Eating Low FODMAP When You are a Vegan
Are you combining a low FODMAP and vegan dietary regime? Did you know it can be particularly difficult for some people to consume the variety of nutrients we require for optimal health and everyday activity on this type of diet? This could lead to nutrient deficiencies and possibly adverse health outcomes if maintained long term.
The key nutrients at risk of inadequacy when combining these dietary regimes include: protein, calcium, iron, B12, zinc and omega 3. This is where the support and guidance from a trained health practitioner is vital to ensure that you meet the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of all nutrients.
Although these are restrictive lifestyles you can learn to combine food groups and a variety of nutrients to ensure that you get the most out of your lifestyle wherever it is by choice or necessity.
We should know by now what a Low FODMAP Diet Involves but what does a Vegan Diet involve?
Vegans like vegetarians exclude all forms of animal meat, however in addition to this they also exclude other animal products and their by-products such as: honey, eggs and dairy products.
Tips to ensure you meet nutrient requirements
*Remember to consume these food in their FODMAP Friendly Serving Sizes (refer to the FODMAP Friendly App for more information)
Protein: Add a variety of protein rich sources to each meal including: tofu, tempeh, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds), nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans), buckwheat, quinoa and rice.
Calcium: Each day consume calcium rich plant based sources including: almonds, figs, calcium enriched almond or rice milk, bok choy, rhubarb, broccoli.
Iron: Plant based sources of Iron are referred to as non-haem. Non haem sources include leafy green vegetables such as silver beat, kale, spinach, rocket, bok choy – add 1 serving (1 cup) to at least 1 meal a day.
Zinc: Tofu, tempeh, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and fortified products (like breakfast cereal and bread products).
B12: Rich sources of B12 are mainly found in animal products and the quantity available in vegan sources such as fortified products, nutritional yeast and sodium reduced vegemite is negligible. It is recommended to consult your General Practitioner to obtain regular blood tests and ensure you maintain adequate levels of B12. B12 supplementation is usually required.
- Add foods rich in vitamin C such as lemon, lime, oranges, mandarin, kiwi fruit, red capsicum, and parsley to increase the absorption of plant based iron. For example make a dressing with lemon juice and olive oil to drizzle over salads.
- Iron and calcium rich food compete with each other for absorption so try to eat these nutrients at separate meals to ensure you have a greater chance of absorbing each nutrient.
- Rotate sources of Iron to ensure competing nutrient such as oxalates and phytates do not accumulate and reduce the absorption of non-haem iron. Sources include a variety of leafy green vegetables, small portions of canned legumes (chickpeas, lentils i.e. ¼ cup)
- Avoid eating any meals straight after consuming tea and coffee as these drinks can affect the absorption of nutrients, leave at least 30 minutes apart.
Example daily diet
Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with wilted spinach, half a tomato, parsley, with a lemon and olive oil dressing OR
Breakfast: Savoury scrambled Tofu
- 100g plain organic Tofu
- ½ cup of spinach
- ½ a Roma tomato
- ¼ cup of parsley
- 1 tbsp. Cobram olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon
Quinoa porridge with calcium enriched milk (either almond or rice milk), berries, ground flaxseed and cinnamon
Breakfast: Quinoa porridge
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa as directed
- 1 cup of plant based milk which can be added during the cooking process in replace of water
- 10 blue berries
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
- Pinch of cinnamon
Lunch: Leafy green salad with beetroot and orange slices on a bed of cooked buckwheat or quinoa
Lunch: Quinoa salad with orange
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup cooked buckwheat or amaranth
- ½ cup fresh spinach
- ½ cup of fresh rocket
- ¼ cup of beetroot roasted or canned
- ½ orange, peeled and sliced or squeezed
- 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Dinner: Stir fry with a variety of FODMAP friendly vegetables including broccoli, carrot, green beans, capsicum, almonds and fresh basil. Serve with a portion of brown rice and/or crispy tempeh
Dinner: Stir fry
- ¼ cup broccoli
- ¼ cup carrot
- ¼ cup of red capsicum
- 4 green beans
- 100g plain organic tempeh
- ½ cup of fresh basil
- ½ cup of brown rice
Snacks to be eaten if hungry: handful of mixed nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts & pumpkin seeds), two plain corn thins with a small portion of avocado or piece of fruit such as a kiwi fruit or a banana, vegan muffin, a slice of gluten free bread and peanut butter.
Getting the right combination of nutrients from a Low FODMAP and Vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard, it can be made easier with the right advice and support.
Check out the FODMAP Friendly Vegans downloadable Low FODMAP Vegan Shopping List to help you with your shopping.
If you are new to combining a Low FODMAP and a Vegan Diet it may be time to check in with a trained health professional who can advise you on your particular needs and nutrient requirements.
Till next time – Good Eating
Qualified Nutritionist (BHSc)
Edited By Atlanta Miall (APD)