Protein is a building block of life and is important for any healthy lifestyle. Although the low FODMAP diet may restrict certain foods to reduce digestive symptoms, it does not lack in protein. No matter whether you are an omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, there is plenty of protein to enjoy on the low FODMAP diet.
If it is in its natural form, most animal-based proteins should be safe on the low FODMAP diet. From beef, chicken (meat and eggs), turkey, pork, and lamb to fish and seafood, these proteins are all low FODMAP in their natural form. Eggs provide about 7 grams of protein each, while the other animal proteins range from 6 to 8 grams of protein per ounce.
You will just have to be careful when purchasing pre-seasoned, marinated, or pre-cooked meats and seafood. This is because many seasonings and marinades used in processing or preparation in grocery stores or restaurants use garlic and/or onion in their natural or powdered form. These two flavorings are high in FODMAPs and can cause digestive distress in many individuals with digestive issues. Also, processed meats like sausage and deli meats may also contain such seasonings as well as stabilizers containing wheat. Therefore, stick to animal proteins in their natural form and season safely yourself with low FODMAP flavorings.
Nuts and seeds are great plant-based protein sources on the low FODMAP diet. The only nuts you should avoid are cashews and pistachios. According to Monash University, the low FODMAP serving sizes of nuts and seeds include:
- 18 pieces of mixed nuts
- 10 brazil nuts
- 1 handful of tiger nuts
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 20 boiled chestnuts or 10 roasted chestnuts
- 20 macadamia nuts
- 32 peanuts
- 10 pecan or walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons chia, hemp, pumpkin, or poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons hulled sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax or sesame seeds
Other plant-based proteins that are low FODMAP safe include legumes such as:
- ¼ boiled Chana dal
- ½ cup canned lentils or boiled Urid dal
- 2/3 cup sprouted Mung beans
Other legumes should be avoided as they are high in FODMAPs, even those soy milks that ae processed with whole soy beans (check the label to be sure). However, that does not mean soy-based proteins are out of the picture. Here are some protein-rich soy products that are low FODMAP safe.
- 5 ounces of plain tempeh
- 2/3 cup cubed firm tofu, drained or plain tofu
On average, nuts provide about 6 grams of protein per ounce, while seeds provide about 4 to 9 grams of protein per ounce. Meanwhile, legumes provide about 9 grams of protein per ½ cup cooked, while tofu provides about 10 grams of protein per ½ cup diced, and tempeh has about 5 grams of protein per ounce.
And let’s not forget to say cheese. Cheese and other low lactose dairy products are also low FODMAP safe. Here are the Monash-certified serving sizes for dairy products on the low FODMAP diet.
- 2 ounces cheeses like brie, camembert, cheddar, Colby jack style, Havarti, swiss, soy cheese
- 2 tablespoons creamed cottage cheese
- 3 tablespoons feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated pecorino style cheese
- 4 tablespoons quark cheese
- 1 cup lactose-free milk or soy milk made from soy protein (not made from whole soy beans)
- 1 tub (~6 ounces) goat’s milk or lactose-free yogurt
On average cheese is about 7 grams of protein per ounce. Meanwhile, lactose-free, soy, and goat’s milk and yogurt products average about 7 to 9 grams of protein per cup.
Take home message
You can find many protein-rich options on the low FODMAP diet. The key to maintaining your protein intake each day will be to consume one protein source at each meal and snack as well as to rotate proteins in your diet and flavor them up using low FODMAP recipes and seasoning mixes. Also, be sure to eat your protein in its most natural form to ensure no hidden ingredients added during processing contain FODMAPs. Finding Low FODMAP Foods doesn’t have to be tricky, just bring along Casa De Sante’s free Low FODMAP grocery list and you’re good to go.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.