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Low FODMAP Protein Powders

Feature, Gut Health & IBS | June 10, 2019

A young girl feeding her father a nutritious homemade sandwich.
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When you start the low FODMAP diet, reading the ingredient lists of protein powders can feel tedious. Today, we tell you how you can pick a low FODMAP protein powder with ease plus share a few of our favourites.


Whey Protein Powder

When patients think about the low FODMAP diet they often think of it as a ‘no milk’ diet. Luckily, I’m here to tell you – it’s not a ‘no milk’ diet, it’s a LOW LACTOSE diet. Meaning, you can have foods made from dairy, we just need to choose low lactose ones.Whey protein isolate, the most common whey protein powder on the market is low lactose. However, if you choose a whey protein concentrate, it may be high FODMAP. Therefore, if choosing a whey protein, you’ll want to look for the word ‘isolate’.

One of our favourites is Kaizen whey protein isolate – it’s NSF certified meaning it only contains what it’s supposed to contain, and it’s easy to find at most grocery stores.

Brown Rice Protein

Brown rice protein has been tested as low FODMAP at 2 Tbsp or 40 grams. This confuses even me because most suggested serving sizes of brown rice proteins are 4 Tbsp which is often equal to 40 grams, or less.

At Ignite, we’re ALL about making the low FODMAP diet practical. If brown rice protein is your protein of choice, we suggest you to continue with your typical serving while implementing the low FODMAP diet. Should you continue to have symptoms, we would revisit it at that point.

While brown rice protein hasn’t been tested, there are no detectable FODMAP’s in rice. With brown rice protein, not all products are made equal! Try to find one that has around 20 grams of protein per serving. We like SunWarrior Classic protein.

Pea Protein

Most vegan or vegetarian proteins are made from pea protein. 1 sachet (a serving) or 2 Tbsp (40 grams) of pea protein is low FODMAP. Again – the measures don’t entirely make sense so go with the same recommendations I made for rice protein – include your regular serving, and re-evaluate with your dietitian if you still have symptoms after 2-4 weeks of the elimination phase.

With most vegan proteins, additional things are added, including pea starch (not tested yet for FODMAP’s), soy protein (also not tested yet). Starches are LIKELY low FODMAP, as is soy protein – however during the elimination phase I do encourage patients to choose a different vegetarian protein, like rice protein.

I cannot find a pea protein only powder that does not have ‘avoid’ ingredients in it at my local Canadian grocery store. If you find one – let Ignite know and we will add it to our list! Virtually all we have found (Vega, Kaizen, Garden of Life) had added inulin and vegetable powders.

However, the Bio steel plant-based protein is a blend of pea, rice and hemp, with no high FODMAP ingredients added.

Other Protein Powders

You can literally find a protein powder made of anything on the market nowadays. Pumpkin and beef to name a few! Check with your dietitian as to whether your favorite protein powder may be low FODMAP. They may make an educated guess based on what we know about FODMAP’s in food – because most protein powders have not been tested.

Hemp Seeds

While this isn’t a ‘powder’ – hemp seeds are one of our favorite protein boosters. At 3 Tbsp, they pack 10 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of anti-inflammatory, good for your microbiome omega-3’s, and are a source of antioxidants. They make a great boost to smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.

What about other ingredients in protein powders? Are they low FODMAP?

Ingredients Notes Verdict
Stevia Stevia is commonly used to sweeten protein powders and is low FODMAP Allow
Vegetable powders Have not been tested and could very likely contain a high amount of FODMAP’s. Avoid
FOS (fructo oligosaccharides), GOS (galacto-oligosaccarides) Is a fermentable carbohydrate Avoid
Inulin or Chicory Is a fermentable carbohydrate Avoid

Bottom line:

Most protein powders haven’t been tested. We recommend choosing a low FODMAP protein powder during the elimination phase.

After the elimination phase, you can play around with potentially higher FODMAP protein powders if you have one you prefer.  Your dietitian can help guide you on this.

Need help choosing the right protein powder while on the Low FODMAP Diet? Work with one of our Registered Dietitians at Ignite Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta to guide you.


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