Butternut squash, a beloved fall season favorite, is known for its rich flavor and exceptional nutritional benefits. But anyone dealing with IBS may wonder, is butternut squash low FODMAP?
As a registered dietitian specializing in gut health and someone who personally deals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I understand the challenges of managing uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms firsthand. So, let’s explore the research and practical advice to help you make informed food choices regarding butternut squash.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. For people with IBS, consuming high FODMAP foods can lead to uncomfortable symptoms due to the fermentation of these carbs. These symptoms include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. Following the low FODMAP diet helps identify the trigger foods to relieve these symptoms.
Is Butternut Squash Low FODMAP?
Yes, butternut squash is low in FODMAPs in the appropriate portion. According to Monash University, butternut squash was tested and found safe to consume in ⅓ cup serving size, or 45 grams. A moderate-sized serving is ½ cup or 60 grams and has moderate amounts of mannitol and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). In a ⅔ cup serving of butternut squash (75 grams), GOS is found in high amounts and mannitol in moderate amounts. Therefore, if you malabsorb GOS or mannitol, avoid butternut squash in portions of ½ cup or more.
Nutritional Content of Butternut Squash
Okay, now we know that butternut squash can be enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet. This is fantastic news if you love butternut squash. And also because it is loaded with nutrients. One cup of butternut squash has 457% of Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin A and 52% of the RDI for vitamin C.
Butternut squash is also high in fiber, which benefits digestion by improving stool consistency and frequency. When on the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet, fiber intake may decrease, so adding low FODMAP-approved portions of foods like butternut squash can help keep your fiber intake at proper levels.
Ways to Prepare
Cooking butternut squash while on a low FODMAP diet can be done in a few simple ways.
- Roasting: Toss the cubes or slices with olive oil, salt, and low FODMAP herbs and spices. Some examples are cinnamon, sage, thyme, or rosemary. Or cut out a few steps of cutting into cubes or slices and make Whole Roasted Butternut Squash!
- Sautéeing: Sauteeing provides a relatively quick stovetop method instead of roasting.
- Steam or boil: Steaming or boiling is another excellent option for a softer texture.
Low FODMAP Butternut Squash Recipe Ideas
- Simple Sautéed Butternut Squash: An easy yet very delicious way to prepare butternut squash. Modify this recipe to make it low FODMAP by cutting out the garlic powder and using garlic-infused olive oil instead of regular olive oil.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup by Fit Fab FODMAP
In conclusion, butternut squash is safe to eat on a low FODMAP diet in the right portions. It is nutrient-dense, versatile, and tasty! Try experimenting with different low FODMAP butternut squash recipes to see how delicious and nutritious this winter squash can be.
If you found this information helpful, check out my other articles on the low FODMAP diet and recipes for more guidance on managing your IBS symptoms.