Is Miso Fodmap Friendly?

When you struggle with issues like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, or even have been diagnosed with a digestive disorder such as IBS, one of the few things that can help relieve your symptoms consistently is to eat a low FODMAP diet. The term FODMAP refers to a type of carbohydrate that is difficult for your body to digest including fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. When you have a sensitive stomach, eating these short-chain carbs can really irritate your stomach. So when people with IBS avoid consuming FODMAPs, it can be a huge relief.

Of course, the main challenge of eating a low FODMAP diet is having to be incredibly mindful of the foods you eat, what ingredients they contain, and how high or low those ingredients are in FODMAPs. For example, you may find yourself at a sushi restaurant wanting to order miso soup before pausing and wondering, “Is miso soup FODMAP friendly?” Is it low FODMAP? To help you out, this article explores these questions.

What is FODMAP?
FODMAPs are basically all sorts of different types of sugars, including things like:

● Fermentable - The F in FODMAP refers to “fermentable” which is what happens to undigested carbohydrates in the intestines, producing uncomfortable gases. All FODMAP foods are fermentable
● Oligo- - The O in FODMAP refers to oligosaccharides, aka fructans & galactooligosaccharides (GOS). These are found in foods such as wheat, rye, onions, garlic, and legumes
● Di - The D in FODMAP refers to disaccharides, aka lactose. Lactose is found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
● Mono - The M in FODMAP refers to monosaccharides, aka fructose, which is found in honey, fruit, and high fructose corn syrup
● Polyols - The P in FODMAP refers to polyols, aka sorbitol and mannitol, which are found naturally in some fruit and vegetables and also used as artificial sweeteners.

What is Miso?
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning. It’s produced by the process of fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, which is a type of fungus. There are also other ingredients that can sometimes be found in miso, including rice, barley, and seaweed. The flavor of miso is salty, earthy, and savory and it’s quite healthy, containing a lot of protein and micronutrients like copper, manganese, vitamin K, protein, and zinc. It is also a probiotic, which is good for building up your healthy gut bacteria. Miso is commonly used in many Japanese foods like miso soup, other types of soup like ramen, sauces, dips, sweets, and pickles.

When you hear about the fermentation and probiotic qualities of miso, it may give you pause, making you wonder, “Is miso FODMAP friendly?” After all, miso is made with soybeans, which are high in the FODMAP galactooligosaccharides (GOS), making them a no-no in usual cases. However, the preparation of miso - the process of fermentation - actually reduces the GOS content of the soybeans, making them FODMAP friendly, as long as you stick to no more than 2 tablespoons of miso paste per serving, which is plenty.

That being said, miso soup isn’t necessarily FODMAP friendly as it might be made with ingredients like onion, garlic, and onion or garlic powder. To be safe, it’s a good idea to make your own miso soup at home using low FODMAP seasoning so that you can be one hundred percent confident that you won’t run into any issues after enjoying your delicious miso soup. And, of course, you can use miso in other dishes that aren’t soup such as dressings, sauces, glazes, and stir-fries.

Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD, founder Casa de Sante.

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