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Alyssa Simpson RD, CDE, CLT
Alyssa Simpson

RDN, CGN, CLT
(602) 422-9800

Sibo Doctor Approved
certified gastrointestinal nutritionist
Sibo Doctor Approved
certified gastrointestinal nutritionist

High Fiber Low FODMAP Foods List

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Graphic Displays healthy foods arranged in a circle, with the words high fiber low fodmap in the center

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Have you ever felt like you’re walking a tightrope between managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and getting enough fiber on the low FODMAP diet? You’re not alone. Navigating the delicate balance between nourishing your gut and dietary restrictions can feel daunting.

Many who follow a low-FODMAP diet struggle to get enough fiber because many low-FODMAP foods are low in fiber. For example, perhaps you’re accustomed to starting your morning with Raisin Bran, Grape Nuts, or prunes for fiber, but these are off-limits on the low FODMAP diet.

Throughout my two decades as a registered dietitian, with over ten years specializing in gut health, I’ve noticed a trend among many clients experiencing constipation. They often find that while the low FODMAP diet helps alleviate bloating, it can worsen constipation due to the decrease in fiber intake.

Research confirms that people with IBS frequently don’t consume enough fiber. When new clients come to me for guidance, they’ve often already restricted their diets to low-fiber options in an attempt to manage symptoms.

And, because many high FODMAP foods are rich in fiber, like wheat bran, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables, following the low FODMAP diet can create challenges in meeting fiber needs.

The good news is, there are low FODMAP foods that are high in fiber, and it’s entirely possible to meet your daily fiber needs while following this dietary approach, as long as you’re strategic about it.

In this post, I will teach you how to ensure you’re getting enough fiber on the low FODMAP diet while effectively managing your symptoms (even for sensitive systems!)

Download your High Fiber Low FODMAP Foods List pdf

Fiber and FODMAPs

Let’s break down what fiber is. There are two primary types: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, helping with bowel regularity, while soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance when combined with water, softening stools and aiding in digestion and bowel movements.

It’s worth noting that while we often classify fiber as soluble or insoluble, this categorization isn’t directly related to FODMAPs. FODMAPs are specific types of carbohydrates that can trigger digestive issues, particularly for people with conditions like IBS. Conversely, soluble and insoluble fiber describes the physical properties of different fiber types in our diets.

Some FODMAPs, like fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), are types of fibers that ferment in the gut. However, not all fibers are FODMAPs. Fiber encompasses a broad range of carbohydrates that humans cannot digest, including both FODMAP and non-FODMAP varieties.

Therefore, when aiming to increase fiber intake while following a low FODMAP diet, it’s important to consider both the FODMAP content and the total fiber count of foods, rather than solely focusing on their soluble or insoluble fiber content.

Understanding FODMAPs and Their Impact on Gut Health

The low FODMAP diet, developed by Monash University, is highly effective for managing symptoms of digestive issues like IBS and SIBO. But what exactly are FODMAPs, and why does avoiding them help our guts? Aren’t they supposed to be healthy?

Think of FODMAPs – Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols – as the nutrients that fuel our gut garden. These quick-to-ferment carbohydrates, naturally occurring in many foods or added during processing, nourish our gut bacteria in the large bowel.

But just as we tend to our garden, we must also be mindful of the weeds. When our garden lacks diversity (low bacterial diversity), our plants are misaligned (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO), invasive pests invade (gut pathogens), or storms disrupt harmony and flow (stress), weeds can overgrow. These weeds also thrive on the fertilizer (FODMAPs), leading to gas production, fluid and motility changes, and discomfort or pain.

Enter the low FODMAP diet, acting as our gardener in managing IBS by withholding nutrients from the weeds. Initially, it trims back the excess, limiting fermentable carbs to control bacterial fermentation (gas and bloating) and interference with irrigation (stool changes) caused by weed overgrowth.

However, it’s important to recognize that amidst this trimming, we must also nurture the garden’s health. Controlled fermentation is essential for cultivating a robust gut microbiome – the vibrant ecosystem within. But by not feeding the weeds, we’re also depriving the beautiful plants and flowers we desire in our garden. So, while meticulously caring for our gut garden during the elimination phase, we must also ensure we’re providing enough ‘nutrients’ through fiber intake.

Just as we nourish the garden without feeding the weeds, maintaining adequate fiber supports our gut microbiome, promoting a balanced and thriving ecosystem. And when the time is right, gradual reintroduction of high FODMAP foods allows us to maintain diversity in our gut garden, long-term.

Understanding the Importance of Fiber in a Low FODMAP Diet

Every type of fiber is important in an IBS-friendly diet, especially when following a low FODMAP approach. Here’s why fiber is crucial:

  • Colon Health: Soluble fibers form a gel in the gut, helping eliminate unwanted substances, while insoluble fibers clean the gut lining. Fiber interacts with gut bacteria, creating nutrients called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s), that nourish the intestinal lining.
  • Bowel Movements: Soluble fiber softens stools for easier passage, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and supports regularity.
  • Gut Microbiome: Even on a low FODMAP diet, fermentable fibers are essential for feeding and strengthening the gut microbiome.
  • Healthy Weight: Fiber also helps with satiety and healthy bowel movements.
  • Chronic Disease Prevention: Soluble beta-glucan fiber, found in oats, can lower cholesterol. High fiber intake can also lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular markers, and balanced blood sugar levels, while also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.

How Much Fiber Do You Need

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide specific recommendations for daily fiber intake based on age and gender. These recommendations aim to help people achieve optimal health benefits, such as improved digestion, reduced cardiovascular disease risk, and better blood sugar regulation. Here are the guidelines:

  • Men:
    • Ages 19-30: 34 grams per day
    • Ages 31-50: 31 grams per day
    • Ages 51 and older: 28 grams per day
  • Women:
    • Ages 19-30: 28 grams per day
    • Ages 31-50: 25 grams per day
    • Ages 51 and older: 22 grams per day

The average American typically consumes only 15-18 grams of fiber per day, well below the recommended 31-34 grams for men and 22-28 grams for women, according to the Dietary Guidelines. People with IBS often consume even less fiber, reducing their intake to avoid triggering symptoms. Many of my clients, when they first come to see me, have limited their diets to just 4-5 foods to manage their symptoms.

For those with IBS or other digestive issues, gradually increasing fiber intake by a few grams per week helps prevent bloating, gas, and discomfort. This approach ensures a smoother transition and better symptom management.

Transitioning from Low to High Fiber Intake on Low FODMAP

Transitioning from a low to a high-fiber diet overnight is like attempting a marathon without training—it’s likely to cause discomfort and setbacks. Just as you wouldn’t lift heavy weights without building strength gradually, your digestive system needs time to adjust to more fiber. Think of your gut as a muscle that needs gradual training.

For those with IBS, this careful approach is even more critical, especially when incorporating low FODMAP high-fiber foods. Consulting a dietitian for personalized guidance for and a structured plan can help ease the transition.

Gradually increasing fiber intake prevents gastrointestinal (GI) symptom flare-ups. Stay hydrated, aiming for at least 8 cups or half your body weight in ounces of fluids daily. The duration at each step can vary from 2 to 7 days, depending on individual tolerance. Progress to the next step after 2 days or once no adverse symptoms are noticed.

  1. Begin by adding one slice of low FODMAP whole grain bread daily, gradually increasing to two slices. Similarly, mix low FODMAP whole grain pasta (like brown rice pasta) with white pasta at first, then transition to only whole grain pasta.
  2. Mix low-FODMAP high-fiber cereals like oat bran into lower-fiber cereals, eventually switching entirely to high-fiber cereals.
  3. Increase low FODMAP fresh fruits and vegetables intake by starting with one serving of each daily, adding one serving per week as tolerated. Aim for at least 2 cups of fresh low-FODMAP fruit and 2½ cups of fresh low-FODMAP vegetables daily.
  4. Incorporate low FODMAP beans, peas, or lentils by starting with half a cup daily, gradually increasing frequency or portion size.
  5. Add 1-2 tablespoons of chia or flaxseeds into nondairy or lactose-free yogurt, cereal, smoothies, or fruit salads. Introduce low-FODMAP nuts in small servings several times a week.
  6. Finally, consider adding a fiber product daily once adapted to the high-fiber diet. For my top recommendation of a gentle fiber that won’t trigger your symptoms, download my IBS Resource Guide.

This gradual approach helps your body adjust smoothly, reducing the risk of GI discomfort.

Importance of Hydration During Fiber Increase

Drinking enough water is crucial when you increase your fiber intake to help with digestion and avoid discomfort. Fiber absorbs water in your digestive system, which helps keep your bowel movements regular and prevents constipation.

Without enough fluids, fiber can actually cause bloating, and gas, and make constipation worse.

It’s recommended to drink at least 8 cups of water daily or half your body weight in ounces. This helps fiber do its job effectively, ensuring smooth digestion and promoting

Low FODMAP High Fiber Foods For IBS

When it comes to boosting fiber intake, I have my powerhouse low-FODMAP fiber foods that pack a punch. Incorporating 1-2 of these high-fiber foods into your daily diet can significantly help you meet your total daily fiber goal.

Download your High Fiber Low FODMAP Foods List pdf

High Fiber Low FODMAP Foods

These foods contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (with some offering even more). Including 1-2 of them per day can make meeting your fiber goal easier.

  • Psyllium husk: Approximately 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon
  • Chia seeds: Approximately 10 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons
  • Flaxseeds (ground): Roughly 8 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons
  • Teff: Around 7 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Canned drained and rinsed chickpeas: Approximately 6 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Buckwheat: Roughly 5 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Oats: Approximately 4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Tempeh: Roughly 4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Quinoa flakes: Roughly 4 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup

Low FODMAP Foods With a Moderate Fiber Content

These contain 2-3 grams of fiber per serving and are also very helpful low-FODMAP fiber sources. Include them often to reach your daily fiber goals.

  • Sunflower seeds: Roughly 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Quinoa: Roughly 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Almonds: Approximately 3.5 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds: Around 2 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Walnuts: Around 2 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Pecans: Approximately 2 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Millet: Around 2 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Brown rice: Approximately 2 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Polenta: Approximately 2 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Brazil nuts: Roughly 2 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup
  • Firm tofu: Approximately 1 gram of fiber per 1/2 cup

Low FODMAP Fiber Supplements

When aiming to increase fiber intake on a low FODMAP diet, some people find it tricky to meet their needs solely through food. That’s where low FODMAP fiber supplements come in handy.

However, many fiber supplements can worsen symptoms like gas, bloating, and discomfort.

So what fiber is best for IBS? Two helpful options are psyllium and partially hydrolyzed guar fiber.

Psyllium

Psyllium, a popular fiber supplement from the Plantago ovata plant seeds, promotes stool bulk and regular bowel movements. While generally low FODMAP and well tolerated by many with IBS, individual reactions vary.

However, psyllium may not suit those with SIBO, as it can potentially worsen symptoms. If you have SIBO, use psyllium cautiously or consult a healthcare provider before adding it to your routine.

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Fiber

Partially hydrolyzed guar fiber (PHGG) is a great option for those aiming to increase fiber intake while following a low FODMAP diet.

Derived from guar gum, PHGG is a soluble fiber that undergoes partial hydrolysis, making it easier to digest and less likely to ferment in the gut.

This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with sensitive digestive systems, including those with IBS and SIBO.

It’s my top recommendation for many of my clients. To learn more about PHGG and my favorite brand, download my IBS Resource Guide.

High Fiber Low FODMAP Meals & Snacks

Here are some great ways to incorporate one or more of these high fiber low FODMAP foods into your daily intake:

  1. Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds and Chickpeas: Create a quinoa salad with cucumber, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Add toasted almonds and canned drained and rinsed chickpeas for protein and crunch. Dress with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.
  2. Sunflower Seed Trail Mix: Make a low FODMAP trail mix by combining sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and Brazil nuts with dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  3. Walnut and Flaxseed Smoothie: Blend walnuts, ground flaxseeds, spinach, a banana, and lactose-free milk for a creamy and nutritious smoothie.
  4. Pecan-Crusted Tofu: Coat firm tofu slices with crushed pecans mixed with gluten-free breadcrumbs, then bake until golden brown. Serve with a side of steamed quinoa or brown rice.
  5. Buckwheat Pancakes with Chia Seed Jam: Prepare buckwheat pancakes using a low FODMAP flour blend and top with homemade chia seed jam made from strawberries, maple syrup, and chia seeds.
  6. Millet-Stuffed Bell Peppers: Cook millet with diced carrots, zucchini, and spinach. Stuff the mixture into halved bell peppers and bake until tender. Top with a sprinkle of pine nuts.
  7. Oat and Teff Breakfast Bowl: Cook a mixture of oats and teff in lactose-free milk until creamy. Top with sliced bananas, a dollop of almond butter, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
  8. Tempeh Stir-Fry with Polenta: Stir-fry tempeh with low FODMAP veggies like bok choy, carrots, and green beans in a gluten-free soy sauce. Serve over slices of grilled polenta.

How I Can Help

Getting enough fiber on a low FODMAP diet is both doable and crucial for gut health. It is especially crucial if you are dealing with constipation.

With a little a solid, step-by-step plan, you can get all the fiber you need to stay regular and nourish your microbiome while still managing your symptoms.

If you’d like to chat with me about getting some personalized guidance with this, click here to schedule a free 15-minute consult.

And don’t forget to download your High Fiber Low FODMAP Guide here to get you started.

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