Hemp Protein Powder: A Low FODMAP Powerhouse
You may be wondering, “Is hemp protein powder a good low FODMAP protein powder solution?”.
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Hemp protein powder would make a great addition if you’re following a low FODMAP diet.
In an effort to lead a healthier life, many people with digestive issues turn to a low FODMAP diet. FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are found in many foods that can cause digestive issues. These digestive issues (like bloating and constipation) can cause a lower quality of life.
Hemp protein powder, with its many benefits, would be a nutritious and delicious snack if you’re eating low FODMAP. You can also add it to almost any recipe.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about why you should be adding this delicious protein powder to your diet.
What is FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols” and they are short-chain carbohydrates. These short-chain carbs are not easily digestible by the body.
FODMAPs can often cause digestive issues such as gas, constipation, bloating, and stomach pain. They cause issues because they are not absorbed into the bloodstream, but instead into the large intestine (or your colon).
When they are absorbed into the large intestine, they ferment and produce hydrogen. The excess of hydrogen is what causes the above symptoms.
This is different from what is typically produced by friendly gut bacteria. Friendly gut bacteria usually produces methane, which does not cause those unwanted symptoms.
What carbohydrates are FODMAPs?
There are many carbohydrates that are considered FODMAPs. The most common FODMAP carbs are:
- Fructose - a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, table sugar, and most added sugars
- Lactose - found in dairy products
- Fructans - usually found in grains like wheat
- Galactans - found in legumes
- Polyols - sugar alcohols found in some fruits, vegetables, and sweeteners
Some foods contain only one of these carbs but other foods can contain multiple.
What is the low FODMAP diet?
The low FODMAP diet is a diet that is recommended for people who are experiencing digestive issues. This can include people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis).
When eating a low FODMAP diet, you restrict the number and type of high FODMAP foods that you eat. Keep reading for a list of foods to avoid and foods you can eat on a low FODMAP diet.
The purpose of the low FODMAP diet is to understand what foods affect your digestive symptoms and what ways.
What foods should you avoid on a low FODMAP diet?
Here is a shortlist of the foods and ingredients that you should avoid or restrict:
- Fruits: apples, blackberries, boysenberries, pears, watermelon, etc
- Sweeteners: fructose, high fructose corn syrup, etc
- Dairy products: cheese, milk, ice cream, sour cream, etc
- Wheat and other grains: bread, pasta, pancakes, rye, barley, etc
- Vegetables: broccoli, beetroot, onions, peas, garlic, etc
- Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, etc
- Beverages: beer, soft drinks, milk, fruit juices, etc
What foods CAN you eat on a low FODMAP diet?
That list above may seem really daunting but there are many foods that you can still eat while on a low FODMAP diet. Here are just a few:
- Meat, fish, and eggs
- All fats and oils
- Herbs and spices (except onion and garlic)
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, etc
- Fruits: bananas, melons (other than watermelon), oranges, blueberries, etc
- Lactose-free dairy products and some hard and soft cheeses
- Sweeteners: maple syrup, molasses, stevia, etc
- Vegetables: bell peppers, lettuce, green onions, turnips, etc
- Grains: corn, oats, rice, sorghum, etc
- Beverages: water, coffee, tea, etc
This is only a small list and you should see what foods work best for you and your body.
Why can eating low FODMAP be important?
Eating foods with low FODMAPs can be important for many people, especially if they have digestive issues. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause digestive issues due to producing hydrogen during a fermentation process that happens in your colon.
Introducing hydrogen to your gut can lead to gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pain, and constipation. You may recognize these symptoms if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, or ulcerative colitis.
If you eat a low FODMAP diet, you can gain the following benefits:
- Decrease in gas
- Decrease in bloating
- Decrease in diarrhea
- Decrease in abdominal pain
- Decrease in constipation
- Decrease in stress and anxiety
- Higher quality of life
- Increase in energy levels
Who wouldn’t want those benefits? Researchers have found that 75% of people with IBS could benefit from following a low FODMAP diet. It has also been found that this diet can also be beneficial for individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases.
Most people do not have a problem with digesting FODMAPs. It is important to note that the low FODMAP diet should only be followed if you have one of the above issues. Following a low FODMAP diet without having these issues can cause harm to your gut bacteria.
Before starting this diet, you should speak with your doctor or a registered dietician. They will help you make sure that you get all of the nutrients that you need.
How long should you stay on a low FODMAP diet?
Following a low FODMAP diet happens in stages. There are three stages of the FODMAP diet. The first stage can last between 2 weeks and 8 weeks. The second stage lasts from 8 to 12 weeks. The last stage is long-term and can last the rest of your life.
Let’s get into the stages of the low FODMAP diet in more detail.
What are the stages of the FODMAP diet?
It is recommended to eliminate all high FODMAP foods for at least 2 to 8 weeks to see how your body responds. This is the first stage of the low FODMAP diet. If your symptoms improve, you can go to the second stage of the diet.
The second stage of this diet is to reintroduce high FODMAP foods into your diet. However, you want to introduce them slowly. This will help you to understand how each food affects your body.
You should be aware of the types of high FODMAP foods you’re eating as well as the amount that you’re eating. For example, you may be able to tolerate milk in small quantities.
When you’re in the second stage of this diet, it is best to be working with your doctor or a dietician. They will be able to support you with the reintroduction of food.
The last stage of the low FODMAP diet is to personalize it to your life. Throughout the diet, you’ve learned what FODMAPs affect you the most.
Continue to restrict the FODMAPs that affect you negatively and eat the ones that have little effect on your digestive system.
How do you get enough fiber on a low FODMAP diet?
Adding low FODMAP foods that are high in fiber is essential to making sure you get enough fiber in your diet. There are many foods that are high in fiber, but low FODMAP. Here are a few tips for getting enough fiber on a low FODMAP diet:
- Eat low FODMAP, high fiber fruits and vegetables: strawberries, potatoes (with the skin), kiwi, passionfruit, eggplant (with the skin), etc
- Add hemp protein (in the form of hemp hearts or powder) to your favorite recipes
- Check food labels for ingredients and fiber content.
- Consider taking a fiber supplement after speaking to your doctor.
What protein powders are low FODMAP?
You have a lot of protein powders to choose from, but which are actually low FODMAP? Here protein powders and if they are low FODMAP.
- Whey Protein - it depends! Most whey protein powder is NOT low FODMAP because they often contain lactose. To get a whey protein that is low FODMAP, you will need to get whey protein isolate.
- Rice protein - rice protein is low FODMAP as long as it is taken in a serving size of 2 tablespoons
- Pea protein - it depends! Pea protein has varied levels of FODMAPs. If you are going to take pea protein, you should see how it affects you. It is recommended not to take more than 20 grams of pea protein
- Soy protein - soy protein is generally considered low FODMAP. However, to truly make sure that your soy protein is low FODMAP, you should get soy protein isolate. Soy protein isolate contains lower amounts of FODMAP carbs.
- Sacha Inchi protein - this protein powder is made from a Peruvian plant is considered low FODMAP.
- Egg protein - egg protein contains no carbs so they contain no FODMAPS.
- Hemp protein - hemp protein is considered to be low FODMAP. It has been found that both hemp milk and hemp seeds (which hemp powder is made from) are low FODMAP.
What is hemp protein?
Hemp protein (and specifically hemp protein powder) comes from the ground-up seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp seeds are small, round, and have a chewy center (often called the hemp heart). They are full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.
Hemp protein has a light nutty, buttery flavor and would compliment any number of recipes or dishes. You can eat hemp seeds right out of the package or include them in soups, salads, desserts, or anything else. If you need an idea for how to add these to your diet, check out this hemp heart energy ball recipe. Make it low FODMAP by replacing the honey with maple syrup!
What makes hemp a low FODMAP food?
Hemp is a low FODMAP food because it contains very little carbohydrates. Along with it being low FODMAP, hemp is a superfood with many benefits! Hemp is great for your heart, brain, immune system, skin, and hair.
Hemp and all the delicious foods that come from it (seeds, hearts, powders) contain vital nutrients that are important for the human body to function. Let’s go over some of these nutrients!
Hemp protein powder contains a ton of (you guessed it!) protein. Hemp protein actually has more protein per ounce than chicken with 14 grams per serving. It also contains the 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce itself, making it a complete protein. Inflammation can cause a lot of damage to your digestive system. Protein aids in repairing those damaged tissues in your gut.
Hemp protein can help you get the fiber that you need on a low FODMAP diet. Fiber helps to aid in digestion and bulks up your stool. This means that it helps with one of the hallmark symptoms of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease: diarrhea. One serving of hemp protein contains 5 grams of fiber.
Hemp is also a good source of healthy fats such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids are in the exact ratio (1:3) needed to be absorbed best by the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and give you energy and reduce inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids also help provide you with energy and help to reduce pain.
Other than the above, hemp protein powder also contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Thiamin - 350%
- Niacin - 25%
- Calcium - 4%
- Iron - 45%
- Potassium - 8%
- Phosphorus - 40%
- Zinc - 50%
- Magnesium - 80%
- Copper - 70%
- Manganese - 180%
Just one serving size (2 scoops of powder) of this superfood gives you all of these benefits!
So should you eat hemp protein on a low FODMAP diet?
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You’ve now got all the information that you need to start adding hemp protein powder to your diet.
Hemp protein powder is a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet if you are trying low FODMAP. Hemp protein powder is easily digestible by the body, provides tons of protein, fiber, and other vital nutrients. It has everything that you need to start living a healthier life and having a healthier gut.
After reading all of that are you ready to start adding hemp protein powder to your low FODMAP diet?