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Revealing Avocado's Hidden Power: New Findings in the FODMAP Diet!

Do you love avocados as much as I do?


I was thrilled to discover they weren't a trigger for my symptoms after the reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet. This means I can enjoy this delicious, creamy fruit without worry, and I'm excited to share this new finding with you.




Did you know that avocados, believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico, have a history that dates back nearly 10,000 years?

Early Mesoamerican tribes started domesticating avocado trees around 5,000 years ago. Before that, avocados relied on large, now-extinct mammals to disperse their mildly toxic seeds.

This fruit was significant to ancient peoples like the Aztecs and Maya, who even believed it had mythological powers.

By the 16th century, avocados had spread across Central and South America and were introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers.

They arrived in the U.S. in 1833 and gradually gained popularity, especially in California, Florida, and Hawaii.

Today, avocados are a staple in American and Canadian diets, thanks to their health benefits and the popularity of Mexican cuisine.





Exciting News on Avocados and the Low FODMAP Diet


As many of you know, I try to stay updated with the latest research on the low FODMAP diet. Recently, Monash University shared a significant update about avocados, and I'm excited to tell you all about it.


A Surprising Discovery


Avocados were one of the first foods tested when the low FODMAP diet began over 15 years ago. Back then, they were thought to be high in sorbitol, a type of sugar polyol that can cause symptoms for people with IBS.

However, Monash University's recent re-testing revealed that avocados don't actually contain sorbitol. Instead, they contain a different polyol called perseitol. This finding came from noticing an unusual peak in their data, initially mistaken for sorbitol.





Why Was Avocado Retested?


Food composition can change due to various factors like growing conditions, environmental changes, the variety of the food, and storage and ripening methods.


These changes led Monash University to re-test avocados to ensure accurate FODMAP levels. Improved testing methods also played a role in this decision.



What Changed in FODMAP Levels for Avocado?


The re-test showed that avocados have perseitol instead of sorbitol. Perseitol is unique to avocados and might cause symptoms similar to other polyols.

Despite this, the low FODMAP serving size for avocados has increased from 30g (1oz) to 60g (2.1oz), or about three tablespoons. Larger servings can still be high in FODMAPs, so it's important to watch your intake.





How This Affects Your Diet


The Monash University FODMAP Diet App still shows traffic light ratings for avocados, indicating amber and red levels for sorbitol with an asterisk.

This note explains that avocados contain perseitol, which might trigger symptoms in people sensitive to polyols like sorbitol.



Recipes and Reintroduction


The new serving size doesn't change any of the recipes you have received from me or those in my cookbook. If you are following a low FODMAP diet those recipes remain within safe limits. You can continue to enjoy them confidently.


If you've used avocado for your sorbitol challenge and had symptoms, consider redoing the challenge with a different food like fresh blackberries, apricots, yellow peach, sweet corn, or lychees.


If you love avocados and want to reintroduce them, you can do a dedicated avocado challenge:


  • Day 1: 4 tablespoons of avocado (about 1/2 a medium avocado)

  • Day 2: 5 tablespoons of avocado

  • Day 3: 8 tablespoons of avocado (about 1 medium avocado)




Closing Notes


Avocados can still be part of your diet while following the low FODMAP plan. In the first phase, you can enjoy up to three tablespoons per meal. Avoid larger servings until you test your tolerance to perseitol.

Hopefully, you'll find that you can enjoy larger servings without triggering symptoms.






Stay Connected


This discovery shows how food and nutrition science is always evolving.


If you have questions or need personalized guidance, I'm here to help.

As a Monash-trained Low FODMAP dietitian, I'm dedicated to assisting you with your dietary needs.


Book a free discovery call with me today to start your journey toward better gut health.






Stay tuned for more updates and continue to take charge of your health with the latest insights and personalized support.





References:

  1. Monash FODMAP Team. Retested Foods – Why The FODMAP Content Might Change. Monash University Low FODMAP Blog. Retrieved from: Monash University Blog on 2024-03-06.

  2. Monash FODMAP Team. Avocado & FODMAPs – A Smashing New Discovery. Monash University Low FODMAP Blog. Retrieved from: Monash University Blog on 2024-03-06.

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