Although vegan product options are rapidly expanding in the marketplace worldwide, manufactured food products that are safe for vegans with IBS still remain quite limited.
The FODMAP Friendly Program, based in Australia, is currently the only organization certifying low-FODMAP products through approved, independent testing laboratories. Each product from a manufacturer must meet strict standards prior to obtaining licensing approval to use the trademarked FODMAP Friendly logo on that product's label. Individual products are analyzed, and those that fail to meet the testing criteria will not be eligible to receive the FODMAP Friendly logo.
You can feel confident about products that have the FODMAP Friendly logo. Not only is each product tested initially to determine whether it qualifies, every product that has earned the FODMAP Friendly logo may be randomly audited again at any time. These audits are necessary to ensure that previously approved products continue to meet the required standards to retain the logo and certification.
The advantage of the FODMAP Friendly logo is that it's clear and easily recognizable. It indicates that a product has been tested to have appropriately low levels of all the various types of FODMAPs, making it much more convenient than having to read ingredient lists on packaging. It also doesn't requiring an in-depth understanding of the interactions between different ingredients to determine the overall FODMAP levels in a product.
The downside is that food manufacturers must pay an annual licence fee for ongoing use of the FODMAP Friendly logo, which limits the number of manufacturers who might be eligible for it. Many manufacturers of low-FODMAP products are small companies or start-ups that can't afford this type of certification. In addition, products that may be certified low-FODMAP may not necessarily be vegan.
To help you work through the maze of products to find those that are suitable for vegans with IBS, I created the Low-FODMAP Vegan Products List. Although most of the products listed have not been certified low-FODMAP, they should be FODMAP-safe based on the ingredients currently listed on the product packaging or on the manufacturer's website. Please note that formulations and flavors frequently change, so be sure to check the product label before purchasing. And, as always, proceed with caution, as each person's triggers are unique. Therefore, you will need to assess your own tolerance to a product.
This list is a work in progress, and it will take a village of low-FODMAP vegans to make it as complete as possible. If you know of products that should be added to the list (or removed from it), please contact me or post your suggestions in the comment section below! Together, we can make shopping and eating a whole lot easier for vegans with IBS.
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