Fretting about whether or not you can enjoy Valentine’s Day with your sweetie this year?  Don’t fret, just be prepared ahead of time and check out the list below for servings sizes and types of chocolates, cookies, hot and cold chocolate drinks, wine and other alcohol you can enjoy!  I have also included a few sparkling wine suggestions from my dear friend Bridget Cheslock.  She’s a Certified Sommelier, WSET Diploma student, French Wine Scholar, and lover of Champagne and gourmet foods.

Before we begin, please keep these tips to keep in mind:

  1. Remember chocolate is high in fat which is another reason to not go cray cray and jump head first into a box!  High fat content in foods tend to affect gut motility.
  2. Alcohol can irritate your gut, so it’s advised to limit intake and do always try to have some food with your drinks!
  3. Carob powder is a no-no because it is HIGH in oligos (fructans), and much higher than cocoa powder.
  4. Include low-FODMAP fruits like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries along with your chocolate so you can healthfully fulfill your sweet tooth!

Young couple kissing behind pralines heart on valentines dayChocolate Bars and Cookies

For chocolate bars Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LD, medical nutritionist, FODMAP expert and author recommends reading the label for lowest % cacao, the lowest number of grams of fiber, and not a milk chocolate, as that would add lactose.  She suggests these brands in one of her past posts:

  • Newman’s Own Organics Orange Dark Chocolate (1 g fiber/ounce)
  • Dagoba Organic Chocolate Semisweet for Baking (2 g fiber/ounce)
  • Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate Chips (2 g fiber/ounce)
  • Nestle’s Toll House semi-sweet morsels
  • Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips

Dark chocolate – up to 5 squares or 30 grams is low in FODMAPs and most people with IBS should be able to tolerate this amount.  Up to 90 grams or more are HIGH in FODMAPs and also contain moderate amounts of lactose, so intake should be limited.

Milk Chocolate – 1 fun-size bar is LOW but 5 squares or 30 grams or more has MODERATE amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.

White Chocolate – Same as above – 1 fun-size bar is LOW but 5 squares or 30 grams or more has MODERATE amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Biscuits – 1 cookie is LOW in FODMAPs.  Just make sure you buy a wheat-free version.  2 or more cookies contains HIGH amounts of the Oligos-fructans so intake should be avoided.

Cookies/Biscuits Cream-filled and Chocolate coated – 1 cookie is LOW in FODMAPs.  Again buy a wheat-free version.  2 cookies contains MODERATE amounts of the Oligos-fructans so intake should be limited.  3 cookies or more contains HIGH amounts of the Oligos-fructans and intake should be avoided.

Hot/Cold Chocolate Drinks

Drinking Chocolate 23% cocoa powder – 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain HIGH amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Drinking Chocolate 60% cocoa powder – 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain MODERATE amounts of lactose and HIGH amounts of Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Drinking Chocolate 70% cocoa powder – 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain MODERATE amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Malted, Chocolate Flavored Beverage – 1/2 teaspoon or 10 grams is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  3 heaping teaspoons contains moderate amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.  Large servings (or 50 grams, 2 heaped teaspoons) contain HIGH amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Alcohol

FODMAP Life Valentine's Day

Bridget

Wine – Red, Sparkling, Sweet, White, Dry – 1/2 glass (75 ml) to 1 glass (150 ml) is low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

My friend Bridget Cheslock, Certified Sommelier suggests the following delightful sparkling wines for our friends in the U.S., U.K. and Australia:

Check out Bridget’s blog Glamorous Gourmet!

Wine – Sticky or Dessert – 1/2 glass (75 ml) to 1 glass (150 ml) is HIGH in FODMAPs.  Both of these servings contain HIGH amounts of excess fructose.  Intake should be avoided if you malabsorb fructose. Some examples of dessert wines are fortified wines such as port, marsala, muscat and tokay as well as non-fortified wines such as rice wine, sauternes and botrytis affected dessert wines like Monbazillac, Cadillac, sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume and Vouvray.  Other non-fortified wines include Beerenauslese, Eiswein, Trockenbeerenauslese, Champagne Sec, Demi-Sec and Doux, Moscato d’Asti and Vin Santo.

Beer – 1/2 can (188 ml) or 1 can (375 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Gin – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Rum – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) has excess amounts of fructose which makes it HIGH in FODMAPs and should be avoided.

Vodka – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Whiskey – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream – Both 1 and 2 scoops contains MODERATE amounts of lactose. Intake should be avoided if you malabsorb fructose.

SIGN UP for the FODMAP Life Newsletter!

Sources: Monash University, Musings on the Vine.