22 November 2017

FODMAP content of broccoli and Broccolini - an update

Broccoli

By Lyndal McNamara & Shirley Webber - Research Dietitians

Due to many requests, our lab recently tested broccolini and re-tested broccoli, both as whole vegetables and in their separate components as stalks and heads alone. This has allowed us to better understand exactly where FODMAPs are found in these two vegetables.


Despite popular belief, broccolini is not actually a ‘baby’ variety of broccoli, but rather a hybrid (cross) between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli (also known as Gai Lan). It is therefore not surprising that the FODMAP content and distribution differs between broccoli and broccolini. 

So let’s break down our results:


Broccoli vs broccolini - overall FODMAP rating at 1 cup serve 

Broccoli Broccolini
Whole vegetable LOW HIGH
Heads only LOW HIGH
Stalks only HIGH LOW

broccolini

Broccoli

Whole vegetable

FODMAP rating: LOW overall at a typical serve of 1 cup.


Heads only

FODMAP rating: LOW overall at a typical serve of 1 cup.


Stalks only

FODMAP rating: HIGH in excess fructose at a typical serve of 1 cup, but LOW at a smaller serve of ½ cup.

Summary: In regular broccoli, the main FODMAP present is excess fructose and this is found predominantly in the stalks. Avoid large servings of broccoli stalks alone (>65g) if you are sensitive to excess fructose (use whole broccoli instead). 

Broccolini

Whole vegetable

FODMAP rating: HIGH in excess fructose at a typical serve of 1 cup, but LOW at a smaller serve of ½ cup


Heads only

FODMAP rating: HIGH in excess fructose at a typical serve of 1 cup, but LOW at a smaller serve of ½ cup


Stalks only

FODMAP rating: LOW overall at a typical serve of 1 cup

Summary: In broccolini, the main FODMAP present is excess fructose and this is found predominantly in the heads. Avoid large servings of broccolini heads or whole broccolini (>70g) if you are sensitive to excess fructose.

From our results, it appears that for both broccoli and broccolini, excess fructose is the main FODMAP type present, and that this appears in highest concentrations in the stalks of regular broccoli, but the heads of broccolini. In this way broccoli and broccolini can be viewed as opposites in terms of where the FODMAPs are located in each vegetable.

Take home messages:

  • Both broccoli and broccolini can be enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet, just be mindful of portions (especially for broccolini – refer to our app for serving size information).
  • If you are especially sensitive to excess fructose, try using broccoli heads (i.e. remove as much stalk as possible) as these can be enjoyed in larger quantities whilst remaining low in FODMAPs.
  • If you enjoy broccolini, remember to use the stalks, which are lower in FODMAPs than the heads. These are often discarded but are perfectly edible and delicious when chopped finely and added to stir-fries or even salads. 

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