FODMAP Stacking

FODMAP stacking

Have you been on the FODMAP diet for a while but still have occasional discomfort? Or do you have problems with the Monash FODMAP app or the diet lists you received from your nutritionist? If you use the app or the diet lists incorrectly, you may be unknowingly engaging in FODMAP stacking. This can make the diet not work well for you. In this blog we try to explain to you as well as possible what exactly FODMAP stacking means and how you can prevent it.


Now we come to the topic of "stacking". If you've been following the FODMAP diet for a while, you've probably heard this term before. Stacking means that by combining different products in a meal, the FODMAP content of that meal can be increased. Since all FODMAPs (except lactose) can cause intestinal discomfort in the same way, you should look at the total amount of FODMAPs that a meal contains. So it doesn't matter if you combine products that contain the same or different FODMAPs. You might think that if you only eat the green (low-FODMAP) portion sizes of products, there can be no question of stacking. But that's not entirely true. If you look closely in the app, you'll see that there are two categories of "green" products. Below is an example:

In the example above you can see that lenses for the standard serving size of 29 grams are low-FODMAP and therefore have a green dot. If you look further, you'll find that at 34 grams, lentils contain a moderate amount of FODMAPs and accordingly have an orange dot. T he green products where an orange and/or red portion is also mentioned, FODMAP stacking can happen.

Even if you stick to the green amounts in this product category, FODMAP stacking can still happen. Let's say you want to make a meal with 29 grams of lentils, 75 grams of broccoli, and 16 grams of apricots. The listed amounts of the foods are all green in the listed amounts. But when you add up the total, you have 120 grams of low FODMAP veggies/fruits. Lentils , broccoli, and apricots turn orange on their own at 34 grams, 240 grams, and 25 grams, respectively. The foods together could therefore cause symptoms, but do not have to. Keep in mind that there are also many people who can still tolerate the orange amounts. According to Monash University, this type of meal would not cause any symptoms even in most people with irritable bowel syndrome. But it is advisable to try this only after the elimination.

Tips to Avoid FODMAP Stacking

Still want to combine multiple FODMAP restricted products in one meal or snack but want to be sure you stay within the 'green' line? Then you can calculate that. Suppose you eat 15 grams of lentils and 10 grams of apricots. Lentils are low in FODMAPs up to 29 grams. If you divide 15 grams by 29, that's 0.52 x 100 = 52%. So you get 52% of the maximum amount that is still green. Apricot is also low-FODMAP up to 16 grams. If you divide 10 grams by 16 and multiply by 100, you get 63%. So you get a total of 115%. In order to keep the meal completely low-FODMAP, the sum should not exceed 100%.

In addition to a meal, FODMAP stacking can also happen if you eat something again within a few hours after a meal, e.g. B. a snack. Therefore, according to Monash University, it's better to wait 3 to 4 hours between meals and snacks. If this is taking too long for you, you can also choose to eat more low FODMAP products. To do this, select the products that have a green dot for all quantities in the app and which say: "FODMAPs were not detected in this food". For example cucumber, endive, kale, iceberg lettuce, arugula, spinach, olives, parsnips, radishes, rhubarb, unseasoned and unbreaded meat/fish and eggs. No FODMAP stacking can happen with these products.


Back to blog