Saturday, 2 November 2013

FODMAP diet for vegetarians and vegans - what can you eat?

If you are vegetarian or vegan the chances are that many of your staple foods, particularly your usual protein sources, are high in FODMAPs. For example, legumes (beans) are high in galactans and many of your favourite veggies may also be off limits. So what can you eat?

Firstly, you don't need to cut out all FODMAP containing foods entirely. It's important to still eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you don't develop any nutritional deficiencies. Beans, lentils and soy products are an important source of iron, calcium and magnesium for vegans and vegetarians, as well as being a key protein source.If you are strict about avoiding other FODMAP sources, small quantities of beans and lentils may well be manageable. Try to spread out the amount you eat during the day so you don't overload your system. Soy products like tempeh and tofu should be ok to eat too as they are already fermented so won't need to be fermented by your gut. 

There are also plenty of other vegetarian and vegan foods that are also fine to eat on the FODMAP diet plan. Grains should form the backbone of your diet: quinoa or amaranth are both excellent sources of protein. Oats, buckwheat and spelt can also contribute reasonable amounts. Nuts and seeds are ok in moderate portions - try using different nut butters to ring the changes. If you are vegetarian you can also eat eggs and lactose free dairy products.

If you do lots of exercise or are slim, you may struggle to get enough calories on the FODMAP diet when you start the plan. I'd recommend discussing with your dietician or nutritionist your own particular needs but you could try adding a rice protein supplement if you are althletic, just make sure that it is wheat-free and doesn't contain sweeteners or additives.


  1. I'm new to all this but have to try it as can't stand ibs any more! Have tried gluten free but that doesn't make much of a difference. Does anybody know about Miso (Japanese fermented soya, very tasty)? I need it to make stir fries...also I see some contradictions about fodmaps. One minute we can eat butter, then it has to be lacto-free. I don't think there's much lactose in butter as it's not a protein food. And how can ordinary hard cheese like Cheddar be ok when it surely is full of lactose, as that's the milk protein, isn't it? Also, all onions are said to be bad and then we read that 'the white bit' or 'the green bit' of spring onions are ok. Or is lactose the milk sugar? I think that's more like it, so why isn't it in butter, which can be sweet in a way. And kale, isn't that a form of cabbage, a brassica? I suppose it gets less confusing. Can anybody recommend a comprehensive book that's useful for vegetarians like me? Also, one of the recipes has golden syrup in it, would it be ok to use dark stuff like molasses? Thanks to anybody who can answer my questions, or just one of them!

  2. Hi Julie, Miso should be fine as it's already fermented. Lactose is a milk sugar so hard, aged cheeses are generally ok. It's the softer, younger ones that contain most lactose. Butter is fine but be careful with butter type spreads as they can have lactose in. There are mixed views on molasses, I'd be guided by your own reaction to it, if you have a problem with lots of fructose then it might be best to avoid. The green part of spring onions is ok because it is low in fructans. On books, I'd have a look at what Shepherd Works and Monash Uni produce as they both lead the research in this area. Hope that helps, Kate @ FODMAP Foodie

    1. Hello Kate, thanks so much for your reply; sorry it took me such a long time to find it and thank you but I couldn't find the right website!
      All you say is very useful. Yes, I will look at the Monash Uni writings on this as they seem to be the real pioneers. All the best, Julie

    2. Thanks Kate! I couldn't find the website for a while and so have just found your reply! Yes I will look at what Monash write as they seem to be the pioneers.
      Great stuff


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