Alcoholic beverages should always be enjoyed only in moderation, but if you have IBS this is even more important, as alcohol in excess can aggravate an irritable bowel. You don’t need to avoid alcohol completely, but a sensible, moderate approach will enable you to enjoy a social drink without inducing your IBS symptoms. If you consume alcoholic beverages with food, they are less likely to induce IBS symptoms than if you drink on an empty stomach. This is because the food slows down the release of alcohol from the stomach.
Alcoholic drinks can stimulate your appetite and tend to make you more relaxed. Under these conditions, you may be less likely to adhere to the low-FODMAP diet as strictly as you should. If you wish to consume alcohol, the recommendations are one standard drink for women and two standard drinks for men per day, with two alcohol-free days per week.
You will learn
High-FODMAP alcoholic drinks (Avoid)
The most common potential problem with alcoholic beverages is their fructose load.
High FODMAP Wines
- most sweet white wines
- most dessert wines
High FODMAP Spirits
- most rums
High FODMAP Ciders
- most ciders, usually based on either apple or pear juice
Low FODMAP Friendly Alcoholic Drinks (Good)
Low FODMAP Red Wine
This varies in its sweetness. A standard serving (4 ounces) of dry wine contains minimal sugar and is not a problem, but sweet, sparkling, and dessert wines are high in excess fructose. Examples of dessert wines include fortified wines, such as port, marsala, madeira, muscat, and tokay, and unfortified dessert wines, such as botrytis dessert wines, rice wine, and sauterne.
Low FODMAP Beer
Although some types of beer are made from wheat, only a small amount of the wheat remains and is not a problem. Beer, ale, lager, and stout, which all contain gluten, are not suitable for people with celiac disease but are suitable for people on the low-FODMAP
Low FODMAP Spirits
- With the exception of rum, which contains excess fructose, spirits do not contain FODMAPs, even if they are originally derived from wheat or rye.
Spirits on their own are suitable for a low-FODMAP diet, but do not consume large quantities because excessive alcohol intake can aggravate the symptoms of IBS. The bigger risk with spirits is usually the mixer.Most vodkas and gins are good choices in moderation, most varieties of the following are also likely to be low-FODMAP choices, just be sure to choose your mixer wisely:
Low FODMAP Mixers
These are usually sugar-sweetened drinks (soft drinks) or juices (such as orange, lime, or cranberry juice). Most mixers have balanced fructose and glucose, but beware of some, such as US soft drinks, which may be sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Alternatively, you can use a diet soft drink. Occasionally, milk is used as the mixer, which may be a problem if you have lactose malabsorption. The problem with most mixers lies in the total fructose load if they are consumed in excess. A good rule is to limit your intake to two glasses per sitting.
Low FODMAP Other alcoholic beverages
The ones to watch out for are “coolers” and cider. A cooler is a low-alcohol drink made from white or red wine mixed with a soft drink, soda, or juice. Treat them as if they were a fruit juice or soft drink and limit your intake to two glasses per sitting. Cider, an alcoholic beverage typically based on apple or pear juice, is unsuitable for the low-FODMAP diet.