Mozzarella FODMAP: OK for IBS?

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Aaron

Mozzarella cheese, beloved for its delicate taste and stringy texture, comes in various forms such as buffalo mozzarella, mozzarella sticks, shredded mozzarella, and string cheese, each adding its own twist to culinary experiences.

For those navigating the complexities of a low-FODMAP diet, due to conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), understanding mozzarella’s FODMAP levels is crucial. Typically low in lactose, mozzarella is often a suitable choice for this diet, but portion control is essential.

Take, for instance, the popular Frigo Cheese Heads string cheese. Made from low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, it’s a favorite snack for many. Although generally considered low-FODMAP 1, it’s reported to have a lactose content of 2.13%—higher than the standard low-FODMAP threshold of 1% lactose. It’s essential to verify such figures with nutritional labels or consult with dietary specialists to ensure compliance with your low-FODMAP regimen.

Monash University’s FODMAP Diet app labels mozzarella as low-FODMAP, with a recommended serving size of 40 grams. At this amount, mozzarella is unlikely to contribute significant amounts of FODMAP components like fructose, lactose, and others, making it a feasible option for those managing IBS symptoms.

Let’s go through variations of mozzarella cheeses and their FODMAP:

Buffalo Mozzarella: This cheese, crafted from water buffalo milk, is sumptuously creamy and packed with flavor. It’s a fresh cheese that’s best consumed on production day. While fresh cheeses are often higher in lactose, traditional buffalo mozzarella is typically enjoyed in moderation without significant issues, as lactose is the primary FODMAP concern in dairy.

Mozzarella Sticks: These deep-fried delights pose a FODMAP risk not from the cheese itself, but from the wheat-based breading. For a low-FODMAP alternative, consider gluten-free breading or homemade versions with low-FODMAP flours.

Read: Are mozzarella sticks healthy? or junk food

Shredded Mozzarella: This convenient option is ideal for quick melting and even distribution, typically crafted from low-moisture mozzarella that has a longer shelf life than its fresh counterpart. While the cheese itself is low in lactose, some brands of pre-packaged shredded mozzarella may include anti-caking agents like cellulose or starches to prevent clumping. These additives are usually low in FODMAPs, but always read labels to ensure no high-FODMAP ingredients or unexpected additives have been included.

String Cheese: String cheese is a type of mozzarella that’s been heated until the proteins align in a way that makes the cheese pull apart in strands, giving it its name. It’s a popular snack, particularly in the United States, and is made from low-moisture mozzarella. As with other forms of mozzarella, string cheese is typically low in FODMAPs, making it a suitable snack option in moderation for those sensitive to these carbohydrates.

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