Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet and IBS Foods to Avoid
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a medical condition in which your bowel movements are dramatically changing. Generally, a healthy and effective Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet includes consuming a wide array of foods known for its benefits to those with IBS in moderation. Specifically, IBS diet includes eating more soluble fiber than insoluble, taking a low FODMAP diet, and avoiding gluten if possible. IBS can be easily triggered with certain foods so it’s essential for you to identify them and take steps in advance. Listed here are the stated three main IBS diet and after that are 10 IBS foods to avoid. Of course, the starting and finishing advice you will receive from this article is to consult your physician or dietician for a better understanding of your condition.
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Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet
Eat More Soluble Fiber
For those with constipation in IBS, soluble fiber can help since it softens the stool and makes it easier to pass through your system; though too much of it can cause bloating and gas. Oat products, beans, and fruits contain soluble fiber. It’s suggested to focus on this type to help alleviate IBS symptoms than the other one—insoluble fiber—that is found in vegetables and whole-grain products. They add bulk to the stool and can lead to or worsen diarrhea. You can also ingest anti-diarrheal medicines half an hour before consuming fiber, especially when eating outside. This is to lessen its effect. High Fiber Diet Plan & High Fiber Foods List
Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAPs, a special kind of Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet which stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols”, are types of carbohydrates that cannot be easily digested. By drawing more water into the bowel, FODMAP foods can trigger bloating, gas, and diarrhea to those with IBS. Examples range from fruits like apples, apricots, and berries to vegetables, dairy, wheat and rye products, and sweet alcohols. The key here is moderation, since basically most of the foods you’re consuming are FODMAPs, though not all carbohydrates are considered as one. Your dietician may advise you to limit your intake of high FODMAP foods, only temporarily for not more than 8 weeks to reduce the symptoms. You can still eat them in balance afterward.
The last Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet you could incorporate into your daily lifestyle is avoiding too much, if not all, gluten. This is a type of protein contained in wheat, rye, and barley which can harm the digestive tract especially to those with gluten-intolerance. Gluten-rich foods may include grains, bread, cereals, and pasta, along with other processed foods. There are gluten-free versions of these food products though, so you can still enjoy them without causing too much burden to yourself.
IBS Foods to Avoid
To start with, among the most famous IBS foods to avoid are dairy products, mainly because they are high in fat content which can upsurge diarrhea. This is especially true for those who also have lactose intolerance since they cannot fully digest the sugar lactose contained in milk. Cheese, for instance, particularly cream cheese and mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese, should instead be replaced with low FODMAP cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, and blue cheese. Ice cream can trigger IBS symptoms too. You might want to try fruit salad or light pudding as an alternative. Milk and cream in your coffee and butter in cooking should also be avoided especially if you’re suffering from lactose intolerance. Try eliminating butter from your cooking regimen. All in all, since our food life seems incomplete without dairy products, try switching to low-fat or non-fat dairy like soy cheese and rice milk for your IBS diet.
Caffeinated Drinks like Coffee
For most of us, coffee is a necessity to start the day. Not for those carrying out an IBS diet though. Caffeine, you see, the main component in mostly all coffee variants intensifies the production of stomach acid that in turn causes indigestion and pain and triggers activity level in the intestine which leads to diarrhea. In fact, this can affect those with diarrhea-predominant IBS than those suffering from constipation-predominant one since caffeine improves bowel movement. Since we’re talking about caffeine here, it obviously includes not just coffee but also soda and energy drinks. It’s helpful to opt for a hot lemon or small snack instead.
Having blackouts when consuming alcohol is one thing. Triggering your IBS is a completely different story. A study done in 2013 revealed that those with IBS who take more than 4 alcoholic drinks in 24 hours are more likely to experience gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, and stomach pain. Wines and various mixed drinks, in addition, typically have sugar while beer contains gluten, all of which can precipitate IBS symptoms; aside from affecting your liver and digestion overall. For your IBS diet, better opt for gluten-free beer, cocktails made with juice or tonic water, or any mixed drinks without added sweeteners but with plain seltzer. Alcohol beverages are common IBS foods to avoid so complete abstinence is still the best option.
Dark chocolates, in particular, are beneficial due to its high antioxidants content that has been proven to help reduce the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and even diabetes. With its concentration of caffeine and sugar comes the problem for those working on an IBS diet. The high-fat content is also an irritant. Good thing though, some recommendations are given that allows the consumption of chocolates, only if it’s in small quantities. Small as in 30 grams or 5 squares of a dark chocolate bar and half that amount for milk and white chocolates; all this to stay low in your FODMAP intake, as overconsumption can have an impact on gut motility. There are also vegan options that are more tolerable.
Processed foods have been so deeply ingrained in today’s way of living that we almost always forget to remember its harmful effects. All the more to those with IBS. Almost every item listed here are all processed foods. From cakes, biscuits and savory snacks such as sausage rolls and crisps to the so-called convenience foods that we greatly depend on like ready-to-eat meals, canned foods, frozen meats, and microwave meals. They are all teeming with sugar, additives, preservatives, bad fats, and often genetically modified components that can enrich bad bacteria and yeast in your gut microflora, causing serious health issues, IBS included, and an imbalance to your health in general. But since you really can’t totally avoid them in making your IBS diet, just make your meals out of fresh and organic foods if possible.
Speaking of high-fat content, fatty foods have also been a modern staple, all of which can be hard to digest especially to those with IBS since frying can alter the chemical structure of the food. French fries, for instance, are too fatty so baking cut potatoes dashed with some olive oil can be a great alternative. Similarly, check the labels of your food options and choose those with low-fat content whenever possible in virtually all types of foods. You might also want to consider grilling certain foodstuff. To sum it up, since this type of food is always ever-present, moderation is vital.
Pizza is everyone’s favorite. But it’s also among the top IBS foods to avoid. From the dough used that is made from the bothersome wheat flour which causes flare-ups for those afflicted with IBS; to the pizza sauces that can aggravate the walls of your digestive tract with its sugar content; then of course, we have the various cheeses with its effects already discussed above; and don’t forget the meat—pepperoni, bacon, you name it—cured and brimming with high-fat enough to cause you serious gut distress; with vegetables dripping in oil as the toppings; everything in pizza speaks it all. For a healthier option in your IBS diet, try some chicken, tomatoes, olives, the classic tomato sauces, and gluten-free dough.
Legumes or Beans
In treating constipation, beans can help, sure; with protein, fiber, antioxidants and all that that can add volume to the stools and keep things moving smoothly. However, this food group—comprised of lentils, soybeans, kidney beans, baked beans, etc.—is a rich source of indigestible saccharides or carbohydrates that are just grueling for those with digestive problems; bloating, gas, and cramps including. Surely those benefits appeared nothing with its latent damages. For your Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet, you can still eat beans, albeit in a very small amount. High protein quinoa, buckwheat groats, and millet are all healthy substitutes in your IBS diet as well.
Cruciferous and Other Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, despite its seemingly endless benefits, still are among the IBS foods to avoid. Broccoli is a potent source of fiber that can lead to gas. Cabbage can likewise cause digestive symptoms, as with lettuce and cauliflower, since digesting them would possibly lead to constipation. Grating, steaming, or cooking them instead of consuming raw may be an option, though it still won’t completely eliminate the symptoms. Outside the cruciferous family, we have green peppers that are also difficult to digest. Try the ripened red ones. There are also garlic and onions, which when eaten raw, can result in painful cramps and bloating. Again, just consume them in moderation for your Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet.
“Sugar-free”, “natural artificial”, “sugar substitutes”, you can call it what you want. Artificial sweeteners are among the IBS foods to avoid in your IBS diet. The most widely consumed products include sugar alcohols or polyols like erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, saccharin, sucralose, and others that are low-calorie replacers for sugar but can cause bloating and gas, and diarrhea all the same. They are infused in almost everything we eat, from simple candies and gums to fizzy beverages that guarantee zero calories, and even to mouthwash or mouth spray. The ingredients found in these products are hard to digest for the body with 10 to 50 grams of consumption already enough to upset your gut.
Initiating and maintaining an Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be downright challenging. Just follow this advice about IBS foods to avoid, take everything in moderation, and always consult your physician on a regular basis.