Friday, 18 March 2016

Research studies: Cooking legumes

By Caroline Tuck (APD, PhD Candidate)

Research is currently underway to look at ways we can make it easier for patients with IBS to follow a low FODMAP diet. One strategy that our group is looking at is if changing the way we cook foods can reduce the FODMAP content, hence potentially making it easier to people to tolerate them.

The main FODMAPs present in legumes are the oligosaccharides. Oligosacchardies are water soluble, which means that when the food is put into water, the oligosacchardies can leach out of the food and into the water. At Monash University, we have recently been testing if any reduction in FODMAP content will occur through this process. We have found that when legumes e.g. red lentils are boiled in water, the liquid they are cooking in becomes higher in oligosacchardies.

This has shown that straining legumes after cooking may help to reduce their FODMAP content. This is a great strategy to trial at home to see if it helps you tolerate legumes better and increase your legume intake.


  1. This would be great! I always wash and cook legumes slightly before straining and cooking again. Even prior to the FODMAP issues I encountered. I might try it again to see if tolerance changes. It's a shame because I am not a big meat eater and substituted meat for legumes.

  2. I tried this with apple, changing the water several times along the way. It resulted in apple that I could tolerate, but which had no flavour.

  3. how about adding baking soda to the water?

  4. I put lentils 8 to 12 hours on water before cooking it, only because it reduces significantly the time of cooking.

    But, those that help too on making it low fodmap?

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  6. Dr Gundry (the proponent of low-lectin diet) claims that only pressure-cooking destroys lectins from legumes. Maybe the same with FODMAPs?