs while others contain moderate or low amounts. Avocados contain FODMAPs, but their exact amount depends on how much avocado you eat.
This article examines the FODMAP content of avocados, explaining whether you can enjoy this popular fruit if you’re sensitive to FODMAPs.
Many foods contain FODMAPs, including avocados.
Foods are ranked as low, moderate, or high in FODMAPs.
According to Monash University — a research university based in Australia that has developed a ranking system for foods based on their FODMAP content — avocados are considered low, moderate, or high in FODMAPs depending on the serving size (2, 3).
For example, half of an avocado (2.8 ounces) is considered high in FODMAPs, 1/4 of an avocado (1.6 ounces) is a moderate source of FODMAPs, and 1/8 of an avocado (1.1 ounces) is low in FODMAPs.
Avocados are particularly high in a polyol called sorbitol, which is a type of sugar alcohol. Sorbitol may cause symptoms in people who are intolerant to it, but this doesn’t mean that everyone with IBS reacts to sorbitol-rich foods.
While some people with IBS can enjoy avocados with no side effects, others may experience symptoms after eating a small portion.
In general, large portions of avocado are more likely to cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to FODMAPs simply because bigger servings contain more sorbitol.
A small serving of avocado (1.1 ounces) is low in FODMAPs and unlikely to cause symptoms, even among people who are sensitive to FODMAPs.
It should be noted that avocado oil, a type of oil made from avocados, does not contain any carbs and is FODMAP-free. Therefore, it’s safe for those who are sensitive to FODMAPs.
Depending on the serving size, avocados can be low, moderate, or high in FODMAPs. Avocado oil does not contain carbs and is FODMAP-free.
Foods and beverages like dairy products, fruits, vegetables, sweeteners, beans, and grains contain FODMAPs.
Why do certain people need to limit or avoid high FODMAP foods?
FODMAPs are poorly absorbed by your small intestine, moving very slowly and attracting water along the way. Then, in the large intestine, they’re broken down or fermented by bacteria, which releases gas.
The combination of water accumulation and gas may lead to bloating, diarrhea, and gas in some people (
FODMAPs commonly cause symptoms in those with IBS. Many people with this condition cut out specific foods high in FODMAPs to relieve their symptoms.
In fact, many studies indicate that a low FODMAP diet significantly improves symptoms like bloating and pain in people with IBS (
However, not every person with IBS reacts to all FODMAPs, which is why it’s important to work with a professional like a registered dietitian or doctor to determine which, if any, high FODMAP foods are causing your symptoms (
FODMAPs are carbs found in many foods. They may cause digestive symptoms like bloating and gas in people with IBS.
As mentioned above, avocados are high or low in FODMAPs depending on the serving size.
If you think you may be experiencing digestive symptoms related to FODMAPs, consult an experienced healthcare professional who can help determine whether it’s FODMAPs, another food compound, or some other factor that’s causing your symptoms.
A healthcare professional may suggest that you follow a low FODMAP diet succeeded by a reintroduction period to determine which, if any, foods are causing your symptoms.
If you discover that you’re intolerant to sorbitol, you may need to avoid large portions of avocado but may still be able to tolerate small servings that are low in sorbitol.
Work with your doctor to develop a plan that suits your needs and dietary goals.
If you’re intolerant to sorbitol, you may experience symptoms if you eat large portions of avocado. Still, you’ll likely tolerate small servings without a hitch.
FODMAPs are a group of carbs that may cause digestive symptoms in some people, including those with IBS.
Many foods, including avocados, can be high in FODMAPs.
While larger portions of avocado are high in FODMAPs and likely to cause symptoms in those who are intolerant to sorbitol, small servings are low in FODMAPs and can be safely enjoyed.
Just one thing
Try this today: Just a little bit of avocado goes a long way. Add a few slices to eggs, soup, or burgers — or mix a spoonful with olive oil and lemon juice to make a scrumptious salad dressing.