For people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or lactose intolerance, eating high FODMAP food may lead to unbearable pain in the stomach.
So, is Parmigiano Reggiano (also known as parmesan) high in FODMAP? What about other cheeses?
You are in the right place.
To understand that, we have to know what exactly is FODMAP, where it is from, does it present in the cheese, and whether it is suitable for patients with Gastrointestinal problems to eat Parmigiano Reggiano.
But, hold on. Let me clean up the confusion.
Lactose equals to FODMAP ?
As I read a number of internet sources referred FODMAP to lactose, it is not entirely correct.
That’s because FODMAP is not all about lactose, but inclusive of many other carbohydrates as well. Let me put it this way, cheese that is low in lactose doesn’t mean it will always low in FODMAP.
Lactose is a type of carbohydrate (disaccharide) in the form of sugar.
While, FODMAP refers to short-chain of carbohydrates that are difficult for our intestine to absorb, inclusive of lactose.
Below is from Wikipedia (scroll to the bottom):
In other words, lactose is only a part of FODMAP.
So, the FODMAP in Parmigiano Reggiano?
It means the carbohydrate content — some of them were FODMAP carbs — is very low. So, you don’t really have to worry about diarrhea after eating.
Yes, from there we can conclude that Parmigiano Reggiano is low in FODMAP.
So, how high is considered “high-FODMAP” (1) ?
- Oligosaccharides (fructose, GOS) – More than 0.3g
- Disaccharides (lactose) – More than 4g
- Polyols (Mannitol, Sorbitol)- More than 0.3g
Also, both data suggest no sugar in them. As for lactose, it’s 0 – 0.4mg of lactose per 100g of Parmigiano Reggiano — insignificantly little to none.
What about FODMAP in other cheese?
In general, thanks to the bacteria activities in the cheesemaking process, carbs in most cheeses are considered low FODMAP and will be easily digested and absorbed.
Still, there are some cheese is slightly higher in comparison, which you might need to aware of. I listed them in the section below.
As for current, there were only a handful of research findings emphasized specifically on the FODMAP carbs in cheese, the carbohydrate content from the USDA database has been taken as the general indication.
But don’t worry, i will keep this post up to date.
FODMAP in Cheese (Carbs per 100g)
- Pecorino Romano (0g)
- Manchego Cheese (0g)
- Brie (0.45g)
- Camembert Cheese (0.46g)
- Edam Cheese (1.43g)
- Swiss Cheese (1.44g)
- Cheddar Cheese (1.9g)
- Blue Cheese (2.34g)
- Mozzarella (2.4g)
- Colby Cheese (2.57g)
- Queso Fresco Cheese (2.98g)
- Parmesan Cheese (3.22g) — Here this one is my recommendation.
- Jack Monterey (3.57g)
- Feta (3.88g)
- Gouda Cheese (4.4g)
- Cheshire Cheese (4.78g)
- Cottage Cheese (5.31g)
- Cream Cheese (5.52g)
- Ricotta (7.27g)
- Quark cheese (10.91g)
Most cheese is in the range between 3g to 5g — low FODMAP.
We took a step further for FODMAP in gorgonzola here in this article.
For the cheese that didn’t mention above, you can always check on the cheese packaging label for lactose and carbohydrate content.
Be noted that some cheese comes with other ingredients which can affect the FODMAP as well.
One last question before you go,
do you know why Parmesan is not an organic product? The answer is here.