FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are fermented in the gut and can cause painful gas and bloating for people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I shared resources for vegans with IBS in a blog post in 2016, which gives a more thorough explanation of a low-FODMAP diet.
The diet is a challenge for vegans since many foods that are common in our diets are restricted, at least in the early stages of a low-FODMAP approach. In particular, legumes are limited and so are certain nuts, fruits and vegetables. Because IBS is such a common condition, though, there is considerable interest in expanding the list of foods that fit into a low-FODMAP plan. The most recent research is from Monash University in Australia and it looked specifically at foods that are common in vegan diets. Based on the research, I’ve updated the list of low-FODMAP foods that I included in my earlier post.
Of the 35 foods that were tested, those that were low in FODMAPS included canned coconut milk, dulse (a sea vegetable), nutritional yeast, macadamia milk, soy cheese, tempeh, and pea and rice protein isolates. There were no detectable FODMAPs in agar-agar, Vegg egg yolk, Ener G Egg Replacer, or kelp noodles.
Sprouting lowered the FODMAP content of grains and beans (with the exception of chickpeas), and pickled onions and beets had much lower FODMAP contents than non-pickled ones.
Veggie meats (charmingly referred to in the study as “false meats”) were low in FODMAPs when made from gluten but not from soy.
One thing to consider: The research was done in Australia and many of the brand names were not familiar to me. Some foods, like soy cheese, macadamia milk, and veggie meats made from gluten are likely to vary among brands. If you’re using a low-FODMAP diet to manage IBS, I’d use caution in including these foods. I did not add them to my updated food lists for that reason.
The adjustments to the low-FODMAP food lists are fairly modest, but it can make life a little easier to know that you can sprinkle nutritional yeast on your popcorn and make a cake with a vegan egg replacer.