Understanding foods’ FODMAP* content isn’t always obvious. One of the foods that many people are confused about is soy. This confusion is partly due to the fact many different products are derived from it (tofu in all its forms, milk, tempeh, edamame, etc.). Indeed, some of them are high in FODMAPS, while others are low in FODMAPs! How can you tell the difference? Keep reading.
Soy and its derived products can contain either fructans, or galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), or both. Depending on the type of processing the soybean goes through, these FODMAPs are destroyed, or not. What you should remember is that it isn’t necessary to remove all soy products from your diet, even during the FODMAP elimination phase. While soybeans are rich in FODMAPs, most soy products contain only small to moderate amounts of FODMAPs.
You might think that edamame and soybeans are the same thing. Technically, you’re absolutely right. The difference between edamame and soybeans is the bean’s level of maturity. Edamame are soybeans that have not yet reached maturity.
That’s why a small quantity of edamame is considered low in FODMAPs (up to 1 cup (100g) in the pod, or around ½ cup (50g) without the pod). Soybeans however are rich in FODMAPs, whatever the amount.
Fermenting soy helps to diminish its FODMAP content. The most common foods made from fermented soybeans are tempeh, miso paste and soy sauce. All three are low in FODMAPs, as long as they’re not seasoned with high-FODMAP ingredients, like garlic or onions.
Tempeh is an excellent meat alternative. It cooks like tofu, but is tastier. You can find it in the frozen section in most health food shops and some grocery stores. Why not try our sautéed tempeh with mixed greens recipe for your next meatless Monday?
Miso and soy sauce can help to enhance the flavor of many Asian-inspired dishes. Here are a few examples:
Depending how it is processed, soy milk can have a high or low FODMAP content… just to add to the confusion! In fact, it’s quite simple. There are two types of soy milk, some made from whole soybeans (high FODMAP content), and others made from soy proteins only (low FODMAP content).
It’s practically impossible to find soy milk made only from soy protein in Quebec and France. However, it is available in the rest of Canada, the USA, some European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
You won’t find soy milk in SOSCuisine’s low FODMAP meal plans, to avoid confusion and because low FODMAP soy milk isn’t available everywhere.
A little note about soy yogurt; It seems that most soy yogurts are produced from soy milk made from whole soybeans. You should therefore avoid them during the FODMAP elimination phase. Lactose-free yogurts (which can be made at home with low FODMAP milks) are better choices during this period.
*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.