Confused about soy and the low FODMAP diet? You’re not the only one! Soy products are a great source of plant-based protein and have numerous health benefits, so it’s important we clear this one up; is soy low FODMAP?
Although whole soybeans contain significant amounts of the FODMAP, Galacto Oligosaccaride (GOS), there are several products out there made from soybeans that are actually low in FODMAPs. The reason for this is the manufacturing process of many soy products naturally reduces their FODMAP content to a safe level.
Low FODMAP soy options
Soy milk made from soy protein is a good source of protein and a suitable low FODMAP alternative to cow’s milk. HOWEVER, be aware that soy milk made from whole soy beans is high FODMAP and should be avoided. Soy milk made from soy protein is readily available in Australia, just be sure to check the ingredients list before making your choice!
Tofu is a great meat alternative that is naturally low in FODMAPs. During the production of tofu, soy milk is coagulated, pressed into blocks and resulting liquid drained. Luckily, FODMAPs, including Galacto Oligosaccarides (GOS), are water-soluble so get separated and removed with this liquid. Remember to stick to firmer varieties of tofu. Silken tofu has less liquid pressed out of it during processing and so remains high FODMAP.
Tempeh is a made from cooked whole soybeans that have been fermented. In this case, it is the fermentation process of tempeh that reduces the FODMAP content to a safe level. Tempeh is high in protein and has a unique nutty, slightly tangy, flavour that works well in stirfries, soups and salads.
Miso paste is a Japanese flavoring staple made from fermented and ground soybeans that is low FODMAP. This versatile paste can be used in dressings, sauces, glazes, soups and stir-fries. Keep in mind, it is very high in salt, so keep your portions small!
Soy sauce is a widely used condiment in Asian cooking made from fermented soybeans. Again, it is likely that the fermentation process reduces the Galacto Oligosaccarides (GOS) content in the soybeans to a safe level. But what about the wheat in soy sauce? Most varieties of soy sauce do also contain wheat. However, the level in the finished product has been found to be minimal, and is tolerated on a low FODMAP diet. Gluten-free soy sauce or tamari MUST be chosen if you have coeliac disease.
Like most oils, soybean oil is low FODMAP. However, although soybean oil can be considered a healthy oil, (provided it has not been hydrogenated), in my book Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is still a much superior choice.
I hope this sheds some light on soy, and it’s role in the low FODMAP diet!
By Fiona Kupresanin
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