Are Cherries Low FODMAP?

When managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and following a low FODMAP diet, understanding which fruits are safe to consume is crucial. One popular fruit that often sparks questions is cherries. Are cherries low FODMAP? 

Red cherries in a brown bowl.

Cherries have that irresistible, rich red color and can be a popular fruit to snack on in the spring and summer months. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the FODMAP content of cherries and explore their suitability for individuals following a low FODMAP diet. 

What is the FODMAP Diet?

Before we dive into the specifics of cherries, let’s first understand the basics of the FODMAP diet. FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, are a group of carbohydrates that can trigger IBS symptoms in some individuals. These symptoms may include bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Following a low FODMAP diet involves reducing or eliminating high FODMAP foods from your diet to alleviate symptoms. 

Are Cherries Low FODMAP?

According to Monash University, the researchers who developed the low FODMAP diet, sorbitol, and excess fructose are the main FODMAPs found in fruit. Cherries contain high amounts of sorbitol and excess fructose when eaten in a 1-cup serving or 150 grams. So cherries are considered a high FODMAP fruit, and Monash gives them the red light. 

But like many foods, smaller portions may be better tolerated. Two cherries or 20 grams are considered low FODMAP and safe to consume. However, three cherries contain a moderate amount of fructose and may trigger symptoms in some people with IBS.

two cherries with stems crossing each other.

Other High FODMAP Fruits

Due to their high FODMAP content, some fruits may need to be limited or avoided during the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. Some of these fruits include: 

  1. Apples: Apples contain excess fructose and sorbitol, like cherries, and should be avoided or consumed in minimal quantities. 
  2. Pears: Pears also contain high amounts of fructose, sorbitol, and moderate fructans. 
  3. Mangoes: Another high FODMAP fruit is mangoes because they have excess fructose. However, ⅕ of a mango or 40 grams should be well tolerated by most people with IBS.

Low FODMAP Fruit Alternatives

If you find that cherries don’t agree with your digestive system or if you prefer to explore other low FODMAP fruit options, there are several alternatives to consider. Some of these low FODMAP fruits include: 

  • Blueberries: These delicious berries are nutritious and contain antioxidants and fiber. One cup of blueberries is low FODMAP.
  • Strawberries: Another amazing berry is strawberries, which are rich in vitamin C and folate. A low FODMAP serving is five medium strawberries or 65 grams per meal.
  • Oranges: One medium, peeled navel orange is low FODMAP. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Kiwi: A tropical fruit that is low FODMAP and can help promote regularity. Two medium kiwis per meal or 150 grams is the recommended serving. 

How to Enjoy Cherries on a Low FODMAP Diet

If you love cherries and want to enjoy them still while eliminating high FODMAP foods, there are a few strategies you can use to enjoy them while minimizing FODMAP intake: 

  1. Portion control: Stick to the low FODMAP serving size of 20 grams of 2 medium pitted cherries per meal. 
  2. Pair with low FODMAP foods: Try combining cherries with other low FODMAP fruits or snacks to create a balanced and satisfying snack or dessert. 
  3. Monitor your symptoms: Pay attention to how your body reacts to cherries and adjust your intake accordingly. If you experience symptoms, reduce or eliminate cherries from your diet. 
Red cherries in a ramekin with pastry cutter and whisk.

Conclusion

Cherries are a high FODMAP fruit and should be avoided or limited to the recommended serving size while on the elimination phase of the Low FODMAP diet. Listen to your body’s response to determine your tolerance for cherries and other FODMAP-containing foods. By practicing portion control and incorporating low FODMAP alternatives, you can still enjoy various delicious fruits while managing your IBS symptoms effectively. 

When managing IBS symptoms, following a balanced, low FODMAP diet and incorporating other lifestyle changes such as stress reduction can help you better manage IBS and improve your overall well-being. For more IBS Nutrition information, check out my blog posts to help you eat the right foods.

And if you are starting your low FODMAP journey, read The Ultimate Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet!

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