Food is one of the main factors that could trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or help manage it. At the same time, there is no single diet plan that will aid in the management of symptoms. Instead of making drastic food choices, it is essential to follow a proper and regular diet after consulting a doctor.
Some of the important dietary do’s and don’ts for people with irritable bowel syndrome are:
Set up a food diary: Most people take a lot of time to understand which foods act as triggers and aggravate the symptoms of this condition. Having a food diary will ensure that one can identify these trigger foods and consciously take steps to avoid or supplement them in the diet. Some of the well-known triggers are milk, alcohol, high-fat foods, beans, cabbage, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.
Avoid eating big meals: One of the simple rules for people with irritable bowel syndrome is that they must ensure that they do not eat too much in one meal. It is better to have three big meals a day with 5-6 smaller meals in between. One must also make sure that they drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Avoid both high fat and high carb foods: High-fat foods act as triggers for a lot of people with irritable bowel syndrome. It is important to add natural carbs and fibers in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to effectively manage constipation or cramps. Getting the aid of a dietician or nutritionist will help individuals analyze the best foods for their diet and ensure that they are making the right dietary choices.
Avoid rapid addition of fiber: Most high fiber foods, including whole grains, beans, vegetables, and cereals, aid with easing constipation. But too much of it is not good either because sudden addition of high fiber foods into the diet can end up causing bloating and gas. The idea amount per day is only about 20-35 grams, and if one has never had high fiber foods in the past, then it is vital to slowly ease into this routine.
Avoid gas-producing foods: Some foods can end up producing gas in the stomach and lead to a lot of discomfort. This is true for vegetables like beans, onions, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, legumes, and lentils.
Get a doctor’s take on FODMAP: FODMAP, or Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols, is a diet designed to help people with irritable bowel syndrome. This diet helps people manage their food intake better. This particular diet does not include hard-to-digest carbs and is usually limited to specific fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. Any form of sweeteners like candy and honey are avoided. While this may seem like a complicated diet to look at, it has proven to be of great help to people who have irregular eating habits.