Fortunately, you don’t have to give up all your favorite foods on a low FODMAP diet. It’s possible to enjoy your favorite dishes, including low FODMAP alfredo sauce.
Is Traditional Alfredo Sauce Low FODMAP?
You’re following a low FODMAP diet and craving a plate of creamy, delicious pasta with alfredo sauce. If you’re someone who likes to make their own alfredo sauce, creating a low FODMAP version is something that can be achieved, but when using jarred sauce or ordering at a restaurant, the FODMAP content is less clear.
For starters, it seems everyone has their own special recipe for alfredo sauce. Some are rich and creamy, using lots of butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, while there’s another group of alfredo purists who say cream has no place in their sauce. Considering this, how do you know if you’re enjoying a bowl of low FODMAP chicken alfredo or not?
Technically, alfredo sauce can be a low FODMAP food, but more often, it’s not. According to Monash University, cream and butter are considered low FODMAP foods in small portion sizes. Butter is considered low FODMAP at 1 gram, or about a third of an ounce. Cream is considered low FODMAP at one tablespoon. If you’re eating a plate of alfredo, chances are you’re exceeding the low FODMAP portions of both these foods.
Is Parmesan Cheese Low FODMAP?
Another key ingredient in alfredo sauce is parmesan cheese. Monash University hasn’t FODMAP tested parmesan cheese, but it fits the rules for a low FODMAP food. Any food that contains 1 gram or less lactose per serving is considered a safe, low FODMAP food. A 1.4oz serving of parmesan cheese contains 0 – 0.07grams of lactose per serving, making it a low FODMAP option.
Lactose-Free Alfredo Sauce for IBS
The good news is that you can have IBS, follow a low FODMAP diet, and eat your alfredo, too. Making your own low FODMAP creamy pasta sauce is always an option, and for anyone who is even mildly talented in the kitchen, it’s probably the best one. Making your own alfredo sauce means you have control over the final dish’s ingredients and FODMAP content.
The important thing to remember when making alfredo sauce is that lactose equals FODMAPs. Lactose is the sugar in dairy products, including cheese, milk, cream, and butter. If you can keep the FODMAP level low by using FODMAP-friendly ingredients (like lactose-free milk), or limiting portions, then IBS-friendly alfredo sauce is within reach.
Another option is to purchase premade or jarred lactose-free alfredo sauce. The best plan is to look for vegan alfredo sauce that’s lactose-free. You’ll also want to check the label for sneaky FODMAPs. Just because an alfredo sauce is lactose-free doesn’t mean it won’t contain other ingredients that cause digestive upset.
Reviews are mixed for many of the premade, lactose-free alfredo sauces on the market today. The best approach is to plan on trying a few and maybe doctoring them up with your own herbs and spices, and maybe a FODMAP-friendly portion of parmesan cheese. A few lactose-free brands of alfredo sauce include:
Gaining control of IBS means learning which foods are your triggers. The low FODMAP diet helps with that, and you can still enjoy low FODMAP versions of your favorites, like lactose-free alfredo sauce over a steaming plate of gluten-free pasta. Just be aware of other troublesome ingredients like lactose, onion, and garlic, and then sit down and dig in.