16 April 2018

New research: Fermentable short chain carbohydrate (FODMAP) content of common plant-based foods and processed foods suitable for vegetarian- and vegan-based eating patterns (PART 2)

fermentable fibres

By Dr. CK Yao - Research Dietitian

You may have read last week’s blog post featuring findings from some recent research from our team. This research looked at the FODMAP ratings of a wide range of plant foods and how common food processing methods can be used to modify their FODMAP ratings. This research is particularly relevant to people following both a low FODMAP and a vegetarian / vegan diet as the additional dietary restrictions can make it difficult to achieve nutritional adequacy.

The 2nd part of this study demonstrated that processing high FODMAP plant foods via prolonged cooking, sprouting, pickling, fermenting, canning and activation (e.g. activated nuts) can lower FODMAP content. The outcomes of these experiments are shown in Figure 1.



Figure 1.

Summary:

  • All types of activated and canned foods had lower FODMAP content than their unprocessed food.

  • Prolonged cooking times may be more effective in legumes that are larger in size (e.g. red kidney bean vs lentils) – 32% reduction with > 30 mins cooking red kidney beans vs 13% for lentils.

  • Pickling appears to be the most effective approach with FODMAP content being lowered by 89-97% in onion, beetroot and garlic.

  • Not all foods undergoing processing however, changed from a high to a low FODMAP rating.

This highly interesting research will provide very handy strategies to help improve people’s tolerance towards highly nutritious, high fibre, but high FODMAP foods. A low FODMAP diet may reduce fibre intake, so strategies to reduce the FODMAP load of high fibre foods are welcome. This work is also of great value in expanding our knowledge of low FODMAP, plant-based protein alternatives that are high in calcium and iron, and that are suitable on a vegan/vegetarian diet. 
References:
  1. Leitzmann C (2014) Vegetarian nutrition: past, present, future. Am J Clin Nutr 100, 496S–502S.

  2. Staudacher H, Ross F, Briscoe Z et al. (2015) PTU-183 Advice from a dietitian regarding the low fodmap diet broadly maintains nutrient intake and does not alter fibre intake. Gut 64, A143–A144.

  3. Tuck C, Ly E, Bogatyrev A et al. (2018) Fermentable short chain carbohydrate (FODMAP) content of common plant-based foods and processed foods suitable for vegetarian- and vegan-based eating patterns. J Hum Nutr Diet, available from: Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/jhn.12546







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