FODMAP Label Reading

Reading labels of packaged foods can be complicated, which is why it can be easier to cook from scratch when following the low-FODMAP diet. If you are choosing to buy packaged foods, it can be helpful to start with choosing ones with short ingredients lists. Here are some things to keep in mind when reading foods labels.

  1. Refer to the High-FODMAP Diet Checklist handout when purchasing packaged foods. Products that have been certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly or Monash University Low FODMAP Certified are safe to consume during the elimination phase even if they contain FODMAPs.
  2. Some high-FODMAP ingredients are considered appropriate on a low-FODMAP diet if they are consumed in very small amounts. If you are wondering which foods these are, it is recommended that you refer to the MONASH University Low FODMAP Diet App.
  3. Ingredients on a food label are listed in order of weight, with the first ingredient being the largest in quantity. The exception to this is spices, seasonings, herbs and flavours. These may be listed at the end of the ingredients list, regardless of what quantity they are in. Manufactures don’t have to specify what ingredients these contain (except for seasonings if it makes up >2% of the weight of the food) and they may contain high-FODMAP ingredients, such as garlic and onion. During the elimination phase, it is recommended that you avoid products that have spices, seasonings, herbs and flavours in the ingredients list, unless you are confident that they don’t contain garlic and onion.
  4. Once you have done the challenge phase and know what FODMAPs you may be sensitive to, this information can be used to help you make informed choices when choosing packaged foods. When looking at a product that has ingredients you are sensitive to, you can look at where they are in the ingredients list and consider what potion size you would be consuming to determine whether this product may be tolerated. If you’re sensitive to garlic and onion, be mindful of point 3 listed above.
  5. While a low-FODMAP diet is not a gluten-free diet, there is often overlap between foods that contain gluten and fructan (which is a FODMAP). You do not have to follow a gluten-free diet unless you have celiac disease or have a known intolerance to gluten. Some foods contain gluten but are considered low FODMAP, such as an authentic sourdough bread. Refer to the Common Brands of Low FODMAP Foods handout for label reading tips.



Government of Canada,Canadian Food Inspection Agency, & Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate. (2019, August 8). Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada. Retrieved April 21, 2020, from


Gina Almasan, RD