Seitan is one of the most popular meat substitutes for vegans. Though made from wheat, it’s totally different from flour and bread. Other names for seitan include wheat protein and vital wheat gluten. Vegans who require a low FODMAP diet, often ask this question: is seitan low FODMAP?
A low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) vegan diet helps people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The low FODMAP diet limits foods that may exacerbate the symptoms of IBS such as pain, gas and bloating, during the elimination phase. The problem for vegans, however, is that the limited foods they can eat have now become even more restricted. So vegans search for possible protein rich foods to include in the low FODMAP diet, including seitan or vital wheat gluten.
Is Seitan Low FODMAP?
Technically, seitan is not a carbohydrate, so it does not belong to the FODMAP group. FODMAPs are carbohydrates, while seitan is a protein. Despite being derived from wheat (which you have to avoid on a low FODMAP diet), the process of making seitan results in the removal of all starch granules.
Therefore, you can safely include seitan in your low FODMAP diet. Vegan meats from gluten are considered to be low FODMAP. However, vegan meats made from soy have high FODMAP rating.
However, make sure that you read the label first before purchasing seitan in supermarkets. Though seitan can be part of a low FODMAP vegan diet, some manufacturers include garlic in making seitan. Garlic is high FODMAP and can trigger IBS symptoms. That is why you need to check the labels first, and make sure that what you get is seitan low FODMAP.
Does Seitan Taste Good?
The best way comparision to the taste of seitan is bland chicken. The mild flavor that seitan has makes it a great meat substitute on other dishes. It can become spicy or sweet depending on how you cook it on your recipe.
How to Prepare Roasted Seitan?
One of the easiest ways to include seitan on your diet is to roast it. Once you have a low FODMAP seitan that does not contain any garlic and other IBS-aggravating ingredients, you can follow these simple steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Shape seitan into small balls or logs, whichever you prefer. Wrap in aluminum foil.
3. Place inside the oven and bake for an hour and 15 minutes. Check the internal temperature of seitan and you can take it out from the oven when it hits 160°.
4. You may or may not season the roasted seitan. But if you want to, you can apply your low FODMAP seasoning of choice and simply add another 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
You can eat seitan with low FODMAP vegan salsa or sauce.
Does Seitan Last Long?
Seitan may last for months when frozen. But if you only keep homemade seitan inside a refrigerator, the storage life of seitan only lasts for a few days. Store-bought seitan may last longer due to the preservatives used. Check for the expiration date to know the best before date of seitan products from supermarkets.
When vegans experience IBS symptoms, they may need to go on the low FODMAP diet. This can be a difficult task due to the limited low FODMAP vegan choices available. But you can add seitan to your low FODMAP vegan diet as long as you make sure that it does not contain any high FODMAP ingredients such as garlic that may cause IBS symptoms to flare up.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD