Home » Blog » Special Diets » Low Fodmap Ice Cream [Eat The Real Stuff]

Low Fodmap Ice Cream [Eat The Real Stuff]

If your doctor or nutritionist suggested you start a low fodmap diet, you might be reeling from the news. This is a huge change in the way you eat! Do you need to give up ice cream as well?

Not necessarily. Let’s investigate which ice cream is safe for you to eat. I’m not talking about ice cream made from plant-based milks, but the real stuff. 

Who Should Eat Low Fodmap Ice Cream?

If you have IBS or SIBO, your health care practitioner might have recommended a low fodmap diet. This should only be a temporary situation. After about 6 weeks, depending on how long it takes for your symptoms to resolve, you will start adding back foods.

Most people can go back to at least partially eating a normal diet. However there may be some foods with specific fodmaps that you will want to avoid on a long-term basis. One very common food that many adults can’t tolerate is lactose. And guess what? Real ice cream has lactose.

So let’s start there and find ice cream you can eat if you are lactose intolerant.

Lactose-Free Ice Cream

Lactose is a sugar found in milk. You need a special enzyme called lactase to break this sugar down into two other simple sugars called glucose and galactose. Glucose and galactose are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream.

If you don’t have enough lactase, that lactose sits in your digestive tract and won’t get absorbed. Your microbes start chomping down on it and producing gas. It attracts water into your gut, and you end up with diarrhea.

It is easy to find milk-based products out there that are lactose-free. Basically, the enzyme lactase is added to the food so that lactose is broken down before it gets to the consumer.

Note that there are many plant-based, dairy-free ice cream brands out there that will not contain lactose, because they have no milk.

Here are some brands of lactose-free ice cream made from real milk:

Fairlife used to sell lactose free ice cream, but they have discontinued the entire line in 2023.

Please note that some lactose-free ice creams have other fodmaps, like corn syrup, certain fruits and nuts, molasses, honey or chicory root. If you are sensitive to other fodmaps besides lactose, you will want to check your ingredient list.

Low Fodmap Sweeteners and Flavors

Alcohol-based sweeteners that end in ol contain polyols, which are a fodmap sugar. Avoid ice cream ingredients like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol or erythritol.

Other sweeteners that are off the table for low fodmap friends are corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey and molasses.

You can eat vanilla, chocolate flavored with pure cocoa powder, and peanut butter on a low fodmap diet. However chocolate chips or bars will likely have fodmap ingredients like milk or corn syrup. The safest bar of chocolate is at least 85% cacao.

Low Fodmap Nuts 

Cashews, pistachios, and almonds in higher amounts are fodmap nuts. Avoid ice cream that has these ingredients. 

Low Fodmap Fruits

Here are some high fodmap fruits that you might find in ice cream. Be sure to check flavorings and read your label.

  • Avocado and coconut flesh (not coconut cream)
  • Blackberry and cherry
  • Strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, goji and boysenberry in larger quantities
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Grape
  • Mango 
  • Plum and prune
  • Apricot and nectarine
  • Apple
  • Watermelon 
  • Banana – unless it is less than ½ a banana
  • Date and fig
  • Honeydew melon or cantaloupe

Putting It All Together: Low Fodmap Ice Cream Brands

Are you still in the elimination phase of the fodmap diet, where you are staying away from every category of foods? I have yet to find a branded ice cream that advertises itself as low fodmap. However we can still do the detective work and find if any ice creams are safe.

We’ll start with lactose-free ice cream, and then screen those choices for nuts, fruits and sweeteners.

According to the Monash Fodmap App, you can have a small serving of vanilla ice cream on your low fodmap diet. This is somewhere between ⅔ scoop and 2 scoops.

However, even vanilla ice cream often contains corn syrup, molasses, or alcohol-based sugars.

Beckon Vanilla Ice Cream is the only brand and flavor I have found so far that seems to be free of all fodmaps.

Do you have another favorite low-fodmap ice cream brand or flavor? Let me know in the comments.

The Last Scoop

You can still eat real ice cream even on a low fodmap diet. You just need to be careful to read the ingredient list. If you are only sensitive to one or two categories of fodmap, like lactose or polyols, you will have more choices.

Are you still in the elimination phase of the fodmap diet? Pick a lactose free ice cream that does not contain any sweeteners, nuts or fruits containing fodmaps. 

If you are looking for ice cream, you probably want some other dessert recipes too. Download my FREE Ten Delicious Desserts For Your Low-Fodmap Meals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top