How to Follow a Low FODMAP and Vegan Diet at the Same Time
3) Choose your vegetables
Many vegetables are high in FODMAPs when they are consumed in large amounts. This is why it is essential to measure portions. However, some vegetables can be consumed as desired, according to tolerance, since no FODMAPs have been detected in them. Here is the list:
- Tomato (excludes cherry and Roma tomatoes)
- Red bell pepper
- Potato (white)
- Bean sprouts
4) Limit the elimination phase to the minimum time necessary
In general, it is recommended to follow a low FODMAP diet for two to six weeks before starting reintroduction trials. Many people notice a decrease in their symptoms fairly quickly. Since a low FODMAP vegan diet can be very restrictive, it is recommended to limit the elimination phase to two or three weeks, or to the minimum amount of time needed in order to see a significant improvement in your symptoms. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the foods that are allowed and those to avoid before starting the diet in order to avoid eating high FODMAP foods by mistake, which would cause symptoms and thus lengthen the elimination period.
5) Pay attention to hidden FODMAPs
Many vegan processed foods such as coconut milk, some vegan ice creams, and several gluten-free products (crackers, cereals, breads, etc.) may contain inulin or chicory root that are high in FODMAPs. These ingredients are also found in many supplements including in some probiotics. Make sure you read the ingredient lists carefully to detect hidden FODMAPs and avoid consuming them.
In conclusion, it is possible to follow a low FODMAP and vegan diet at the same time, but it is a challenge! You should expect to have less variety in your daily menus. Fortunately, this should be for a temporary duration only, since the ultimate goal is to reintroduce FODMAPs and regain a less restrictive diet in the long term. Being accompanied by a Registered Dietitian who is familiar with the low FODMAP approach when starting this diet is an asset, especially while following a vegan diet that has additional dietary restrictions. In addition to guiding you in your approach and giving you tips and ideas to make the implementation of the low FODMAP diet easier and tailored to your needs, a Registered Dietitian can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies, notably in B12, iron, calcium, zinc, omega-3 and protein.
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