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Staying healthy and well nourished on a vegetarian low FODMAP diet can be tricky. You probably eat a lot of eggs, and tofu! In this blog I’ll show you how you can you eat more vegetarian low FODMAP protein foods.

And you can also download my list of top low FODMAP fake meat products.

Why is it harder to be vegetarian when you have IBS?

If you have IBS, you may find typical vegetarian protein foods make you more bloated.

Beans and pulses are well known to cause gas, even in those without IBS. Tofu doesn’t suit everyone and some people find it gives them a stomach ache or causes bloating. 

If you’re following a low FODMAP diet to reduce fermentable carbohydrates you still need to eat enough protein. 

Ways to increase vegetarian protein for people with IBS

You need to look for clever ways to increase the protein content of your food. 

  • Opt for brown rice instead of white to bump up protein 
  • Quinoa contains some protein 
  • Add seeds and nuts to your meals
  • Choose a low lactose high protein yoghurt
  • Cheese (up to 40g) is low in lactose so can be added to your meals

Plant based foods

Whilst you’re on the low FODMAP diet some of the vegetarian protein options are limited, however you can still enjoy:

  • Tofu – choose firm tofu, and add to stir fries and curries
  • You can include 2 tbsp beans and lentils – so don’t forget to keep a small amount in your diet for variety. 

Vegetarian fake meats- are they good for IBS?

Whilst some people would call fake meats too processed, I think it’s important to get balance in your diet. Some compromises need to be made whilst you’re on an elimination diet. 

If you enjoy the taste of these foods, there is definitely a place for them in your diet. 

One consideration is the price, some of these products can be pricey!

Also some vegetarians give up meat because they don’t like it, so maybe you’re not looking for a meat replacement. 

However, some meat alternatives are staples for many vegetarians, but they aren’t all low FODMAP. 

Many vegetarian sausages and burgers are made from high FODMAP ingredients. 

To check vegetarian products for FODMAPs you’ll need to read the ingredients to look out for:

  1. If the main protein is from beans, pulses (e.g. pea, beans, lentils) – these are likely to be high FODMAP. If there is a smaller amount of pea protein (e.g. 5% it’s probably within the FODMAP limits)
  2. FODMAPs as flavourings – look out for low levels of onions, garlic, leek or beetroot
  3. Mycoprotein (Quorn) is normally considered low FODMAP, but some of the products contain onions or garlic. 
  4. Protein content – Some vegetarian sausages or burgers are not high in protein so look at the packet before you buy.

 

It’s low FODMAP, not no FODMAP

A small amount of onion or garlic flavour may be fine, so it’s best to test your own tolerance to certain new products. Unless you already know that these foods are a trigger for you, you can experiment with these foods. 

Food labelling states the main ingredients must be listed first. This means the further down an ingredients list a food is the small amount is included. So a tiny amount of garlic powder could be ok. 

I’ve created a quick download you can access to show you which low FODMAP vegetarian foods I found in UK supermarkets. Do you want to see it?

You can download my list of vegetarian low FODMAP protein options here

Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritional Therapist.

I help people with IBS and SIBO get control of unpredictable gut symptoms to find long term relief from painful and embarrassing IBS without restrictive dieting.

I can help you to:

  • understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
  • eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
  • develop better digestion and more energy

Find more about my 3 month 1:1 Gut Reset programme

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