Thursday, 29 October 2015

Milk alternatives on a low FODMAP diet

By CK Yao (Accredited Practising Dietitian, PhD candidate)

The food industry has responded to consumer demand and now produces a large range of milks from plant sources, coconut, and almond.

In our latest Monash University Low FODMAP app update, we included plant-based milks that were tested in collaboration with the dietitians at King's College, London, UK.

Our tests revealed that the majority of European soy milk products were made from soy beans, whereas Australian soy milks were made either from soy beans or soy protein extract. Soy milk made from soy beans tends to be high in the FODMAP, galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS). By contrast, soy milk made from soy protein extract tends to be low in FODMAPs as the carbohydrate component (GOS) is removed in processing.

If you can't find soy milk products made from soy protein extract, low FODMAP milk alternatives include:
·         Almond milk
·         Coconut UHT milk
·         Soy milk made from ‘hulled’ soy beans
·         Hemp Milk  (not available in Australia or NZ, but widely available in Europe and USA)
·         Coconut UHT milk  (small serves)
·         Soy milk made from hulled soy beans (small serves)
      See the Monash App for serving sizes.

Nutrition tip: Whilst plant-based milks are good low FODMAP alternatives, they do not contain the natural benefits of lactose-free dairy products, including calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for cognitive function and building strong, healthy bones and teeth.

If you have a dietary requirement for plant-based milks, ensure that the product you choose is calcium fortified (≥120mg/100ml). This will ensure that 1 x 250 ml glass of plant-based milk provides one serve of calcium (based on the Australian Healthy Eating guidelines).
Remember, a low FODMAP diet does not need to be a dairy free diet.


  1. Lactose free milk, cheese, cream cheese are widely available in UK....they are very good. A real bonus for anyone on a low FODMAP diet.

  2. What is Coconut UHT Milk? What does the UHT stand for? Is this type of milk different than Coconut Milk available in the USA?

    Is Oat Milk acceptable?

    By the way, in the USA, many plant-based milks contain a variety of gums and carageenan. So, those on the FODMAP Diet will still need to carefully read labels.

    1. Hi,

      UHT refers to long life shelf milks. THe UHT means Ultra high temperature processed milks. This process is what makes these carton milks safe to be stored for the extended period. We unfortunately haven't yet tested milks from the US. We have released some more data on plant milks on our app if you're interested. Oat milk is high FODMAP.

      Thank you, Shirley

  3. Have you tested the FODMAP rating of UHT Cashew Milk (not the fresh or homemade type)? I purchase shelf-stable cashew milk here in the USA, and am curious whether the cashew content renders it low or high FODMAP--I've seen conflicting data on cashews.

  4. HI,
    Are the fresh "NUTTY BRUCE" coconut or almond milks low fodmap?
    I thought 125 mls or more UHT coconut milk is high fodmap (so no good for my cereals..)?
    Are homemade almond milks also ok?
    What Australian soy milks are ok - VITASOY is made from WHOLE soybeans so are high fodmap (even though they are in sue shepherds book).
    They sell hemp milk in health food shops in Sydney - never tried it.
    Thanks in advance!

  5. How do we know which soy milks use hulled soy beans? I like Bonsoy but am not sure if this is low FODMAP.

  6. is cashew milk low in FODMAP? I make it myself with 4 cups of water to one cup of cashews in a blender with maple syrup and vanilla.

    1. Hi Alice,

      Unfortunately we haven't yet tested cashew milk therefore cannot comment on it's FODMAP content. If you would like to test your own tolerance, please see this blog post:

      All the best,
      Monash FODMAP.

  7. Hello. Thanks for this very helpful post. Is this research still current about milk from hulled soy beans being low fodmap? Just wondering, as it doesn't show in the app.

  8. I'm also after an answer to this question. Confused about claims (?) made by Sue Shepherd on Vitasoy website.

  9. I'm also after an answer to this question. Confused about claims (?) made by Sue Shepherd on Vitasoy website.