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Are Butter Beans Low FODMAP?

The fact that what we eat can have a major effect on our body highlights the importance of FODMAPs. They are essentially the types of carbohydrates found in certain foods, including wheat and beans.

Several studies show strong links between FODMAPs and various digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, and stomach pain.

Low-FODMAP diets can offer great benefits for many people with common digestive disorders.

 

With Many Benefits, Are Butter Beans Low FODMAP or Not?

Like most legume family members, butter beans or lima beans offer a range of nutritional qualities. One of the unique features of butter beans is their size, as they are huge. Because of this, they make a great substitute for people looking to eat less meat.

As per the Monash FODMAP app, while canned butter beans can be a healthy vegetarian protein source on a low FODMAP diet, it is important to limit the portion size. Most beans are high FODMAP but boiling, or canning can reduce their FODMAP content.

Also, canned or boiled beans should be rinsed before eating, and the canning or cooking water needs to be discarded.

So Why Should We Eat Butter Beans?

On a low FODMAP diet, fiber intake can decrease considerably. Butter beans are a part of the legume family, which is a rich source of prebiotic fiber. This is the fiber that offer fuel for the healthy bacteria in our gut. 

A lack of these fiber may result in a change in your gut bacteria and impact your gut health negatively. You can get more fiber in the low FODMAP diet through food such as butter beans or through supplements such as Casa de Sante low FODMAP certified probiotic and prebiotic combo for IBS and SIBO.

How Can You Include this Low FODMAP Food in Your Diet?

Below are some tips on including butter beans while following a low FODMAP diet-

  • Check on how they’ve been prepared. As mentioned earlier, canned butterbeans are better tolerated than dried legumes because of having a lower FODMAP content. Keep in mind that if you choose dried butterbeans over canned, it is likely that the same portion won’t be tolerated easily if you are sensitive to GOS.
  • Always remember that portions add up. While it is fine to have ¼ part of canned butterbeans, if other GOS rich foods are added in, you are more likely to experience symptoms. Therefore, it is best to bulk out your meal with whole grains low in FODMAPs, such as quinoa, millet, or brown rice.
  • If you are aware that you don’t tolerate legumes well, start small and infrequently and gradually build up over time.

Here are some of the food preparation ideas that you can try-

  • In a soup

While you can always make a bean-soup type of soup, you can also use them in place of chicken for a no-chicken noodle soup. 

  • Stuffed in tacos

Unlike the small loose beans that often spill out of tacos, these are big enough and always stay in place.

  • For protein in sandwiches

Butter beans are the perfect stand-in for cheese and meat in a plant-based sandwich.

  • Tossed in salad

They are a great alternative for instant texture and protein.

  • Crushed for dipping

You can use butter beans in the crushed form in hummus.

Final Thoughts

Several researchers at Monash University, where the FODMAP diet was first developed, also confirmed that canned butter beans are lower in FODMAPs than the beans cooked from scratch.

Further, cooking beans followed by straining them/ discarding the liquid or sprouting them also helps to reduce FODMAP content. Using the food preparation techniques shared above, anyone with IBS or digestive troubles can include butter beans in their diet.

Medically reviewed by Onyx Adegbola MD PhD. 


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