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Frequently asked questions on low FODMAP Vegan Diet

FODMAP-VEGAN-QUESTIONS-DIETITIAN

Understanding the Low FODMAP Vegan Diet with Help from a Plant-Based Nutritionist

What is a Low FODMAP Diet? 

The low FODMAP diet, is an eating plan low in food that triggers gut symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.It is effective primarly for those dealing with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Basically, it’s a 3 step process that starts with an elimination phase(2-6 weeks), followed by a reintroction phase (6-8 weeks) than the personalisation phase (long term diet).Yet, just being handed a list of foods isn’t enough! Considering that following a low FODMAP diet can be a bit complex, you will need practical and detailed guidance. For this reason, working with a vegan registered dietitian can make it much more manageable and effective. Nutrition experts can help you explore a variety of meal ideas, show you what to look for when reading food labels and identify trusted brands.

The Low FODMAP Plant-based Diet, explained by a Vegan Registered Dietitian

Although following a Low FODMAP diet while being vegan can be challenging, a little planning can make it doable.Knowing the right portion sizes and substitutes for high FODMAP foods will make the process much easier. Additionally, the first step of this elimination diet is limited (2-6 weeks) and the reintroduction phase will allow for more food variety.

Keep in mind that getting enough of calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B12, and zinc is vital when following a restrictive low FODMAP vegan diet. 

Key Points:

  • FODMAP content varies with portion size. Foods considered high FODMAP in larger portions might be low FODMAP in smaller portions.
  • Personal tolerance levels differ. Some individuals with IBS may tolerate small amounts of certain high-FODMAP foods without symptoms.

Consultation with a dietitian is recommended to tailor the low FODMAP diet to individual tolerance levels and dietary needs.

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Low FODMAP Vegan Foods 

Fruits and Vegetables that are safe to eat, recommended by a Plant-Based Nutritionist

FAQ

Here is a list of high FODMAP fruits and vegetables and their recommended alternatives with portion sizes: 

 

Food

High FODMAP 

Low FODMAP

Portions to be low fodmap

Fruits

Mangoes

Grapefruit

Yellow Peaches

Apple

Pear

Apricot

Plums

Figs(fresh and dried)

Dates

Nectarine

Watermelon

Blackberries 

Lychee

Fresh coconut



Orange

Mandarine orange

Clementine

Lime juice

Lemon juice

Papaya

Pineapple

Banana (unripe)

Banana (ripe)

Plantain

Kiwi

Grapes

Strawberry

Raspberry

Mangosteen 

Guava (ripe)

One medium

2 small 

1 medium 

1 cup

½ cup

1 cup

1 cup

1 medium

½ medium

1 medium

2 small 

1 cup

10 medium

30 berries 

2 medium

2 medium

Veggies

Onion

Spring onion

Garlic 

Leek 

Artichoke (globe) 

Asparagus

Green peas

Sweet peas

Snow peas

Mushrooms Cauliflower
Celery 

Sweet potato

 

Potatoes (white)

Spinach

Kale

Lettuces

Cucumber

Carrot

Corn (sweet)

Eggplant

Green beans

Spaghetti squash (cooked)

Tomato 

FODMAP free

1 ½ cup

FODMAP free

1 cup

1 cup

1 medium

½ cob

1 cup

15 beans 

1 cup


1 small



Low FODMAP Grains, Legumes and Seeds: Guidance from a Plant-Based Registered Dietitian

Food

High FODMAP 

Low FODMAP

Portions

Legumes

Black beans

Borlotti beans

Haricot beans

Navy beans

Red kidney beans

Split peas

Falafels

Baked beans

Lentils (canned, rinsed and drained, uncooked)

Edamame (soybeans only, uncooked)

Chickpeas (canned, rinsed and drained, uncooked)

Mung beans (boiled, cooked)

½ cup


½ cup


¼ cup



¼ cup

Breads and Cereals

Breakfast cereal 

(wheat / rye / 

barley based)

Bread (wheat / rye 

based)

Pasta

Pumperkickle 

bread

Barley flakes

Cous cous (wheat)

Gnocchi

Semolina

Corn flakes (gluten free)

Pasta (gluten free) cooked

Chickpea pasta (cooked)

Rice (white, brown, red or wild, cooked)

Wheat/rye/barley-free breads

Corn tortilla

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 slice


2 tortillas

Nuts and Seeds 

Cashews 

Pistachios

Almonds

Peanuts

Walnuts

Pumpking seeds 

Sunflower seeds

10 nuts

30 nuts

10 halves

2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons


We each have unique tolerance levels and nutritional needs. Please listen to your body (and, if possible, work with a FODMAP-trained dietitian) to determine what is best for you. For more low FODMAP serving size info, please refer to the Monash FODMAP app and FODMAP Friendly website or app.

Safe Vegan Proteins: Tips from a Vegan Nutrition Expert

FAQ

Getting an adequate protein intake while following a low FODMAP Vegan diet can be challenging. Legumes and pulses- the primarily source of proteins in the vegan diet are naturally rich in FODMAPs. Nonetheless, protein requirements can be reached with the help of plant-based dietitians. Here are some examples of safe vegan proteins to include in your diet: 

 

Low FODMAP

Vegan protein

Portions

Tempeh (plain, uncooked)

Firm tofu (uncooked)

Vegan protein powder (Pea and rice protein isolates)

Low Fodmap legumes ( See table above) 

100 g

⅔ cup

2 Tabespoons


 

Low FODMAP Vegan Meal Planning: Tips from a Plant-Based Nutritionist

Planning meals ahead of time can make following a low FODMAP vegan diet much easier. Here are some strategies to help you stay on track:

Weekly Planning: Dedicate time each week to plan your meals. Choose recipes that are both vegan and low FODMAP.

Batch Cooking: Prepare large quantities of low FODMAP foods like quinoa, rice, and roasted vegetables. Store them in the fridge or freezer for quick meals.

Snacks: Keep low FODMAP snacks like rice cakes, seed crackers, and fresh fruit on hand for when you need a quick bite.

Recipes: Experiment with low FODMAP vegan recipes. There are many cookbooks and online resources dedicated to this dietary approach.

Living and Thriving on a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet: Socializing, Dining Out, and Traveling

How Can You Eat Out on a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet?

Eating out while following a low FODMAP vegan diet can be daunting, but it’s manageable with the right approach. Here are some tips to make it easier:

Research Restaurants: Look for places that offer vegan and gluten-free options as they are more likely to accommodate low FODMAP needs.

Clearly State Needs: Inform the staff about your dietary restrictions. Use phrases like “low FODMAP,” “vegan,” and “gluten-free” to ensure they understand.

Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask about the ingredients and how the food is prepared. Opt for simple dishes like salads with olive oil and vinegar dressing or steamed vegetables and plain rice.

Bring Your Own: Consider bringing your own low FODMAP dressings or sauces to enhance the meal without risking your diet.

How Can You Manage Social Situations on a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet?

Navigating social situations while adhering to a low FODMAP vegan diet can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you manage:

Inform Hosts in Advance: Let your host know about your dietary restrictions ahead of time. Offer to bring a dish that you can eat.

Eat Before You Go: Have a small meal or snack before attending social events to ensure you don’t go hungry if there are limited options available.

Bring Your Own Snacks: Carry low FODMAP snacks like fruit, rice cakes, or nuts to have something safe to eat.

Be Confident: Don’t be afraid to discuss your dietary needs. Most people will be understanding and accommodating.

What Are Some Travel Tips for Low FODMAP Vegans?

Traveling while following a low FODMAP vegan diet requires some preparation. Here are some tips to make your journey easier:

Research Your Destination: Look for restaurants and grocery stores that cater to vegan and low FODMAP diets.

Pack Snacks: Bring plenty of low FODMAP snacks for the journey, such as nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and consider carrying a reusable water bottle.

Use Apps: Utilize apps that help locate vegan and gluten-free restaurants.

Plan Your Meals: If possible, book accommodations with kitchen facilities so you can prepare your own meals.

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Managing Nutrient Deficiencies on a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet

Nutrient deficiencies can be a concern when following a restrictive diet. Here are some tips to ensure you get all the essential nutrients:

 

Calcium: Include low FODMAP sources like fortified plant milks, firm tofu, and certain leafy greens like kale and bok choy.

Iron: Opt for lentils, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds. Pair these with vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers and strawberries to enhance absorption.

Protein: Besides tofu and tempeh, incorporate quinoa, buckwheat, and hemp seeds into your meals.

Vitamin B12: Explore 5 vegan food sources high in vitamin B12

Zinc: Include seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, as well as fortified cereals and nuts.

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The Role of Supplements in a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet

Supplements can play a crucial role in ensuring you meet your nutritional needs while following a low FODMAP vegan diet. Here are some supplements to consider:

 

Multivitamin: A good quality multivitamin can help cover any gaps in your diet.

Calcium: Calcium supplements can be beneficial if you’re not getting enough from your diet.

Vitamin D: Essential for bone health, especially if you have limited sun exposure.

Omega-3: Consider an algae-based omega-3 supplement to support heart and brain health.

Probiotics: May help with gut health, especially during the reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet.

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Other frequently Asked Questions Answered by a Vegan Nutrition Expert

 

Is Vegan Cheese Low FODMAP? Advice from a Plant-Based Registered Dietitian

Dairy-free, plant-based cheese can add a flavourfoul touch to your dishes. To find a low FODMAP vegan cheese, you should carefully check the ingredient list for any potential triggers. For example, vegan cheese made from soy, cashews, and coconuts can be high in FODMAPs. A safer option would be cheeses made from rice or potato starch. It’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list and ensure that no high FODMAP foods are included.

   

 

Is Vegan Mayo and Butter Low FODMAP? A Vegan Registered Dietitian Explains

Just like with vegan cheese, whether a vegan mayo is low FODMAP depends on the ingredients. Options made with canola oil and vinegar are generally considered safe. However, be cautious of products containing aquafaba, soy, and high FODMAP sweeteners. Similarly, for vegan butter, ensure the ingredient list is free from nut and coconut oils, as these can be high in FODMAPs.

 

Are oranges low fodmap?

Low FODMAP in small quantities. Typically, one medium orange is considered safe. Consuming larger amounts may increase FODMAP intake.

 

Is mango low fodmap? 

High FODMAP even in small amounts due to its high fructose content. Small servings (such as a couple of slices) might be tolerated by some, but generally, it is best avoided on a low FODMAP diet.

 

Is nutritional yeast low fodmap? 

Low FODMAP when used in small quantities. It is generally safe to use as a seasoning or supplement in moderate amounts.

 

Are peas low fodmap?

High FODMAP in larger quantities due to galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). Small servings, such as a tablespoon of peas, might be tolerated by some individuals.

 

Is asparagus low fodmap? 

High FODMAP even in small quantities due to its high fructan content. Very small portions (like a single spear) may be tolerated by some, but it is generally recommended to avoid it on a low FODMAP diet.