So, you’ve been recommended a low FODMAP diet to help get your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) under control, but you’re also vegan. What do you do next? Arm yourself with this list of 16 low FODMAP foods that are vegan and get cooking!
What is a FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo, Di- and Monosaccharides and Polyols. It’s literally a mouthful, hence the acronym. FODMAPs are carbohydrates that, by quirk of their chemical structure or your physiology, you don’t fully digest and absorb…so they get fermented by the bacteria in your gut.
Repeat after me: FODMAPs aren’t bad for you. In fact, if you don’t have irritable bowel syndrome, I want you to eat as many FODMAPs as you can to help support gut health! However, if you’ve got IBS, going low FODMAP for a while can greatly reduce symptoms.
If you haven’t heard of a low FODMAP diet before, you can read all about it in this post – which also includes a comprehensive low FODMAP food list. Start there and then read on below!
How to eat a Vegan FODMAP diet
Since FODMAPs are carbohydrates, all these healthy plant foods we eat on a plant-based diet are a potential FODMAP risk. However, there are plenty of low FODMAP foods that are vegan!
It’s true that maintaining a balanced vegan diet while low FODMAP is a bit more challenging than someone who is vegetarian or an omnivore. Luckily, a low FODMAP diet isn’t forever. Typically, I recommend my clients stay low FODMAP for four to eight weeks (rarely, up to twelve weeks) while they get their gut taken care of. I’ve even got some vegan low FODMAP dinner ideas to get you started.
What to know when you’re eating vegan and low FODMAP
While there are plenty of low FODMAP fruits and vegetables, what’s harder is getting our plant-based protein in so we feel full and satisfied during our FODMAP elimination. The basics of good plant-based nutrition don’t change, even when you’re low FODMAP. I always recommend you cover half your plate in fruits and vegetables, a quarter of your plate in protein and a quarter of your plate with whole grains.
I’m here to show you that there are still great options to keep your energy up so you don’t have to give up your plant-based diet just to soothe your gut. In fact, I’m a firm believer that a plant-based diet is the best way to keep your gut healthy long term…it’s just that for now, you might need to shake things up a bit until your gut settles down again.
17 Low FODMAP Foods That Are Vegan
If you’re wondering how you can figure out the FODMAP content of food, the answer is simple: the MONASH University Low FODMAP app. This university is the home of the low FODMAP diet and they are constantly testing foods and keeping the app updated. I also have a free, comprehensive list of low FODMAP foods, that I compiled with the help of the app.
Vegan Low FODMAP Dairy Alternatives
If you’re a vegetarian, you can actually consume lactose free dairy on a low FODMAP diet. On a vegan diet, it’s a bit trickier as many dairy alternatives are high FODMAP. For example, cashew cheeses or soy milk. However, you’ve got a couple of options that you can stick with to carry you through the elimination phase.
1. Almond Milk
Almond milk is typically considered low FODMAP in the 1 cup serving size. The only challenge here is that almond milk is not a protein source…but it is great for calcium! Need advice on choosing a healthy plant-based milk? Read this.
2. Macadamia Milk
Not as widely available as almond milk, but delicious! 1 cup is low FODMAP.
3. Oat Milk
Oat milk is a bit more confusing, as it has been tested as low FODMAP in the half cup serving while the UK version tested high in FODMAPs. If you can, stick to almond milk the first couple of weeks and once you get a sense of how you’re feeling, see if your local oat milk (1/2 cup only!) works for you.
4. Coconut Yogurt (Plain)
125g of coconut yogurt is low FODMAP. Great for a quick breakfast, just be sure to add some low FODMAP proteins and some fruit to make it a complete meal!
Vegan Low FODMAP Proteins
5. Hemp Hearts
2 tablespoons of hemp hearts are totally low FODMAP and can add 6.5 grams of plant-based protein to whatever you’re eating, alongside a bunch of other important minerals and omega 3 fats.
¼ cup of peanuts has almost 10g of protein and is totally low FODMAP. Makes a great snack!
7. Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
2 tablespoons of pepitas are low FODMAP, but you could also get away with ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds…which will net you 11 grams of protein! Sprinkle on salads or grain bowls to boost total protein.
Tempeh is a wonderful fermented soybean cake that works well marinated, crumbled or fried. 100g of tempeh, which contains 18g of plant-based protein, is low FODMAP.
Regular (but not silken) tofu is high in protein and low in FODMAP. You can eat 160g or 2/3 of a cup which is enough to anchor your meal. Don’t believe what the internet says about tofu…it’s both healthy AND delicious!
Vegan High FODMAP Proteins in Low FODMAP Servings
Beans are typically high FODMAP, leaving some people to mistakenly believe that you can’t eat them on a low FODMAP diet. YES, you can eat beans on a low FODMAP diet! It’s a good thing, because getting all of your protein and fibre in is more challenging without them.
10. Canned Chickpeas
In the canning process, many of the FODMAPs in beans are lost, so you can eat ¼ cup of canned chickpeas (rinse them well!) and keep it low FODMAP. You can also eat ¼ cup of canned butter beans as a low FODMAP portion.
11. Canned Lentils
You can actually eat ½ cup of canned lentils as a low FODMAP serving, containing 9 grams of protein. De Puy lentils have also tested as low FODMAP in the ½ cup cooked serve.
Whenever cooking De Puy lentils from scratch, I recommend follow these steps to reduce FODMAPs: soak them for at least 12 hours, rinse them well. Then fill up pot with fresh water, cook until tender, then fully drain and rinse them again.
Low FODMAP Grains
Wheat is off the low FODMAP table, not because of the gluten, but because of the FODMAP it contains. However, there are plenty of healthy whole grains you can enjoy on a low FODMAP diet.
Buckwheat is a bit of a tricky one: buckwheat flour and buckwheat groats – but not pure buckwheat kernels – are considered low FODMAP.
Corn is considered low FODMAP…so bring on the polenta and tortillas! Just make sure your tortillas are pure corn and don’t contain added wheat.
Millet is a wonderful low FODMAP grain that is versatile and contains a bit of extra protein to round out your meal. Cooks quickly and has a lovely fluffy texture.
Oats are typically considered low FODMAP, however, some quick oats and finely ground oats may have higher FODMAPs so stick to traditional rolled.
Quinoa is a great, nutrient-dense grain that is low FODMAP, as is quinoa flour – but note that quinoa flour can be a bit bitter!
Rice is low FODMAP, and I typically recommend rice-based protein powders for my low FODMAP folks so they can easily boost protein without the bloat.
Is a Vegan Low FODMAP Diet right for you?
The research supports that a low FODMAP diet can help the majority of those with IBS that is diarrhea predominant, so if it feels doable to you, it’s worth a shot. However, know that it’s not the only game in town.
I love offering these blog posts to empower you on your healing journey, but dietary change is always happier – and better supported! – with a dietitian at your side. Through individualized care with one of our registered dietitians, you can find your own path to feeling better. And actually, I don’t keep low FODMAP but I manage my IBS symptoms very well, thank you!
Looking for a Vegan Low FODMAP Meal Plan?
Look no further! We offer our Banish the Bloat PDF E-book, which contains a self-guided program along with a full seven day flexitarian and 100% vegan low FODMAP meal plan.