Is Chickpea Flour Low FODMAP? The Ultimate Dietitian’s Guide to the Best 8 Low FODMAP Flour Alternatives

Written by: Tiluka Bhanderi, BSc RD
Reviewed by: Sophie Claessens, RD


If you’re following a low FODMAP diet, you may find yourself wondering about alternative flour
options. Chickpea flour, in particular, has gained popularity in recent times due to its versatility
and nutritional benefits. But is chickpea flour low FODMAP? Read on to find out…

What is Chickpea Flour?

Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan, is a gluten-free flour made from ground
chickpeas. It has a slightly nutty flavour and is commonly used in many cuisines around the
world, including Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. As chickpea flour is rich in
protein, it is a popular choice for those looking to boost their plant-based protein intake.1 It is also high in fibre, and essential nutrients like iron, magnesium and zinc.

Is Chickpea Flour Low FODMAP?

According to the Monash Low FODMAP app,2 chickpea flour is considered high in FODMAPs,2 specifically oligosaccharides, which can trigger digestive symptoms in some individuals with
IBS. Therefore, if you’re following a strict low FODMAP diet, it’s best to limit or avoid chickpea
flour during the initial elimination phase.

Which Flours are Low FODMAP?

While chickpea flour may not be suitable for those following a low FODMAP diet, there are
several alternative flour options that are low FODMAP friendly and can be used as substitutes
in recipes:3

  • Rice Flour: Rice flour is made from finely milled rice grains and is naturally gluten-free. It can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and bread.
  • Oat Flour: Oat flour is made from ground oats and is a good source of fibre and nutrients. It’s great in baking and can add moisture and texture to recipes like pancakes, muffins, and quick breads.
  • Quinoa Flour: Quinoa flour is made from ground quinoa seeds and is high in protein and essential amino acids. It can be used in baking and meals to add a nutty, earthy flavour.
  • Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat is a grain-like seed and is not related to wheat. It’s a brilliant alternative in recipes containing wheat flour. It is highly nutritious and can be used in a variety of recipes such as pancakes, crepes, cakes and breads. You can also buy buckwheat noodles and pasta for quick weekday meals.
  • Chestnut Flour: Chestnut flour is made from ground chestnuts. It has a sweet, nutty flavour and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
  • Millet Flour: Millet is an ancient grain and flour is made from grinding millet seeds. It also has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour.
  • Sorghum Flour: another nutrient rich ancient grain, sorghum has a neutral flavour andlight colour making it useful for baking.
  • Flours for thickening: effective Low FODMAP flours for thickening soups, gravy and sauces include:
  • Corn Flour: also known as maize flour, is made from finely ground corn kernels.
  • Tapioca Flour: also known as tapioca starch, is made from the starchy liquid extracted from the cassava root. It can also be used to make flatbreads, tortillas, and dumplings.
  • Arrowroot Flour: arrowroot is a starchy root vegetable similar to sweet potatoes and taro.
  • Potato Flour: Potato flour is made from dried, ground potatoes. As well as being agood thickener for recipes, it can also be used in gluten-free baking to add moisture and texture.

Should I see a Dietitian?

If you’re struggling with digestive symptoms and suspect that FODMAPs may be the culprit,
it’s important to seek guidance from a qualified dietitian before embarking on a restrictive
elimination diet like the Low FODMAP diet. For more low FODMAP content check out our Low FODMAP Milk Alternatives article. Monash University research recommends working
with a specialist registered dietitian to ensure that this diet is carried out safely.4 Book a 15
minute discovery call with us to find out how we can help you.

Disclaimer: This content is purely informational and should not replace professional medical
advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health professional, like us or your GP, if you are
concerned about your symptoms.

References

  1. Wang et al. (2021). Nutritional constituent and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer
    arietinum L.): A review. Food Research International. [Online]. Available:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996921006906
  2. Monash University. Monash Fodmap Diet. Version 3.1.2 [mobile application]. 2012
    [accessed: 30th May 2024]. Available from: https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibscentral/i-have-ibs/get-the-app/
  3. NHS Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [Online]. Available:
    https://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/media/documents/FODMAP_dietsheet_for_websit
    e_Jan2022_update.pdf
    [Accessed: 2nd May, 2024].
  4. Starting the Low FODMAP Diet [Online].
    Available: https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/i-have-ibs/starting-the-lowfodmap-diet/ [Accessed: 2nd May, 2024].

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