If you’re vegan or vegetarian then you’ll have heard of tofu. It’s a high protein food made from soy bean curd. Soy beans themselves are high FODMAP, but many of the food products made from them are low FODMAP, so why is tofu low FODMAP?
What Exactly Is Tofu?
Soy beans have a mild, buttery taste, and are used to make many different products. Soy milk is made from soy beans. Tofu is made from the soy milk. The beans are cleaned, soaked, and then ground while in water. This is then filtered, boiled, coagulated and pressed. There are two types of coagulant used in commercial tofu production - salts, and acids. Some tofu manufacturers use salts such as calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, or magnesium chloride. Others use acids such as lemon juice, vinegar, or glucono delta-lactone(GDL).
Tofu has a high iron content. It’s reasonably high in protein, and it’s low in calories. It may be high in calcium or magnesium, but this depends on the manufacturing process, and which coagulant was used. It’s exceptionally versatile, and can be used in both savoury, or sweet dishes.
So Why Is Tofu Low FODMAP?
Tofu has caused some controversy, discussion, and confusion when it tested as low FODMAP. There are several different types of tofu, and each of them has tested differently. So far, only the Monash University has tested tofu. FODMAP Friendly has not yet released any results on their testings.
Silken tofu is high FODMAP in a full serve of 2/3 cup of cubed tofu or 150 grams, and in a half served of 1/3 cup of cubed tofu, or 75 grams.
Plain tofu is low FODMAP in a single serve of 2/3 cup of cubed tofu, or 170 grams.
Firm tofu is low FODMAP in a single serve of 2/3 cup of cubed tofu, or 160 grams.
Why Do The Tofu Varieties Have Different FODMAP Results?
The thinking behind why different varieties of tofu have different FODMAP content is because of how they’re made. They all start the same way but the end of the process is different. Firm tofu is pressed more, plain tofu is pressed a bit, but silken tofu is hardly pressed at all. This means that all three varieties of tofu have different levels of water content. FODMAPs are soluble in water, so tofu that has been drained and pressed firmly have much of the water, and therefore the FODMAPs removed.
What To Do With Tofu?
Tofu is amazingly versatile, and can be used in a great many ways. It can be used in baking, smoothies, and desserts. It can also be roasted, scrambled, fried, stir-fried and baked as part of a main meal. As well as being a great vegetarian and vegan alternative, tofu has other health benefits. It can lower cholesterol, maintains cardiovascular health, and can help with weight loss.