Have you ever asked yourself if Monoglycerides Low FODMAP are? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
Low-FODMAP diets are a clinically proven way to reduce irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While most food additives have not been studied specifically for how they affect people with IBS, certain food additives are known to be either high- or low-FODMAP, depending on their chemical make-up.
So, are Monoglycerides low FODMAP? Yes, Food additives like monoglycerides are considered low-FODMAP. Monoglycerides (and di-glycerides) are emulsifiers, meaning they are fats used in prepared foods. They are not sugars and are not to be confused with mono-saccharides (and di-saccharides), which are short-chain carbohydrates that are high-FODMAP.
Discover the truth about monoglycerides, and learn how to decipher those often confusing ingredient labels to help know which food additives are high- or low-FODMAP.
Table of Contents
What are monoglycerides?
Monoglycerides are a type of fatty acid found naturally in some foods and added to others. Monoglycerides are made of glycerol and one fatty acid chain.
Other glycerides such as diglyceride and triglyceride are made up of glycerol and two or three fatty acid chains.
Monoglycerides can be either saturated or unsaturated fat, and they are found in small amounts in almost all foods. They either occur naturally or are derived from plant or animal fats or oils and used as a food additive and an emulsifier.
What are emulsifiers?
Emulsifiers stop water and oil from separating. This makes them valuable as food additives to improve texture, quality, and shelf life. For example, an emulsifier helps keep the oil in peanut butter from separating out.
Emulsifiers such as monoglycerides are used in very small amounts in foods and are not considered harmful. However, little is known about how large amounts of such emulsifiers may affect the body.
Foods that contain monoglycerides?
Very small amounts of monoglycerides are found in almost any food that contains plant or animal fat or oils. Some commonly prepared foods that contain monoglycerides are:
- Meat substitutes
- Coffee creamers
- Ice cream
- Nut butter
- Frozen meals
- Baked goods such as muffins, cakes, and cookies
Are monoglycerides safe?
As mentioned, monoglycerides are not used in large quantities in a particular food. The FDA has approved monoglycerides as safe for use in food without limitation.
Monoglycerides do contain a small amount of trans fat, which was phased out by the FDA beginning in 2013. However, because monoglycerides are classified as emulsifiers and not lipids, they don’t fall under the ban.
Just because monoglycerides are considered safe, doesn’t necessarily mean you could or should consume large quantities of them.
Many foods containing monoglycerides are processed foods, which generally contain large amounts of sodium, saturated fats, and sugars which are known to cause health issues.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols”. In plain English, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars).
Certain FODMAP sugars cause gastrointestinal distress and trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For those suffering from IBS, following a low-FODMAP diet helps identify, limit, and/or eliminate these triggers from their diet, alleviating their IBS symptoms.
What is the FODMAP diet?
A FODMAP diet is a 3 part diet designed to help identify and eliminate certain high-FODMAP foods that trigger IBS. Symptoms of IBS include:
- Stomach bloating
- Gas and flatulence
The 3 steps of a FODMAP diet:
- Stop eating certain high-FODMAP foods.
- Slowly reintroduce them one at a time, to see which ones are causing IBS symptoms.
- Avoiding the high-FODMAP foods found to be triggered.
A FODMAP diet is recommended to be followed under the supervision of a doctor. This is because it is very restrictive at first as many foods are eliminated during the first step of the diet.
It is important to note that a low-FODMAP diet is not intended as a weight-loss diet. It is purely intended to eliminate or reduce GI irritation and distress. In fact, many high-FODMAP foods are highly beneficial for healthy individuals who don’t suffer from IBS.
Examples of high-FODMAP foods?
Foods that are known to be high-FODMAP and can cause GI and bowel irritation are:
- Dairy products such as milk, ice cream, and yogurt
- Wheat products such as cereal, bread, and crackers
- Beans, legumes, lentils
- Vegetables such as onion, mushroom, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower and more.
- Some fruits such as apples, cherries, figs, watermelon and more.
- Sweeteners such as agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, sorbitol, xylitol and more.
Examples of low-FODMAP foods?
- Dairy alternatives such as almond milk, eggs, firm tofu, feta cheese, and hard cheeses.
- Grains such as quinoa, rice cakes, oats, and others.
- Vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, potato, zucchini, and more.
- Plain-cooked meats, poultry, and seafood.
- Sweeteners such as glucose, maple syrup, sucrose, sugar, and aspartame.
For validated, tested lists of high- and low-FODMAP foods, consult Monash University’s comprehensive list, or King’s College of London.
Are monoglycerides low-FODMAP?
FODMAPs, by definition, are carbohydrates. Monoglycerides are fats, and by themselves are not FODMAP. Monoglycerides are also used in such low concentrations that they are considered low-FODMAP.
However, many products that contain monoglycerides are high-FODMAP foods, not because they contain monoglycerides, but because they contain sugars or other additives that are high-FODMAP.
For example, ice cream will contain monoglycerides as an emulsifier. However, ice cream is high-FODMAP because it contains dairy, which is high in lactose, a disaccharide (the “D” in FODMAP).
How To Know if food additives are high-FODMAP?
Most food additives haven’t been specifically tested for FODMAP diets, however, there are a few clues you can use to determine if an item in the ingredient list for a food product is high-FODMAP:
Watch for “-ols”
Ingredients whose names end in “-ol” are almost always a type of polyol, sugar alcohol, and the “P” in FODMAP. Some examples are sorbitol, erythritol, and mannitol.
Watch for “-ose”
Ingredients whose names end in “-ose” are sugars, many of which are oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, and mono-saccharides, the “ODM” of FODMAP. Some examples are fructose, lactose, dextrose, and maltose.
Other names for monoglycerides:
You may find monoglycerides on an ingredient list by another name. These will be low-FODMAP additives:
- distilled mono- and diglycerides.
- ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides.
- mono- and diglyceride esters.
- diacylglycerol oil.
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