The sneaky FODMAPs hiding in your protein bars.
Protein bars are a convenient source of energy that are perfect for people on the go. There are a lot of them out there and not all are created equal - interesting textures, intriguing flavours, and bold health claims. One thing they all have in common - pretty much all protein bars contain FODMAPs.
If you have a food intolerance, then you know what it feels like to stand in the grocery aisle studying the ingredients of everything you buy. Sometimes it’s a simple exercise but when you’re considering protein bars, which can have up to 50 ingredients (seriously!), it can be hard to spot the culprits.
Here are five things to look out for when shopping for protein bars:
“No Artificial Sugars”
While natural sugars seem like the healthier option, many are unfortunately high in Fructose and Fructans. These include dates, honey, agave syrup, apple juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, Fructo-oligosaccharide, Oligofructose.
If sweetened with stevia, you should be OK. But put that bar back on the shelf if it contains any of the following sugar alcohols (and their sneaky additive numbers): Xylitol (965), Maltitol (967), Mannitol (421), Isomalt (953), Sorbitol (420), Lactilol (966). These are called Polyols and are high in FODMAPS.
You may also see Erythritol and Sucralose, which are low in FODMAP but have been known to cause tummy troubles so eat with caution.
“High in Fibre”
Watch out for chicory root and inulin (same thing). This is often added to natural protein and muesli bars. Many people don’t realise that it’s actually quite high in Fructans.
Most proteins are fine but if you see whey protein or soy protein, make sure they're the "isolate". There's also a bit of controversy about pea protein - it's usually fine if it's in a very pure protein form but has been known to cause gut issues.
For the most part, nuts are FODMAP friendly, however, try to avoid cashews and pistachios if you’re sensitive to Oligosaccharides.
To be Safe
Everyone’s sensitivities are different - over time you’ll learn to recognise which ingredients you should steer clear of. And when in doubt, look out for the green FODMAP friendly and blue Monash logos which means the food has been laboratory tested and certified low FODMAP.
Fodbods are the only certified FODMAP friendly protein bar in Australia so you can indulge stress free knowing you’re getting a healthy snack, made of quality ingredients that won’t give you a tummy ache.