FODMAP Diet: Why Is Tofu Allowed But Soybeans Aren't?

Some of the recommendations for the FODMAP diet seem contradictory. Nutrition Diva explains.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

"Thank you for your episode on the FODMAP diet. I suffer from frequent bloating and am going to give it a try.  On the list of foods to choose/avoid, it says you can have tofu but not soybeans. Can you explain why this is?"

Seeing as tofu is made from soybeans, I can understand your confusion, but there is a simple explanation. On the low-FODMAPs diet, you avoid foods containing hard-to-digest fibers, including soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and other legumes.  But when you make tofu from soybeans, most of the fiber is separated out. Tofu is high in soy protein but low in fiber and that's why it fits into a low-FODMAP diet.  The same is true of soymilk. 

If you have an allergy to soy, on the other hand, you're reacting to the proteins in soy, and not the fiber. In that case, even soymilk and tofu would be off the menu.

See also

What Is the FODMAP Diet?

Soy Pros and Cons

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.