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Low FODMAP for Vegan and Vegetarian diets

We know from experience that following a low FODMAP diet whilst sticking to vegan or vegetarian principles can seem doubly as daunting.  Even dietitians can get that tiniest bit of heart-sink when looking to give advice on this subject as the challenges of making sure people are safely meeting their nutritional requirements can feel overwhelming.

Whilst the best practice advice has always been to be to have higher FODMAP protein sources such as beans and pulses in small portions to maintain nutritional adequacy, recent research has thrown new light on which of these options might be better than others:

  • Whilst silken tofu is now known to be high FODMAP because of the way it is (or isn’t) processed, firm tofu is low FODMAP in a 170g serving providing an excellent protein source.
  • When tested, on average, canned red kidney beans had two thirds lower FODMAP content compared to the equivalent dried, soaked and cooked version.   This suggests that using canned kidney beans that have been rinsed well instead of ones cooked from dried could help to lower the FODMAP content of dishes.
  • Cooking red lentils in simmering water for any time over 5 minutes reduces the FODMAP content by about two fifths and subsequesntly straining the lentils when they ar ecooked gives a further one tenth reduction.  This suggests that cooking your lentils separately, straining them and then adding them to the sauce or dish could help to keep the FODMAP content lower.
  • All types of sprouted grains and legumes that were tested in a recent study had a lower FODMAP content with the exception of chickpeas.  Sprouting beans, pulses and grains before eating them could make them a better choice on a low FODMAP diet.
  • In general pickling, canning and increased cooking times with straining of cooking liquid appears to reduce the FODMAP content of the final dish where high FOMAP beans, pulses and grains are used.