Is Steviol Glycosides Low Fodmap

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Steviol Glycosides have gained popularity as a natural, calorie-free alternative to sugar. Many people are drawn to its sweet taste and potential health benefits. If you follow a low FODMAP diet, you might be wondering whether steviol glycosides are safe to consume. In this article, we will explore the relationship between steviol glycosides and FODMAPs, and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

Understanding FODMAPs

Before delving into the topic of steviol glycosides and FODMAPs, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what FODMAPs are. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. As a result, they can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain in some individuals.

FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods, including certain fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy products, and sweeteners. Examples of common high-FODMAP foods include onions, garlic, wheat, cow’s milk, and honey. For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders, reducing or eliminating FODMAPs from the diet can potentially alleviate symptoms.

Why are Low FODMAP Diets Important?

Low FODMAP diets are commonly recommended for individuals with IBS or other functional gastrointestinal disorders. By limiting the intake of high-FODMAP foods, it is believed that symptoms can be reduced and overall quality of life can be improved. However, it is crucial to note that these diets are typically meant to be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.

The concept of FODMAPs was first introduced by researchers at Monash University in Australia. Their groundbreaking research shed light on the connection between these poorly absorbed carbohydrates and digestive symptoms. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted to further explore the effects of FODMAPs on gastrointestinal health.

One interesting aspect of FODMAPs is their ability to ferment in the gut. When FODMAPs reach the large intestine, they serve as a food source for the bacteria residing there. This fermentation process leads to the production of gases, such as hydrogen and methane, which can contribute to bloating and gas in susceptible individuals.

It’s worth noting that not all individuals are sensitive to FODMAPs. Some people can consume high-FODMAP foods without experiencing any adverse effects. The degree of sensitivity varies from person to person, and it’s important to identify individual triggers through a process of elimination and reintroduction.

Following a low FODMAP diet can be challenging, as many commonly consumed foods are high in FODMAPs. However, with proper guidance and support, individuals can learn to navigate their way through the diet and identify suitable alternatives. It’s important to emphasize that the goal of a low FODMAP diet is not to eliminate FODMAPs completely, but rather to reduce intake to a level that is tolerable for each individual.

In conclusion, understanding FODMAPs is crucial for individuals with digestive disorders such as IBS. By following a low FODMAP diet, they can potentially alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life. However, it’s important to seek guidance from healthcare professionals or registered dietitians to ensure the diet is followed correctly and to address any nutritional concerns that may arise.

An Overview of Steviol Glycosides

Steviol glycosides are a group of compounds found in the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. This plant has been used for centuries in South America as a natural sweetener. Steviol glycosides are extracted from the leaves and processed into a white powder or liquid form, which can be used as a sugar substitute in various foods and beverages.

The extraction process of steviol glycosides involves harvesting the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and drying them. Once dried, the leaves are steeped in water, and the resulting liquid is filtered to remove impurities. The filtered liquid is then treated with various methods, such as ion exchange or precipitation, to separate and purify the steviol glycosides. Finally, the purified steviol glycosides are dried and transformed into the white powder or liquid form that is commonly used as a sugar substitute.

What are Steviol Glycosides?

Steviol glycosides are intensely sweet and can provide a taste similar to sugar without the added calories. They have gained popularity as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners due to their plant-based origin. Additionally, they have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not significantly raise blood sugar levels.

Within the group of steviol glycosides, there are several individual compounds that contribute to the sweet taste. The most abundant and well-known compound is called stevioside, which is responsible for the majority of the sweetness. Other compounds, such as rebaudioside A, rebaudioside C, and dulcoside A, also contribute to the overall sweetness and flavor profile of steviol glycosides.

Steviol glycosides are not only used as a sugar substitute but also have potential health benefits. Studies have shown that these compounds may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They have also been investigated for their potential anti-diabetic effects, as they do not raise blood sugar levels like traditional sugars.

The Role of Steviol Glycosides in Food and Beverages

Steviol glycosides are commonly used in a wide range of food and beverage products, including soft drinks, desserts, yogurt, and even baked goods. Their high sweetness allows manufacturers to reduce or eliminate the use of added sugars while maintaining the desired level of sweetness in their products. This makes steviol glycosides an attractive option for those seeking to reduce their sugar intake.

When used in food and beverages, steviol glycosides can provide a clean and sweet taste without any bitter aftertaste. This makes them a versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated into various recipes. From carbonated beverages to ice creams, steviol glycosides can enhance the flavor profile and sweetness of a wide range of products.

Furthermore, the stability of steviol glycosides under high temperatures makes them suitable for baking. Unlike some artificial sweeteners that may break down or lose their sweetness when exposed to heat, steviol glycosides can withstand the baking process without compromising their taste or functionality.

It is worth noting that while steviol glycosides are generally recognized as safe by regulatory authorities, some individuals may experience a slight licorice-like aftertaste when consuming products sweetened with these compounds. However, this taste perception varies among individuals, and many people find the sweetness of steviol glycosides to be pleasant and satisfying.

In conclusion, steviol glycosides are a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. They offer a plant-based alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, providing intense sweetness without the added calories. With their wide range of applications in the food and beverage industry, steviol glycosides continue to gain popularity as a healthier choice for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.

The Relationship Between Steviol Glycosides and FODMAPs

Now, let’s address the question at hand – are steviol glycosides low FODMAP? According to current research, steviol glycosides are considered low FODMAP and can be safely consumed by individuals following a low FODMAP diet.

Are Steviol Glycosides Low FODMAP?

Unlike high-FODMAP sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup, and certain fruit juices, steviol glycosides have been found to have a minimal impact on the gut and are not known to trigger digestive symptoms in most people. This is because steviol glycosides are not absorbed by the small intestine and do not undergo fermentation by gut bacteria, which is the primary mechanism behind FODMAP-related symptoms.

Scientific Studies on Steviol Glycosides and FODMAPs

Several scientific studies have been conducted to examine the effects of steviol glycosides on digestive health, particularly in relation to FODMAP intolerance. In one study, participants with IBS were given steviol glycosides as a sugar substitute. The results showed that steviol glycosides did not worsen gastrointestinal symptoms or trigger FODMAP-related symptoms in the participants.

Another study compared the effects of steviol glycosides and high-FODMAP sweeteners in healthy individuals. The findings indicated that steviol glycosides were well-tolerated and did not cause the digestive distress associated with high-FODMAP foods and beverages.

The Impact of Steviol Glycosides on Digestive Health

While steviol glycosides are generally well-tolerated and considered safe for consumption, it’s essential to recognize that individual sensitivity to these compounds may vary. Some people may experience mild digestive symptoms when consuming steviol glycosides, although this is relatively rare.

Potential Benefits of Steviol Glycosides

Incorporating steviol glycosides into your diet can have several potential benefits. Firstly, they offer the sweet taste individuals desire without adding calories, which can be beneficial for weight management or those with diabetes. Additionally, using steviol glycosides as a sugar substitute may help reduce the intake of added sugars, which is linked to various health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dental decay.

Possible Side Effects of Steviol Glycosides

Although steviol glycosides are generally considered safe, some individuals may experience mild side effects. These can include bloating, gas, or a slight aftertaste. If you are concerned about potential side effects or have a known sensitivity to stevia, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before incorporating steviol glycosides into your diet.

Incorporating Steviol Glycosides into a Low FODMAP Diet

If you follow a low FODMAP diet and would like to include steviol glycosides in your eating plan, there are several ways to do so.

How to Use Steviol Glycosides in Your Diet

Steviol glycosides are available in various forms, including powder and liquid. They can be used as a sugar substitute in beverages, such as coffee or tea. Additionally, they can be added to baked goods or desserts for sweetness without adding extra sugar. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, as steviol glycosides are significantly sweeter than sugar.

Recipes with Steviol Glycosides for a Low FODMAP Diet

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, here are a few low FODMAP ideas:

  1. Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Blend together frozen strawberries, a ripe banana, lactose-free yogurt, almond milk, and a pinch of steviol glycosides for a sweet and refreshing beverage.
  2. Grilled Chicken Salad: Prepare a mixed green salad with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a homemade dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a touch of steviol glycosides for a hint of sweetness.
  3. Chocolate Chia Pudding: In a jar, mix together almond milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and steviol glycosides. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator, and enjoy a creamy, chocolatey treat.

Remember to adapt recipes to suit your individual dietary needs and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian if you have any concerns or questions.


In conclusion, steviol glycosides are generally considered low FODMAP and can be safely consumed by individuals following a low FODMAP diet. They offer a natural, calorie-free alternative to sugar and can be incorporated into a variety of foods and beverages. While side effects are rare, it’s essential to be aware of individual sensitivities and consult with a healthcare professional if needed. By understanding the relationship between steviol glycosides and FODMAPs, you can make informed choices to support your digestive health while still enjoying the sweet taste you love.

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