The answer depends on the type of coffee, and your body.
Get your caffeine fix right
For coffee drinkers, the day begins only after their morning coffee ritual has been completed. Some are good to go with just one cup, while others need more as the day progresses.
Considering how essential coffee is for their daily sustenance, it comes as no surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions raised by coffee drinkers about the low FODMAP diet is: Can I have coffee on a low FODMAP diet?
The answer isn’t just a simple yes or no, for two reasons.
First, it depends on the type of coffee you are drinking. Some types of coffee are low in FODMAPs, others are not.
The second reason is that each person reacts differently to each type of coffee. Even the type of coffee preparation can have different effects on different individuals. For instance, you may be able to drink instant coffee without suffering any unpleasant side effects, but others can’t. Some people can only drink French-pressed coffee, while others can only drink drip brewed coffee.
Coffee and low FODMAPs
Individuals diagnosed with IBS are often prescribed to make dietary changes, such as following a low-FODMAP diet. Studies found FODMAP-rich foods trigger IBS symptoms, and IBS patients who followed a low-FODMAP diet experienced relief from their symptoms.
Unfortunately for coffee drinkers diagnosed with IBS, coffee is one of the drinks that trigger IBS symptoms, along with alcohol and tea.
Your IBS type dictates your coffee sensitivity
People with diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (D-IBS) are usually more sensitive to coffee. On the other hand, people with other types of IBS – namely, constipation-predominant (C-IBS) or alternating constipation and diarrhoea (A-IBS) – experience a positive, energising effect after drinking coffee, triggering a kick start to their systems. But if you’re the type of person who experiences IBS attacks after drinking coffee, its best to limit your intake to a maximum of three cups per day.
For the love of coffee and friends
Its a custom for most of us to meet up with friends and catch up over a cup of coffee, but if you have IBS, it can be daunting to choose which type of coffee to order. This list can serve as your guide so you can spend more time enjoying the company of your friends and coffee than the bathroom!
Black is best
A black decaf would be your best and safest option but you may venture into trying other types as well.
You can be adventurous with ordering an espresso, but remember that espresso can be low or high in FODMAP, depending on its type and preparation. Low FODMAP options include black regular and decaffeinated espresso, as well as regular or decaffeinated espresso prepared with a low FODMAP milk alternative or protein-made soy milk. Espresso with regular milk or regular soy milk can make your coffee high in FODMAP.
Instant coffee regulations
The rule is the same for instant coffee. As long as it is served black or with a low FODMAP milk substitute, then it is a low FODMAP option. It becomes a high FODMAP drink when it is served with regular milk or soy milk that is not made of soy protein.
Not all coffee shops offer a selection of low FODMAP creamers like lactose-free milk, and almond milk. These are great low FODMAP milk alternatives for coffee or even hot chocolate. You can enjoy any hot beverage, like a flat white or a small cup of hot cocoa as long as it’s made with low FODMAP milk or an alternative like almond milk.
If you prefer your coffee sweet, sugar is fine but you can also use a low FODMAP sweetener. Some coffee shops serve syrups which may or may not be low in FODMAP. To be safe, you may ask your barista about the contents and ingredients of your drink. This will shed some light on what you are drinking so you can assess for yourself if it’s low or high in FODMAP.