As mentioned in my FODMAP chili sin carne recipe, beans and legumes are super healthy, but quite difficult to eat on the FODMAP diet. Many people don’t know that small to medium portions of beans (like chickpeas, edamame, and lentils) are allowed during the FODMAP diet. So read on for your best information on FODMAP and Beans!
Health Benefits of Beans
If you don’t follow the FODMAP diet, it does not really matter what beans you decide to eat. All of them are healthy! Whether you eat lentils, mung beans, white or brown beans all are great for your health and gut health.
Beans are high in protein, which renders them a great vegetarian protein source instead of meat. Having no meat for a day is great for the environment and for your health (read more about that in my article about meat). A vegetarian food pattern helps lower the chances of heart disease. And beans, in general, have properties to reduce your LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Apart from that, they are packed with fiber, B-vitamins, iron, and calcium. That’s a healthy deal!
FODMAP and Beans
Not all FODMAPs are present in beans. The main FODMAP content in beans is the oligosaccharides, and more precisely GOS. The oligosaccharide group is split up into fructans and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and those 2 can certainly have a different outcome on your gut issues.
It can actually be, that you react to GOS and not to fructans. And the other way around. So always test your FODMAP tolerance to make sure you’re not leaving out products you can actually eat. And do make sure you eat beans if you know you’re intolerant to either fructose, polyols, or lactose and not the oligosaccharides. Because beans won’t hurt you then.
I could go into a very in-depth explanation of the difference between GOS and fructans. But since that has a lot to do with chemistry, I’ll leave the specifics out. In short, it has to do with the way the body digests certain molecules. You need different enzymes and bacteria to break down GOS than you need with fructans.
The good thing about FODMAPs is that they are water-soluble. This means that FODMAPs leech out into the water, and you can actually use this to your advantage! Make sure to properly drain your beans and rinse them after draining. This way you will wash away most of the FODMAPs that have leached into the water, and this helps keep your belly calm.
Are you following the low FODMAP diet, and is it more complicated than you thought? Schedule a free IBS symptom evaluation and we’ll discuss how I can help.
Portion Sizes of FODMAP Beans
As mentioned, canned and drained beans have a lower FODMAP content than boiled ones. Most beans that I have listed are the boiled and drained variety, in some cases, you can use the home-boiled beans.
With the amounts listed below, be aware of FODMAP stacking. FODMAP stacking can happen if you use multiple types of beans in one meal and they all contain GOS. This way you can actually reach your tolerance limit by ingesting too much of the FODMAP. This rule also applies to all the other FODMAPs, so be aware of the stacking.
|Beans (use canned, then drain and rinse!)||Low FODMAP portion size|
|Adzuki Beans||38 grams|
|Black Beans||40 grams|
|Butter Beans||35 grams|
|Chana dal, soaked and boiled||46 grams|
|Douchi, fermented black beans||15 grams|
|Garbanzo Beans||42 grams|
|Lentils, Green||23 grams|
|Lentils, Red||23 grams|
|Lima Beans||39 grams|
|Mungbeans, sprouted||95 grams|
|Pinto beans, refried||45 grams|
|Refried beans||34 grams|
|Toor dal, soaked and boiled||35 grams|
So as you can see, most beans are suitable for the FODMAP diet at around 40 grams. And some even higher around 95 grams! Try to add a variety of beans to your diet to not miss out on their health benefits!
Have you been eating beans on the FODMAP diet? What is your experience with it? Let me know in a comment below!