Is Popcorn Low FODMAP?

Popcorn is a crunchy, tasty treat loved by many, including myself. The irresistible aroma with a freshly made batch of popcorn is perfect to have when you get ready to watch a movie or hang out with friends and family. But if you have digestive issues and are following a low FODMAP diet, you may wonder if it is ok to eat popcorn.

popcorn in a bowl with rosemary sprigs on the side.

Is Popcorn Low FODMAP? As a registered dietitian and someone with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I will help you understand popcorn and whether it can be included in a low FODMAP diet without causing discomfort.

What are FODMAPs?

Before we go into the specifics of popcorn, let’s first understand what FODMAPs are. It stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are types of carbohydrates that are known to trigger symptoms in those with IBS, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and altered bowel movements.

Some common high FODMAP foods include wheat, onions, garlic, dairy products, apples, and cherries. These foods contain different amounts of fermentable carbohydrates that can trigger symptoms in those with IBS or other digestive disorders.

Can You Eat Popcorn on a Low FODMAP Diet?

Now to get to the main question, is popcorn low FODMAP? The answer is yes, popcorn is low FODMAP! However, it is important to mention that there are certain factors that can affect the FODMAP content of popcorn.

Is Popcorn Low FODMAP?

The FODMAP content of popcorn will vary depending on the type and preparation method. Plain, air-popped popcorn is low in FODMAPs and can be safely consumed on a low FODMAP diet. According to the Monash University App, popcorn is low in FODMAPs in up to 7 cups per meal or 120 grams. This serving size should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.

However, it is essential to avoid adding high FODMAP toppings such as butter, cheese, or caramel, as they can quickly turn a low FODMAP snack into a high FODMAP one. The Monash app doesn’t give specifics on flavored popcorn, but according to an article posted on the Monash University website, movie popcorn has been tested, and small movie popcorn is ok to eat on a low FODMAP diet.

movie buttered popcorn in cone shaped cups.

Butter is fat and does not contain carbohydrates or FODMAPs, but fat can trigger symptoms if consumed in excess. So if you enjoy eating buttered popcorn, do so in smaller portions and watch for any symptoms.

If you love caramel popcorn, it is important to know that caramel is made from heating sugar, butter, milk, or cream. These combination of ingredients are high in FODMAPs and also high in fat which may trigger symptoms.

Benefits of Popcorn

Now that we know that popcorn can be safely eaten on a low FODMAP diet, let’s look at some of the benefits of popcorn. Popcorn can be a good choice for a healthy snack for people with IBS for several reasons.

  • Popcorn is a whole grain and is high in fiber, which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
  • Promotes regular bowel movements and digestive health
  • Naturally low in fat and calories, making it a healthy alternative to processed snacks
  • Good source of antioxidants such as polyphenols which help improve blood circulation and lower the risk of certain cancers

Tips for Enjoying Popcorn on a Low FODMAP Diet

If you’re following a low FODMAP diet and want to enjoy popcorn, here are some things to keep in mind:

plain popcorn in a white bowl.
  1. Choose plain, air-popped popcorn without any added flavorings or seasonings to ensure you are consuming a low FODMAP snack.
  2. Avoid adding high FODMAP toppings such as butter, cheese, or caramel. Try experimenting with healthier alternatives such as olive oil, sea salt, or low FODMAP herbs and spices like dried oregano, paprika, or one tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese.
  3. Watch your portion sizes and limit popcorn to 7 cups. Some people can experience discomfort with large portions so make sure to keep to a reasonable portion for your level of tolerance.

Snack Alternatives to Popcorn on a Low FODMAP Diet

If you find that you don’t tolerate popcorn well or just want to have some other crunchy snack alternatives, here are some other ideas to try:

  1. Plain rice cakes or rice cake brands approved by Monash such as Leda Nutrition in Australia
  2. Plain pretzels, up to a half cup (24 grams) per meal. Gluten-free pretzels from Schär are low FODMAP, up to 60 grams per meal. Avoid any pretzels flavored with garlic or onion, as these are high FODMAP ingredients.
  3. Plain potato chips, one small packet, or 30 grams.
  4. Nuts such as almonds and macadamia nuts are a healthy snack. For more information on portion sizes, read this Ultimate Guide to Low FODMAP Nuts.


In conclusion, as a registered dietitian and popcorn lover, I recommend popcorn as a safe, delicious, and healthy snack for people on a low FODMAP diet. It is important to remember to choose plain, air-popped popcorn and be mindful of portion sizes. Also, remember to listen to your body and adjust portions according to your tolerance.

If you’re concerned about your tolerances or unsure how to navigate the low FODMAP diet, consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional who specializes in the low FODMAP diet. There are also more resources for you below that can help you along your journey.

More Low FODMAP Information

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