Now, I know what you might think, “Pea protein? Sounds like it would irritate my gut”.
But you might be surprised to learn that’s not actually the case.
In fact, many people find pea protein doesn’t irritate their gut at all. No pain. No bloating. No gas. Just a healthy gut.
So, wait. Could it be? Is pea protein low FODMAP?
Quick Answer: Is Pea Protein Low FODMAP?
Here’s the good news: pea protein is a low FODMAP option that’s becoming increasingly popular among health enthusiasts and athletes alike.
In fact, pea protein is excellent for your gut, unlike many other plant-based protein sources (soy, for example).
So, if you’re someone who experiences digestive issues, like bloating, gas, or stomach pain, a low FODMAP diet is your go-to.
This eating plan helps people with digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and autoimmune conditions, by limiting their intake of certain carbohydrates that can cause discomfort.
So, if you’re looking for a new way to fuel your body without upsetting your stomach, pea protein might just be the way to go.
What are the Benefits of Using Pea Protein Powder on a FODMAP Diet?
Pea protein is made from dried yellow peas or sometimes split green peas. It is a high-quality, complete source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids your body needs to function adequately.
So, it’s pretty beneficial on its own.
That said, one of the main benefits of pea protein powder on a low FODMAP diet is that it can help you meet your daily protein needs without triggering digestive symptoms.
For example, adding a scoop of it to your morning smoothie can increase its protein content and keep you feeling full throughout the morning.
Since it is low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP), consuming this powder will keep bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain under control.
Another benefit is versatility.
You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and even dishes like soups and stews. This makes it easy to incorporate into your diet and increase your protein intake.
You won’t mind the taste – trust us.
Finally, pea protein powder is an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans who may struggle to get enough protein from their diet.
Plant-based protein sources are very limited on a low FODMAP diet, which is why we need a substitute like this one. (1)
Why Pea Protein Powder is Easily Digestible?
If you’re wondering how on earth is pea protein on the list of suitable foods when legumes and pulses have high FODMAP content – you’re not the only one!
Peas, beans, and other similar plants indeed cause excess gas and bloating, even in people who do not have sensitive stomachs so… Where’s the catch?
Pea protein becomes easy to digest after the protein isolation process.
It becomes free of starch or lectins. It also does not contain lactose, gluten, and GOS anymore, which otherwise trigger problems. (2)
Does Pea Protein Have Any Side Effects Related to Gut Health or Digestibility?
Pea protein has no side effects related to gut health or digestibility.
Of course, each person is unique.
Although it is highly unlikely, if you experience any gastrointestinal problems after consuming pea protein powder – stop using it!
Carbohydrates in the powder are the culprit. The amount is negligible for most, but overly-sensitive folks might have issues digesting even a minor quantity.
People who are allergic to peas must also be careful. Proteins usually cause allergic reactions, and this is a concentrated protein source.
Are There Alternatives to Pea Protein That Can be Used on the FODMAP Diet?
Yes, there are alternatives to pea protein that can be used on the FODMAP diet – both vegan-friendly and those of animal origin.
- Egg protein powder because it is a complete protein source with no carbohydrates.
- Brown rice protein is a good option for those who want a plant-based powder, but keep in mind this is not a complete protein.
- Hemp protein powder most likely fits into the FODMAP diet, but further testing is needed.
Whey protein, the most popular protein type, is not suitable for a low FODMAP diet because of lactose.
Nevertheless, certain “lactose-free” whey proteins are lower in FODMAPs.
Of course, we’re talking about whey protein isolate, a high-quality type of whey that you can use, although for some people, even isolate will cause bloating.
You’ll have to try and see for yourself.
High Protein Foods That Can be Eaten on the FODMAP Diet?
With some planning, getting all the protein you need while avoiding high-FODMAP foods is possible. In fact, there are plenty of high-protein foods you can eat.
Here are some of them:
- Chicken: Chicken is a fantastic source of protein. Grilled chicken breast is easy to prepare and can be paired with low-FODMAP veggies like zucchini or carrots.
- Eggs: Eggs are a versatile protein source that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Boiled eggs make a great snack, while scrambled eggs with spinach and tomato can be a delicious low-FODMAP breakfast.
- Tofu: Tofu is a high-protein option that can be used in vegan dishes.
- Quinoa: Quinoa is a plant-based protein source. It is a good substitute for rice.
- Salmon: Salmon provides you not only with proteins but also healthy fats.
- Peanut butter: Peanut butter can be used as a spread or added to smoothies for an extra protein boost. Just be sure to choose natural peanut butter without added sugars.
- Cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese is a low FODMAP cheese that’s high in protein.
Remember, it’s essential to pay attention to portion sizes.
While these foods are all low in FODMAPs, overeating can cause digestive discomfort nonetheless.
Is the FODMAP Diet Actually Good for You?
A balanced diet is key to health. That’s why the FODMAP diet carries risks like all restrictive diets. (3)
When you do not consume many different foods and the diet is not tailored precisely to your needs, there is a real possibility of having vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Gut microbiota is compromised as well.
Strictly sticking to one type of diet can also lead to eating disorders.
Most of these potential risks relate to the long-term following of this diet, so instead of taking this to heart, consult a doctor and nutritionist before following it for months or years.
Millions of people around the world suffer from digestive issues that can seriously affect their quality of life and have turned to a low FODMAP diet.
And like every other restrictive diet – this one also has its drawbacks.
Thankfully, you can mitigate some of those by adding pea protein to your daily regime as it is fully low FODMAP certified.