Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Being vegan on a low FODMAP diet

By Dr Jane Varney

Are you vegan and following a low FODMAP diet? The combination of these dietary restrictions can make finding nutritious food choices difficult, but as you’ll discover, not impossible. 

A vegan diet excludes all animal-derived products, meaning meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, animal fats, and honey are all off limits. Vegans instead must rely on plant-based foods to meet their nutritional needs, such as fruit, vegetables, breads, cereals, grains, legumes, lentils, soy products, nuts and seeds. As you can see from this list, many of the foods suitable on a vegan diet are naturally high in FODMAPs, which is why balancing the two dietary restrictions is difficult. 

It is also where the expertise of a dietitian comes in. Unless a low FODMAP, vegan diet is carefully planned, the diet will be deplete of essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre.

So what foods are suitable to eat on a low FODMAP, vegan diet? Below is a brief list. Just remember to check the Monash app for serving sizes and consult with an experienced dietitian about balancing your diet and managing your symptoms.

  •          Milk alternatives: coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk and soy milk (made from protein)
  •          Soy products: Firm tofu, tempeh
  •          Grains: polenta, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, amaranth, bourghul, millet, rice and sorghum flour
  •          Nuts: brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamias, pecans, almonds (1/2 serve), walnuts
  •          Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, tahini paste (1/2 serve) and sesame seeds
  •          Fruit: bananas, strawberries, orange, kiwi, grapes, mandarins
  •          Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, capsicum, kale, potato, tomato and zucchini
  •          Pulses: canned lentils, butter beans (1/2 serve), canned chickpeas (1/2 serve), red/green lentils (1/2 serve)


  1. Hi what about seitan? I didn t risk it yet, but i am wondering cause if understand it good the typical glutenrich cerials are forebidden because of it s high level of fructans and not because of the gluten itself .... So would seitan be okay ?

    1. Hi neelpje, seitan is usually made from pure gluten, which is a protein and should not contain any FODMAPs, however we have not specifically tested this. To test your own tolerance to untested foods, please see this blog post for guidance: http://bit.ly/1Upsw8K Best wishes, The Monash FODMAP team.

  2. Also, as far as pulses go, Chana Dal is low fodmap :)

  3. I have been doing a vegan low fodmap diet for a couple of years, keeping away from processed 'meat' substitutes is really important as there are many hidden ingredients. Stick to whole food, lot's of veg and fruit, and lot's of ancient grains are high in protein, especially buckwheat.

  4. How much is 1/2 serving of butter beans, chickpeas and lentils in grams and household measures?

    1. Hi Jo, you can find all of this information under the specific food in our Monash University Low FODMAP diet app. Best wishes, The Monash FODMAP team

  5. All these berries could be really healthy and even if you don't like having them then you must. They are full of natural health components to support you in all your health needs. My favorite is Acai Berry Juice that is easy to consume and full of anti-oxidants and antibiotics.