Low FODMAP Vegetarian and Vegan Protein
Following a vegetarian diet myself, I can understand how limited protein options can be, especially when you combine a vegetarian or vegan diet with eating low FODMAP. Yes, it is possible to create balanced plant-based meals on the low FODMAP diet however, you do have to work a little harder to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients your body needs.
Protein in particular, can be really tricky to navigate as a vegetarian or vegan following the low FODMAP diet. Whilst many plant-based protein sources like legumes, falafel and soft tofu are high fodmap, there are still many options that remain low FODMAP. The most important thing to remember here is that it’s the serving size that matters. For example, while ½ cup of chickpeas is high FODMAP, simply halving the serve to ¼ cup means it is low FODMAP. The beauty of this is that you can still enjoy a variety of these plant-based proteins if you keep to these smaller serves!
So how much protein do we need?
Including a source of protein at every meal will ensure you’re not only meeting your daily protein requirements, but will also help you to feel more satisfied. Plant-based proteins are referred to as ‘incomplete’ proteins, which means they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids (1). In this way, it is important to include a variety of plant-proteins to ensure your diet is complete (1). Those following a vegetarian or vegan diet should include approximately 10% more protein throughout the day compared to meat-eaters, as plant-based protein sources tend to be lower in protein and harder to digest compared to meat (2). As a guide, aim to fill ¼ of your plate with protein at all meal times (3).
Low FODMAP plant-based proteins to opt for:
(Information sourced from: Monash Low FODMAP App)
Working with a dietitian becomes especially important when you combine two restrictive diets. We recommend using the information in this blog post as a guide only and seeking individual dietitian support to assist you with ensuring your diet is adequate.
Published: 21st June 2022
Author: Bianca Berton-Scarlet, Monash FODMAP accredited Dietitian