01 November 2016

Dietary fibre series - prebiotic fibre

Dietary Fibre Series - Prebiotic Fibre

By Erin Dwyer - Research Dietitian

We know eating enough fibre on a low FODMAP diet can be challenging and that getting the right mix of fibres is very important, so let’s discuss prebiotic fibre.

There has been a lot of talk recently about prebiotics and probiotics and how they can affect the gut, but what really are they?

Prebiotics (including resistant starch) are non-digestible fibres found in certain foods that can stimulate the growth of some bacteria. This means that instead of being broken down within the gut the prebiotic fibre travels through the gut, stimulating growth and/or activity of probiotics i.e. the good bacteria!

Here's a list of foods that are high in prebiotics that have a 'green serve’ size – take a look at the Monash low FODMAP App to find out more!

Fruits & Vegetables Grains & Cereals Legumes, Nuts & Seeds
Artichokes Oats Mung beans
Beetroot Buckwheat kernals Lima beans
Butternut pumpkin Wheat free gnocchi Nuts - almonds & hazelnuts
Pomegranate seeds Wheat bran Canned chickpeas
Dried paw paw Pasta (wheat/spelt), cooked and cooled Canned lentils

Dietary Fibre Series - Prebiotic Fibre_b276d947

If you are following or have followed a low FODMAP diet you may notice many of the foods listed above are high in FODMAPs. This is because fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are prebiotic fibres.

So if prebiotics are often high in FODMAPs, but considered part of a healthy diet, how can they be included on a low FODMAP diet?

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

  • Firstly, remember that a low FODMAP diet is only meant to be LOW in FODMAPs, not completely depleted of FODMAPs

  • Also, after the initial strict phase of the diet, you may find through the rechallenge phase that you actually tolerate moderate serves of fructan and GOS rich foods quite well

  • Add ¼ cup (green serve) of pomegranate seeds to your salad for great texture and a little sweetness

  • Snack on some almonds or hazelnuts (10 for a green serve)

It is also important to remember to continually test your tolerance to FODMAP containing foods, you may find you can tolerate different prebiotics in varying amounts. For some guidance in reintroduction you can look back on this past blog post: https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/just-2-6-weeks-it-is-not-diet-for-life_8/ 

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