Diet Changes to Help IBS
In addition to modifying and managing fiber intake in your daily diet, there are several other dietary changes that may reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Not all these dietary suggestions will necessarily help your personal IBS condition as food tolerances vary between individuals, but some will.
Sulfurous Vegetables Can Cause Problems For IBS
Sulfur-containing vegetables such as onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage, can produce additional gas in the digestive tract which can trigger IBS attacks. As with insoluble fiber, these vegetables are very beneficial for health and should be included in your diet if tolerable.
Lower Fat Eating is Best For IBS
A high-fat diet is not beneficial for irritable bowel. This is because fats can cause spasms in the colon, (not unlike insoluble fiber) and are less easy to digest than (say) most carbs. The main culprits are foods like fried food, red meats, dairy and egg yolks. Following a lower fat eating plan, without fried food and eating turkey, chicken and fish instead of red meat, and egg-whites only, should benefit IBS symptoms like diarrhea and constipation. If in doubt
about including meat in your diet, be guided by your tolerance or consult your dietitian.
Reduce Dairy Foods If They Aggravate IBS
Dairy foods can be a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome, even if you’re not lactose intolerant or lactase deficient. Some IBS sufferers even have trouble with skimmed and lactose-free dairy products. Also, dairy foods may contain whey and casein, which can cause severe digestive problems. Instead of dairy foods, switch to soy or rice milk and soy yogurt. Just remember to get your calcium from other food sources, like calcium-fortified foods, sardines and salmon. If in doubt about including dairy products in your diet, be guided by your tolerance or consult your dietitian.
IBS and Sugar
Most irritable bowel sufferers do not experience problems with plain refined sugars (like white or brown baking sugar). So choose any sugary foods in moderation that are low fat and dairy-free.
IBS and Alcohol
Alcohol can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and trigger IBS attacks, especially if other negative factors are present, such as dairy ingredients (creme liqueurs, cocktails) carbonation (beer, cider, champagne). If in doubt about including alcohol in your diet, be guided by your tolerance or consult your dietitian.