Low FODMAP Ice Cream
If you are a sweets person like me, I am sure you are wondering what low FODMAP ice cream can I eat?! If you’re following the low FODMAP diet, you know that some of your favorite desserts may be off the table, but ice cream is not one of them! I have tried many of the ice creams on this handout and each option has something delicious to offer, depending on what your local store carries!
This blog will break down the different low FODMAP ice creams and potential toppings that could be used while keeping your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms under control during the elimination phase of the diet. But first, let us start with a quick explanation of the low FODMAP diet.
What is the low FODMAP diet?
The low FODMAP diet is a short-term elimination diet that targets fermentable carbohydrates known to cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation in those with IBS. Examples of foods eliminated are garlic, onion, wheat, lactose, high fructose corn syrup, beans, and some fruits and vegetables but this is just the beginning. The good news is that people with IBS can see large improvements in their symptoms with this temporary diet change.
Once symptoms begin to improve, you start to add foods back in, one at a time, to see what exactly is causing the issue.
Let’s dive in!
Most recommendations for these products are based on analyzing ingredients and making estimations on how much of each ingredient is present in the product. When trying these ice creams, be sure to monitor your personal tolerance as that can vary greatly from person to person.
There are four different ways that you can enjoy ice cream on the low FODMAP diet:
- Lactose free ice cream
- Dairy free ice cream
- Regular cow’s milk ice cream, which requires you to supplement with a lactase enzyme (such as lactaid).
- Make your own ice cream
Here are some general tips for choosing the right low FODMAP ice cream:
- Be sure to read labels to check for high FODMAP ingredients such as wheat, whey protein, chicory root, erythritol, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and certain fruits and nuts.
- Do not be fooled by dairy free, low sugar ice creams. These typically include erythritol or other artificial sweeteners that are not low FODMAP! An example of this is Halo Top.
- Monitor portion sizes and test your individual tolerance.
Lactose-Free Ice Cream
Lactose-free ice creams are regular cow’s milk ice cream. However, an enzyme to break down lactose, called lactase, is added. This makes it acceptable for people with lactose intolerances. The good news is, they taste the same and you will not notice the difference!
Lactaid was one of the first lactose-free ice cream brands to hit the market. Their options are relatively standard but are widely available in most stores! This is the same brand that makes one of the popular lactase enzymes and many lactose-free products outside of ice cream. Flavors include:
- Mint chocolate chip
2. Beckon ice cream
Beckon has hit the ground running with their ice cream line offering some standard flavors and more specialized flavors. Plus, this is a woman-owned business. Whole Foods Market is one of the main stores that carries Beckon products. Flavors include:
- Mint chip
- Sea salt chocolate chip
- Dark chocolate brownie (small amount of molasses in the brownie pieces)
3. Breyers Lactose Free
Almost every grocery store is going to be lined with Breyers products, right next to Turkey Hill and Ben n Jerry’s. However, Breyer’s lactose-free is more difficult to come by. If you are looking for basic vanilla or chocolate flavors, they have it! Flavors include:
4. Brave Robot
With an ice cream brand name like this, it will be hard to miss in the stores! This brand is available at many standard grocery stores such as Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, Kroger and more. They will even reimburse you for your first pint! Brave Robot uses sustainable practices and packing, which is a plus. Flavors include:
- Buttery pecan
- Raspberry white truffle
- PB and fudge
- Hazelnut chocolate chunk (hazelnuts low fodmap at 10 nuts)
- A lot of chocolate (yes, that is a flavor!)
5. Fairlife ice cream
Fairlife ice cream is a newer option on the market with their claim-to-fame being higher protein content due to the ultra-filtering process. You will get your chocolate fix from these flavor options that are slightly lower in sugar! Since these products contain monk fruit extract and allulose, alternative sweeteners that have not been FODMAP tested, be sure to test your personal tolerance before eating larger portions Flavors include:
- Mint chip
- Java chip
- Chocolate peanut butter
- Butter pecan
Now that we have covered the lactose free ice creams, let’s move onto the topic of dairy free ice creams.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Dairy-free ice creams have become more than abundant in stores! Many of them are made with almond or coconut milk, but more specialized companies have branched out to oat milk, cashew milk, and even avocado-based ice creams! With many options, it is often difficult to navigate which ones are low FODMAP.
Let us break it down!
The non-dairy milks that are low FODMAP are coconut milk/coconut cream, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, macadamia milk, and oat milk. However, dairy-free ice creams are not currently Monash tested. Cashew milk is untested, but cashews are high fodmap, so it is best to avoid.
Oat milk ice creams also prove to be tricky because the amount that is considered a low FODMAP portion differs in countries other than the US due to processing/agriculture differences (which you will see below). Because of this, be sure to try a small portion of oat milk-based ice creams to monitor your personal tolerance.
Below are the low FODMAP portions for each milk.
Oat milk: 6 tbsp in the US, ½ cup in the UK and Australia (Proceed with caution)
Almond milk: 1 cup
Canned coconut milk and cream: ¼ cup
Carton coconut milk: ¾ cup
Since non-dairy ice creams are not tested by Monash University, it is best to start out with ½ cup servings to test your tolerance.
1. 365 Almond milk ice cream (Whole Foods brand)
Finally, a Whole Foods brand ice cream! Their chocolate chip peanut butter swirl is a go-to for me, who doesn’t love that combo! Plus, they offer a gluten free cookie dough flavor which many companies don’t have due to the wheat presence.
- Chocolate chip cookie dough (gluten free!)
- Chocolate chip peanut butter swirl
2. Almond Dream
One of the initial almond milk branched into the ice cream field. They also make coconut and rice milk cartons that are suitable on the low FODMAP diet. They cover the basics but also provide flavors that other companies haven’t branched out to yet (praline crunch).
- Cappuccino swirl
- Praline crunch
- Toffee almond fudge
3. So Delicious non-dairy desserts
This is the most widely available brand in stores that I have seen. The only caveat is that these products use pea protein, which some people do not tolerate. However, pea protein is tested by Monash University and considered low FODMAP (75 grams) for specific brands, so the amount in the ice cream is considered safe. Monitor personal tolerance.
- Coconut milk based:
- Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookie dough, mint chip, mocha almond fudge, chocolate peanut butter swirl, cold brew
- Avoid the no sugar added flavors as they contain a high FODMAP food, chicory.
- Almond milk based:
- Mocha almond fudge bars
- Oat milk based:
- Chocolate hazelnut brown
- Coffee chip
- Chocolate salted Carmel
4. O’My Dairy Free Gelato (Coconut Milk)
This company is the only one I have not yet tried so I cannot speak to personal experience but reviews are positive. It is available mainly in Giant Food Stores, but you can use the store locator on the company’s website if you want to be sure they carry it.
- Vanilla bean
- Coffee chip
- Orange cream
- Cake batter
- Mint chip
5. Jeni’s Dairy Free
Jeni’s is a newer company known for their creative flavors such as brambleberry crisp. The good news is they do offer dairy free ice creams made with coconut milk/cream. They have one of my personal favorites, cold brew coconut cream! Prices are a little higher for these pints. Flavors rotate so keep your eyes peeled for any new flavors.
- Cold brew with coconut cream
- Dark chocolate truffle
- Roasted peanut butter and strawberry jam
Oatly products are at the top of the list when it comes to creaminess, resembling that of cow’s milk ice cream. Plus, they have a flavor for everyone. The vanilla flavor is great with gluten free Oreos or as a brownie sundae. Monitor your tolerance with a ½ cup serving since low FODMAP portions vary in some countries
- Mint chip
- Raspberry swirl
- Fudge brownie
- Salted caramel
- Chocolate chip
7. Planet oat
Hence the name, this is an oat milk-based ice cream so as mentioned above, be sure to monitor tolerance to ½ cup portion size. A little less creamy than the Oatly counterpart, but still a good option on the low FODMAP diet.
- Chocolate peanut butter swirl
- Coffee chocolate swirl
8. Van Leeuwen vegan flavors
Despite being on the pricier side, Van Leeuwen does an excellent job with their products, especially from a creaminess perspective. They have the most variety, but unfortunately many flavors contain wheat so they will not be included here. They make both oat milk and cashew milk options so be sure to grab the oat milk options since cashew milk ice cream is not tested.
- Oat milk caramel cookie (select stores)
- Dark chocolate peanut butter swirl
If plain ice cream is not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, I have also researched suitable topping ideas that are low FODMAP. After all, who doesn’t crave a decadent sundae style dessert every once in a while!
Low FODMAP Ice Cream Toppings:
- So Delicious coconut milk whipped cream
- Redid-whip nondairy almond and coconut milk products
- Whipped cream (1/2 cup serving low FODMAP on Monash)
Syrups and sauces
- Hershey’s simply 5 syrup
- Nestle chocolate and strawberry syrup
- Smuckers magic shell chocolate topping
- Marshmallow fluff by Jiff
- Dark chocolate (30 grams)
- White chocolate (25 grams)
- Milk chocolate (20 grams)
- Some brands have gluten free sugar cones!
With the abundance of low FODMAP ice creams and toppings available to you, hopefully this information will make it easier for you to enjoy a sweet treat. Especially with the warm weather around the corner!
Do you know how to navigate the low FODMAP diet when eating out? Check out our round up of low FODMAP fast food options!
As a certified LEAP therapist, Dietitian Kathleen can help you solve your digestive difficulties with cutting edge research and state of the art protocols. Co-author of Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.