Is tofu low FODMAP? No more guessing!
This article will clarify the confusion around tofu on the low FODMAP diet and provide you information about its health benefits.
If you are unfamiliar with tofu, read until the end, where we share 15 delicious low FODMAP recipes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
What is tofu?
Tofu is a popular food derived from soybeans.
It is a staple in many Asian cuisines and has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its versatility and nutritional benefits.
Soy milk is curdled so that its proteins become coagulated to form this block of tofu that we know today.
Tofu is also flexible and can be very tasty! Although it is pretty bland, it is porous, meaning it can go in many dishes as it absorbs flavor easily.
That is why tofu goes well in smoothies, puddings, curries, and stir-fries.
Is tofu low FODMAP?
It may surprise you to find that the FODMAP content of tofu varies depending on what type of tofu it is.
Firm tofu is low FODMAP at 170g, according to Monash, the authority on FODMAP testing (3).
Silken tofu, on the other hand, is low FODMAP at much smaller amounts – 39g (3).
The difference in FODMAP content between firm and silken tofu is food processing.
Typically, firmer varieties have had more water pressed out of them, while softer types are either unpressed or have had less water squeezed out.
Is fermented tofu low FODMAP?
Fermentation reduces the FODMAP content of certain foods, as the process reduces the carbohydrate level (4).
The bacteria used in fermentation feed off the carbohydrate to produce metabolites (4).
So, fermented tofu should be low FODMAP. However, testing is necessary to confirm this assumption.
Which tofu is good for IBS?
Any tofu in low FODMAP portion sizes is suitable for IBS.
However, silken tofu is low FODMAP in smaller quantities, so firm tofu might be easier to use in recipes.
You can also buy smoked and seasoned tofu in the grocery store.
During processing, smoked tofu develops a rich, deep flavor, achieved through the use of beech wood for the smoky undertones.
Seasoned tofu is pre-seasoned during processing, typically with a barbeque or teriyaki flavor.
The FODMAP content could be changed because of the added ingredients. Therefore, always check the label to detect high FODMAP ingredients.
Onion and garlic are the most common high FODMAP ingredients added to seasoned tofu.
Is tofu gut friendly?
A low FODMAP portion of tofu is gut friendly also for people with a sensible digestive system.
What are the health benefits of tofu?
Tofu is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to maintain good health.
A 100g block of tofu contains just 144 calories, 3g of carbohydrate, 9g of fat, 17g of protein, 683 mg of calcium and 3g of iron (1)
Moreover, a meta-analysis of almost 2000 studies showed that a daily intake of 27g of tofu reduces cardiovascular disease risk by 18% (11).
It is worth mentioning that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally (12).
Low FODMAP tofu recipes
Tofu is a versatile food that integrates into sweet and savory dishes, offering a variety of flavorful and digestive-friendly meal options throughout the day.
Here are some low FODMAP recipes for breakfast:
- Scrambled Tofu
- Vegan French Toast
- Breakfast tofu hash
- Strawberry banana smoothie with Tofu
- Low FODMAP Tofu Bánh Mì
Here are some low FODMAP recipes for lunch or dinner:
- Marinated Tofu with Asian Greens & Rice
- Miso & Chilli Tofu Skewers
- Thai Pra Ram Tofu
- Marinated Baked Tofu – 2 Ways!
- Tofu spring rolls
- Tofu & Kale Nourish Bowl
- Asian Zoodle Salad
- Lemon Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry
- Vegan Low FODMAP ‘Meatballs’
- Spicy Tofu Burritos
Adding tofu to your low FODMAP grocery list is worthwhile, as it can be easily incorporated into most dishes.
Is tofu the same as soy?
Tofu is a soy-derived soybean product, so it has similar properties. Tofu is known as a soy protein due to its high protein content, along with soya mince and soya beans (12).
Find out about soy and the low FODMAP diet here: Is soy low or high FODMAP?
On the low FODMAP diet, you can have certain portion sizes of tofu, but the type of tofu plays a significant role.
Firmer tofu contains fewer FODMAPs than softer versions like silken tofu.
Tofu is an excellent substitute for some legumes, which may not be recommended during the first phase of the low FODMAP diet.
This also provides a great opportunity to explore and get creative with your cooking, trying out new Asian cuisine.
Written by Barbara Lešnik, Student Dietitian, reviewed by Kirsten Jackson, Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Serena is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian. She graduated from Coventry University in 2021 with an upper second class in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
Serena has previously worked as an Acute Dietitian supporting inpatients with both oral nutrition support and enteral tube feeding. She is now currently working as a Specialist Weight Management Dietitian. Alongside this, Serena has worked for The Food Treatment Clinic since 2022 and has created our low FODMAP, histamine intolerance and SIBO ebooks.
Serena has a keen interest in IBS and gut health, most specifically the low FODMAP diet. She is dedicated to helping those with gut conditions to improve their overall quality of life.
Last updated on December 6th, 2023 at 04:16 pm