Soy and the Low FODMAP Diet + Fresh Tofu Spring Roll Recipe

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Hi! This is Rita Shushy Setrakian, Kate Scarlata’s intern for the next few weeks. I am a dietetic intern at Teachers College, Columbia University, where I also earned my Master’s of Science in nutrition education. I’m here to share a low FODMAP recipe with you using firm tofu!

But before we get to cooking, let’s discuss – what’s the real deal about soy and a low FODMAP diet? 

There’s a misconception that all soy foods should be avoided when on the low FODMAP diet, but this isn’t the case! There are many soy-based foods that are considered low FODMAP during the elimination phase, including:  firm tofu, tempeh, soy cheese, soy sauce, edamame and miso, to name a few. For more on soy and the low FODMAP diet, click on this Soy Connection article by Kate Scarlata, MPH, RDN here. 

So why are some soy foods lower in FODMAP than others? 

Food processing, fermentation, and the maturity of the plant can impact the FODMAP content of soy foods. The FODMAPs in whole mature soybeans include oligosaccharides, both galacto-oligosaccharide and fructans.  Oligosaccharides are water-soluble, as such they can leach into water utilized in food preparation methods such as the process of cooking and canning a soy product as well as in making firm tofu. For example, since more water is drained off of firm tofu when it is made compared to silken tofu, the firm tofu is lower in FODMAPs. 

Soy foods that are made with the whole mature soybeans are higher in FODMAPs. When looking for soy milk, choose a variety that is made with soy protein only compared to one made with the whole soybean. Fermentation is another way to reduce the FODMAPs content of soy foods. When microbes are present in a food they can consume some of the oligosaccharides, reducing the amount in the final product. This is why tempeh, a fermented soy food is a lower FODMAP option. If you haven’t tried tempeh, it is easy to enjoy marinated, then baked for sandwiches, over salad greens or in a stir fry.

Tempeh is shown in the picture below on the far right. 

If soy foods are still triggering IBS symptoms, consuming an alpha galactosidase digestive enzyme supplement can be beneficial. Alpha Galactosidase helps break down oligosaccharides into simple sugars for easier digestion. Prior to adding any supplements to your daily regimen, always discuss whether it is appropriate for you with your health care provider first. 

If following a low FODMAP diet, select an alpha galactosidase enzyme brand that does not contain other FODMAPs. Bean Assist is one option, while some Bean-O products contain mannitol, a sugar-alcohol, that is not suitable for someone following the low FODMAP diet.

Now for the fun stuff! Look at these colorful ingredients!

Check out this low FODMAP recipe, fresh and delicious spring rolls, using a popular soy food – firm tofu! Recipe is below! The dipping sauce is made with FODY foods low FODMAP Korean BBQ sauce.  Note: Kate is FODY’s advisor but this is not a paid sponsored post



One reply on “Soy and the Low FODMAP Diet + Fresh Tofu Spring Roll Recipe

  • Terri Sidell

    Hi, Thanks for sharing the Bean Assist info. What other digestive enzymes are there other than Lactaid for FODMAPS now??

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