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  • Alyssa Fontaine, RD
  • Jun 29, 2024

Is Tofu Low FODMAP?

Balancing a low FODMAP diet with a vegan lifestyle can pose significant challenges without careful consideration. Given that tofu is a primary protein source in vegan diets, it’s essential to determine whether it aligns with low FODMAP guidelines for those on this dietary regimen.

Our vegan nutritionists here will breakdown all the details you will need to make sure you can safely do a low FODMAP diet while also maintaining a balanced vegan diet.

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What is low FODMAP?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. 

As a result, they move slowly through the digestive system and can ferment in the large intestine, leading to gas production and discomfort.

A low FODMAP diet involves a systematic elimination of certain food groups known to contain FODMAPs. Foods are gradually reintroduced one at a time, allowing individuals to identify which ones trigger the most discomfort.

This dietary approach is commonly used by individuals diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) to alleviate symptoms of discomfort.

Is soy bad for low FODMAP?

Soy can pose some challenges for individuals on a low FODMAP diet due to certain oligosaccharides present in soy products.

However, the FODMAP content can differ significantly among various soy products depending on their type and processing methods. 

Certain processing techniques may result in the removal of components like oligosaccharides, making these soy products suitable for a low FODMAP diet without compromising taste or nutrition.

Is silken tofu low fodmap?

Silken tofu differs from other types in that it undergoes a processing method where coagulation occurs without curdling, resulting in a very soft and smooth texture, devoid of curds. 

This unique step contributes to its creamy consistency.

Compared to firmer varieties, silken tofu retains more water, making it notably wetter. Since FODMAPs like oligosaccharides are water-soluble and thus attracted to water, they remain present in higher concentrations in silken tofu.

As a consequence, silken tofu is classified as a high FODMAP food and should be consumed in smaller quantities to minimize its potential impact on individuals sensitive to FODMAPs.

Is firm or extra firm tofu low fodmap? 

Firm tofu undergoes both coagulation and curdling processes. To achieve the firm or extra firm texture, water is drained and pressed out, resulting in a dense consistency with minimal water content.

Given the low water content, it’s safe to conclude that firmer types of tofu have minimal oligosaccharides, as they are water-soluble. 

This makes them suitable for a low FODMAP diet and an excellent protein source for those adhering to such dietary restrictions.

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How much tofu is low fodmap? 

When it comes to maintaining a low FODMAP diet, the specific amount of tofu needed varies depending on its form and water content.

Silken tofu, being high FODMAP, should be limited to no more than 40g to adhere to a low FODMAP diet.

In contrast, firm and extra firm tofu can be tolerated in larger quantities compared to silken tofu.

Tolerable amounts of firmer forms of tofu

You can enjoy up to 170g of firm or extra firm tofu, which is a substantial portion, nearly equivalent to 2 servings of tofu.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that everyone’s tolerance levels vary, and individuals may handle different amounts differently.

Therefore, it’s important to experiment with various quantities to determine what suits you best. Finding the optimal amount that agrees with your body is key for your dietary preferences.

Is baked, smoked or fried tofu low fodmap?

The cooking method of tofu does not affect its FODMAP content. However, the ingredients or flavors added during cooking can impact its FODMAP levels.

For instance, using high FODMAP foods in any of these three cooking methods will make the dish unsuitable for a low FODMAP diet.

Is tempeh low FODMAP? 

Tempeh is another excellent vegan protein source similar to tofu and often used as an alternative.

It is a fermented soy product that has been made out of whole soybeans that have been binded together.

Tempeh is actually quite low in FODMAPs despite it being made out of soybeans which have some oligosaccharide components.

The fermenting process lowers the FODMAP content which makes it a suitable choice. If you find that tofu is not the best match for you, trying out tempeh could be a great alternative.

Enjoy this delicious tempeh low FODMAP recipe!

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Are there other products that are low FODMAP?

Soy oil

Soy oil is made by extracting oil from soybeans. It contains very little to no FODMAPs, making it a low FODMAP option.

Soy protein

When making soy protein isolate, all carbohydrates and FODMAPs are completely removed, making it low FODMAP. 

However, additional ingredients may be high FODMAP. It is essential to read the labels carefully to ensure you are consuming an overall low FODMAP product.

Soy beverage

Some unsweetened soy beverages are made from soy protein isolates. All FODMAPs have been removed, making them excellent for a low FODMAP diet. 

However, MOST unsweetened and sweetened versions made from whole soybeans may have higher FODMAP content.

Be sure to read the label to check the source of soy and any added sweeteners or additives, as these can increase the FODMAP content.

Book a consultation with one of our vegan nutritionist to master your low FODMAP vegan diet!

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