How to Follow a Vegan Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet helps manage many annoying digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and loose stools.

The elimination and reintroduction phases of the low FODMAP diet can be quite limiting; therefore, thoughtful meal and snack planning should be done in advance. Additionally, those following a vegan diet can also use the low FODMAP diet to manage digestive symptoms without tossing away all their morals and standards!

Read on to learn about the vegan low FODMAP diet so you can find enough delicious food to eat while meeting your nutrient-needs on this restrictive eating plan.

Overview of the Low FODMAP Diet

If you’re unfamiliar with the FODMAP diet, it’s simply an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. Essentially, the FODMAP diet limits various short-chain carbohydrates that are highly fermentable and osmotically active. 

First, let’s tackle the term fermentable. This refers to carbohydrates the bacteria in your gut really enjoy eating, giving off gas as a byproduct.  

Next, let’s cover the term osmotically active. This refers to carbohydrates that pull extra water into your digestive tract to help dilute them.  

Extra gas production and extra water in the bowels leads to a range of digestive symptoms like bloating, distension, abdominal cramping, loose stools, and even indigestion. No fun. 

However, if you limit or avoid high FODMAP foods, symptoms tend to get better. In fact, 74% of those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who follow the low FODMAP find significant relief (1).  

To dive deeper in the low FODMAP diet, check out my basic training article

Overview of the Vegan Diet

The vegan diet restricts all animal-based foods. This means no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, seafood, and honey.

You may be thinking what’s left to eat? 

Vegans find plenty of healthy foods to eat including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, peas, and lentils. Additionally, vegan products are skyrocketing at the grocery store providing a wide array of delicious convenience items these days. 

Love milk? Drink almond, pea, hemp or even quinoa milk.

Love cheese? Try soy or cashew cheese.

Love your post-workout protein shake? Try pea, rice or soy protein powders.

Love meat [well, I hope not if you’re vegan by choice]? Try vegan burgers.

Essentially, no one has to go hungry as a vegan. He or she must be a little more careful in their meal planning to meet nutritional needs. Nutrients like protein, omega 3 fats, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12 can be at risk of deficiency for vegans without thoughtful food choices. 

While this article won’t dive into all of those nutrients in detail, it’s best to work with a Registered Dietitian if you plan on starting a vegan diet. 

Vegan Low FODMAP Protein Options

Vegans already have more scarce protein options in their diet. They’ll often gravitate towards soy-products, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to meet their needs. 

While on the low FODMAP diet, many of these foods are limited or completely restricted until you know if they are digestive triggers. This leaves the Vegan feeling slightly deprived if he/she does not plan accordingly.

Here’s a list of low FODMAP vegan protein foods and their appropriate portion size:

  • Firm or extra firm tofu- 2/3 cup cubed 
  • Tempeh- 100g
  • Soy milk (made from soy protein)- 1 cup
  • Edamame (baby soy beans)- 1/2 cup of the beans 
  • Chia seeds- 2 tablespoons 
  • Flaxseeds- 2 tablespoons 
  • Hemp seeds- 2 tablespoons 
  • Pumpkin seeds- 2 tablespoons 
  • Sesame seeds- 1 tablespoon
  • Peanuts- 32 nuts 
  • Other nuts (excluding cashews and pistachios)- ~10-15 nuts
  • Oats (rolled, groats, course)- 1/2 cup raw 
  • Quinoa- 1 cup cooked 
  • Canned garbanzo beans- 1/4 cup
  • Canned lentils- 1/2 cup
  • Lima beans- 1/4 cup 
  • Boiled red or green lentils- 1/4 cup
  • Vegan protein powder from rice or peas- 1 serving 

Grab my HANDOUT to know the exact protein amount in each of the low FODMAP vegan options! 

*Please double check the Monash University Low FODMAP app for any updates beyond the date of this blog posting. 

Be Aware of These Tricky Stipulations

While the foods above are low FODMAP vegan protein sources, be careful of these tricky, similar options that are NOT low FODMAP (aka high FODMAP):

  • Silken tofu
  • Tempeh in large servings (>220g) 
  • Soy milk made from whole or hulled soy beans 
  • Soy beans (mature) 
  • Textured vegetable (soy) protein 
  • Flakes of oats or oat bread 
  • Cashews and pistachios 
  • Larger servings of lentils, garbanzo beans or lima beans (>1/2 cup)

Low FODMAP Sample Meal Plan

Still stumped on what to eat? Use the meal suggestions below to get inspired!

  • Breakfast:
    • Protein Oats (2 tbsp soaked chia seeds, 1 cup almond milk, ¼ cup rolled oats, pinch of cinnamon, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 scoop rice protein powder)- blend and soak overnight.
    • Coconut milk yogurt with sliced unripe banana, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 10 chopped almonds 
  • Lunch
    • Rice or corn tortilla with 100g baked tempeh, sliced cabbage and carrots, ⅛ avocado
    • Rice noodles tossed in garlic infused olive oil with 1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets and 2/3 cup baked tofu (toss in soy sauce)
  • Dinner
    • 1 cup polenta with 1/2 cup canned lentils, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, and fresh Italian herbs
    • 1 cup quinoa with diced bell peppers, cucumbers, and ¼ cup canned garbanzo beans toss in extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cumin, parsley
  • Snack Suggestions 
    • Popcorn with olive oil and sea salt
    • Rice cake with peanut butter
    • Pea protein shake mixed with almond milk
    • Kale chips
    • Chia pudding (2T chia seeds soaked in almond milk overnight + 1T maple syrup) 
    • GoMacro protein bar 
    • Roasted seaweed snacks 

 

Are you feeling more confident to give this diet a whirl? I hope so! 

If not, reach out to me for support. I’m happy to walk you through each stage of the FODMAP diet while still complying with vegan standards.