green beans - Sonja Langford

Being Vegetarian on the Low FODMAP Diet

I currently am and was mostly a vegetarian when I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and placed on the low FODMAP diet. When I saw that I couldn’t eat my usual black beans, white kidney beans, soy products with vital wheat gluten, and hummus while on the elimination phase, I was concerned that I would not have enough food options or get enough protein being that the average woman needs 46g of protein a day (the average man needs 56g a day). I then looked up the vegetarian options on the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app and figured out how much protein is found in the foods and servings recommended.

By mixing and matching the available options of grains, nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, tempeh, eggs, and cheese I was able to find a lot to eat and was able to keep meals interesting while on the elimination phase. This is also helpful during those times when my stomach starts acting up and I need to get it back to being healthy. Some example meals during a day, using the serving amounts indicated on the app, are scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and vegetables with a glass of milk for breakfast, grilled tofu and brown rice mixed with green peas and the green part of the scallion for lunch, peanut butter on a rice cake or celery for a late afternoon snack, and quinoa pasta with kale, pine nuts and pecorino cheese for dinner. Another day could be oatmeal made with chia seeds, milk, pecans, and half of a banana for breakfast, a salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds with a slice of gluten-free bread for lunch, almonds and some blueberries for a snack, and a potato, spinach, and feta frittata with green beans on the side for dinner.

An important note is that after the elimination phase, nutritionists recommend that you do not stay on the low FODMAP diet long term and instead test foods slowly to figure out what FODMAPs you are able to tolerate. It may be hard to try FODMAPS again once you are feeling better, but it is important since FODMAPs have dietary and nutritional benefits. For example, I am now able to tolerate some black beans and white kidney beans as well as hummus, which allow me more food choices. I discuss my struggle with testing FODMAPs and some tips from nutritionist and IBS & FODMAP expert, Kate Scarlata in my post “If at first you don’t succeed, then try again

Below I have included a list of some of the vegetarian foods tested by Monash University with the approved servings size (a full list is available on their app) and the amount of protein found in each food. Additionally, as I was working on this article last week, I saw a tweet from a nutritionist I follow, Stephanie Clairmont, linking to an article she wrote about the same subject in January. I am including her article so you can read what a nutritionist recommends on this topic.

What vegetarian dishes do you recommend on the low FODMAP diet?

Grains:

Serving Size Amount of Protein
Amaranth ¼ cup 2.3g
Brown Rice (cooked) 1 cup 5g
Oats (raw) ¼ cup 3g
Pasta, Gluten-Free (cooked) 1 cup 6g
Pasta, Quinoa (cooked) ½ cup 16g
Polenta 1 cup 4g

Nuts & Seeds:

Serving Size Amount of Protein
Almonds 10 nuts 2.5g
Peanut Butter 2 tbsps 8g
Pecan 10 halves 1.5g
Pine Nuts 1 tbsp 1g
Chia Seeds 2 tbsp 4g
Pumpkin Seeds 2 tbsp 5g
Sunflower Seeds 2 tbsp 3.5g

Beans:

Serving Size Amount of Protein
Lima (Butter) Beans 1/4 cup 3g
Chickpeas 1/4 cup 9.8g
Lentils, canned 1/2 cup 8g
Lentils, green & red 1/4 cup 13g

Dairy:

Serving Size Amount of Protein
Coconut Milk 1/2 cup 3g
Lactose Free Milk (Whole) 1 cup 8g
Lactose Free Yogurt 1 tub 8g
Camembert 2 wedges 16g
Cheddar 2 slices 14g
Feta 1/2 cup, crumbled 10.5g
Goat 1/2 cup, crumbled 24g
Pecorino 1/2 cup, grated 16g

Other:

Serving Size Amount of Protein
Eggs 1 6g
Tempeh 1 slice (4cm x 11 cm x 2.5 cm) ~15g
Tofu (firm) 2/3 cup 13g
Green Peas (thawed) 1/4 cup 2g

Photo taken by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

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