Is Golden Syrup Low Fodmap

**Disclosure: We recommend the best products we think would help our audience and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, and we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

Golden syrup is a popular sweetener known for its rich flavor and sticky consistency. If you follow a low FODMAP diet, you may be wondering if golden syrup is suitable for your needs. In this article, we will delve into the world of FODMAPs, explore the composition of golden syrup, and discuss its compatibility with a low FODMAP diet. We will also look at alternatives to golden syrup and provide tips on incorporating it into your low FODMAP recipes. So, let’s start by understanding what FODMAPs are.

Understanding FODMAPs

If you have digestive issues, you may have come across the term FODMAPs. FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that can trigger symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach pain in sensitive individuals. The acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Let’s break down these components:

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. This means that they pass through the digestive system and reach the large intestine, where they can be fermented by gut bacteria.

When it comes to FODMAPs, knowledge is power. By understanding the different types of carbohydrates that fall under this category, individuals can make informed choices about their diet and potentially alleviate their digestive symptoms. Let’s explore each component of FODMAPs in more detail:


Oligosaccharides are complex carbohydrates made up of a chain of sugar molecules. Two common types of oligosaccharides found in FODMAPs are fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). Fructans are commonly found in foods like wheat, onions, and legumes. GOS, on the other hand, can be found in certain legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils. These oligosaccharides can be difficult for some individuals to digest, leading to the typical FODMAP-related symptoms.


Disaccharides are another type of carbohydrate found in FODMAPs. Lactose, a sugar found in dairy products, is a common disaccharide. For individuals who are lactose intolerant, consuming lactose-containing foods can cause discomfort and digestive distress. It is important for these individuals to be mindful of their lactose intake and consider suitable alternatives.


Fructose, a simple sugar, falls under the category of monosaccharides in FODMAPs. It is naturally present in various fruits, honey, and some sweeteners. While fructose is generally well-tolerated by most individuals, some people may have difficulty absorbing it efficiently. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain, especially when consumed in large quantities or in combination with other FODMAPs.


Polyols, also known as sugar alcohols, are another group of carbohydrates found in FODMAPs. Common examples include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol. These sugar alcohols are often used as sweeteners in certain fruits, vegetables, and artificial products. While they may provide a lower calorie option for individuals with a sweet tooth, excessive consumption of polyols can lead to digestive discomfort, as they are not fully absorbed in the small intestine.

Why are Low FODMAP Diets Important?

Low FODMAP diets are commonly recommended for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders. By reducing the intake of FODMAPs, it is believed that symptoms can be alleviated, improving overall gut health and quality of life.

Adopting a low FODMAP diet involves carefully selecting foods that are low in FODMAPs while still providing essential nutrients. This can be challenging, as FODMAPs can be found in a wide range of everyday foods. However, with the guidance of a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, individuals can successfully navigate the world of FODMAPs and find relief from their digestive symptoms.

It is important to note that a low FODMAP diet is not a long-term solution but rather a short-term elimination diet. After a period of strict restriction, FODMAPs are gradually reintroduced to identify specific triggers and personalize the diet to each individual’s tolerance levels. This allows for a more sustainable approach to managing digestive symptoms while still enjoying a varied and nutritious diet.

The Composition of Golden Syrup

Before diving into the low FODMAP status of golden syrup, let’s explore its composition. Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored syrup made from refined sugarcane or sugar beet juice. It undergoes a specific process that gives it its distinctive flavor and texture. Let’s take a closer look:

Golden syrup, also known as treacle, is not just a sweet and sticky liquid. Its composition is a fascinating blend of sugars and minerals that contribute to its unique properties.

How is Golden Syrup Made?

To create golden syrup, the sucrose in the sugarcane or sugar beet juice is extracted, purified, and then heated to break it down into glucose and fructose. This process, known as inversion, transforms the disaccharide sucrose into two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose. The resulting syrup is strained to remove impurities, resulting in the smooth and sweet golden liquid that we know and love.

The process of making golden syrup is not just about breaking down sucrose into simpler sugars. It is a delicate balance of heat, time, and precision to achieve the desired consistency and flavor. The syrup is carefully heated to a specific temperature to ensure that it thickens without crystallizing, giving it its characteristic viscosity and texture.

Nutritional Profile of Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is primarily made up of carbohydrates, with little to no fat and protein. Its main components are glucose and fructose, which are both monosaccharides. These simple sugars provide a quick source of energy for the body.

In addition to its carbohydrate content, golden syrup contains small amounts of minerals like potassium and iron. Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining proper heart and muscle function, while iron is important for oxygen transport in the body.

While golden syrup is not a significant source of vitamins or other nutrients, it can be a delightful addition to various culinary creations. Its rich and distinct flavor can enhance the taste of desserts, baked goods, and even savory dishes.

So, next time you enjoy a drizzle of golden syrup on your pancakes or use it as a sweetener in your favorite recipe, take a moment to appreciate the intricate process and unique composition that makes this syrup so special.

Golden Syrup and FODMAPs

Now that we have a basic understanding of FODMAPs and the composition of golden syrup, let’s address the burning question: Is golden syrup low FODMAP?

Golden syrup, a popular sweetener known for its rich caramel flavor and thick consistency, has been a staple in many kitchens for centuries. Made from the sap of sugarcane, golden syrup undergoes a complex process of extraction and refinement to achieve its distinct characteristics.

Is Golden Syrup Low FODMAP?

Unfortunately, golden syrup is not considered low FODMAP. It contains high levels of fructose, which is a FODMAP. This means that individuals following a strict low FODMAP diet should avoid or limit their consumption of golden syrup.

For those who are unfamiliar with FODMAPs, they are a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. This can lead to digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal disorders.

Scientific Studies on Golden Syrup and FODMAPs

While there is limited scientific research specifically focused on golden syrup and its FODMAP content, the general consensus among experts is that it is best to avoid golden syrup on a low FODMAP diet. However, individual tolerance and sensitivity to FODMAPs can vary, so it is always recommended to listen to your own body and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the relationship between diet and gut health. Researchers have conducted numerous studies to better understand the impact of FODMAPs on digestive health and to identify suitable alternatives for individuals following a low FODMAP diet.

One study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology examined the effects of various sweeteners, including golden syrup, on gut symptoms in individuals with IBS. The researchers found that participants who consumed golden syrup experienced a significant increase in bloating and abdominal pain compared to those who avoided it.

Another study conducted at a leading research institution explored the effects of different sugars, including fructose found in golden syrup, on gut microbiota composition. The researchers discovered that high fructose intake, such as that found in golden syrup, led to an imbalance in gut bacteria, which is believed to contribute to digestive symptoms in susceptible individuals.

Despite the lack of specific studies on golden syrup and its FODMAP content, the existing body of research on FODMAPs and similar sweeteners can provide valuable insights into the potential effects of consuming golden syrup on digestive health.

It is worth noting that while golden syrup may not be suitable for individuals following a low FODMAP diet, there are alternative sweeteners available that are considered low FODMAP. These include maple syrup, rice malt syrup, and glucose syrup. These alternatives can be used as substitutes in recipes to achieve similar flavor profiles without triggering digestive symptoms.

In conclusion, golden syrup is not considered low FODMAP due to its high fructose content. While scientific studies specifically focused on golden syrup are limited, the general consensus among experts is to avoid or limit its consumption on a low FODMAP diet. As always, it is important to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice on managing your dietary needs.

Alternatives to Golden Syrup for Low FODMAP Diets

Although golden syrup may be off-limits for those following a low FODMAP diet, there are plenty of alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth. Let’s explore some natural sweeteners that are suitable for low FODMAP diets and other syrup alternatives that can be used in place of golden syrup:

Natural Sweeteners Suitable for Low FODMAP Diets

When it comes to natural sweeteners, there are several options that can be enjoyed on a low FODMAP diet:

  • Maple syrup: Made from the sap of maple trees, maple syrup is deliciously sweet and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Rice malt syrup: Derived from fermented rice, rice malt syrup is a versatile sweetener that can be used in baking and cooking.
  • Stevia: A plant-based sweetener that is intensely sweet, stevia extract can be used in small quantities to add sweetness without adding extra carbohydrates or calories.

Low FODMAP Syrup Alternatives

If you’re specifically looking for alternatives to golden syrup, you might consider the following:

  • Low FODMAP corn syrup: Made from cornstarch, corn syrup that does not contain high fructose corn syrup can be a suitable substitute.
  • Maple syrup: As mentioned earlier, maple syrup is a versatile sweetener that can work well in many recipes.
  • Rice malt syrup: This natural sweetener is low in FODMAPs and can provide a similar consistency and flavor to golden syrup.
  • Golden syrup flavoring: If you enjoy the taste of golden syrup, there are flavorings available that can mimic the flavor without the FODMAP content.

Incorporating Golden Syrup into a Low FODMAP Diet

If you find that you tolerate small amounts of golden syrup or want to experiment with incorporating it into your low FODMAP diet, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Tips for Using Golden Syrup on a Low FODMAP Diet

1. Portion control: Stick to small amounts of golden syrup to minimize your FODMAP intake.

2. Pair with low FODMAP foods: Enjoy golden syrup alongside low FODMAP fruits, such as berries.

3. Balance with protein and fats: Combining golden syrup with protein-rich or high-fat foods can help slow down digestion and minimize the impact of FODMAPs.

Delicious Low FODMAP Recipes with Golden Syrup

1. Low FODMAP chocolate chip cookies: Swap out the golden syrup in traditional recipes with maple syrup or rice malt syrup for a sweet treat.

2. Low FODMAP marinade: Create a flavorful marinade for meats by combining a small amount of golden syrup with low FODMAP ingredients like garlic-infused oil, ginger, and tamari sauce.

3. Low FODMAP granola: Mix oats, seeds, and nuts with a touch of maple syrup or rice malt syrup for a crunchy and satisfying breakfast option.

While golden syrup itself is not low FODMAP, there are numerous alternatives available that can still add sweetness and flavor to your culinary endeavors. By understanding the composition of golden syrup and exploring suitable alternatives, you can continue to enjoy delicious recipes while following your low FODMAP lifestyle.

Remember, it is always important to listen to your body and work with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to tailor your diet to your individual needs.

Leave a Comment