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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Guide
|What Type Of Diet Is Recommended?
Although everyone needs to eat a balanced diet for good health, it is particularly important for those with chronic digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The most recommended type of diet for IBS patients is one that is high in complex carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables and whole grains), low in fat (especially saturated fat) and with moderate amounts of protein. Fiber is a particularly important factor – but any diet which is high in complex carbs will naturally also be high in fiber. Although there has been some discussion to the benefits of a high fiber diet, it is still traditionally recommended for the prevention and treatment of a range of diseases including chronic constipation, high cholesterol, diverticulitis and colon cancer. These are all diseases which have been on the rise over the past few decades, at the same time as we are all eating more refined processed foods.
IBS Diet Plan
This plan is designed to regain balance in the digestive tract, to identify your personal trigger foods and develop a long-term eating plan that will reduce IBS symptoms.
Include High Protein/Complex Carb Foods
The plan will help your body achieve the right pH balance which will benefit your digestive system and blood. Most foods are categorized as either alkaline or acid. People with IBS need to eat alkaline foods. That means eating moderate amounts of protein and lots of complex carbs which are low in sugar. This is in fact a healthy style of eating for anyone, so it is a plan that the whole family can enjoy.
To heal the intestines and gut, it is important to follow Candida diet guidelines and eliminate sugar and yeast from the diet. That means banishing dairy and bread.
We have prepared some recipes for you: IBS Recipes
PHASE 1: Duration of 2 Weeks
To heal and stabilize the digestive tract by eating alkaline foods.
1. Grains are eliminated from phase 1.
2. Eat 3 meals a day. If you need to snack choose nuts, seeds or raw vegetables.
3. Avoid adding salt to food, or if you need it, choose sea salt instead.
4. Eat organic foods where possible.
5. Avoid any food with additives, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
6. Keep an IBS food diary and note what foods you eat, and any reactions. This will help identify your personal triggers. Also use the diary to note how you are feeling and if there are other stresses in your life which could have caused the reaction (see Stress and IBS).
Results To Expect
Many people experience an improvement in IBS symptoms within a few days of starting this plan. You may experience 'withdrawal' symptoms, particularly if you are used to a diet high in fat or sugar, that may make you feel tired, short tempered and anxious. This is the body's response, the so-called 'Candida die-off reaction'. Although it may not feel like it, this is a good thing. Your body is healing.
The Diet Plan
1 portion (6-8 oz) a day of any of the below.
|Nuts & Seeds
1 serving a day: 2 tablespoons.
If a vegetable is not mentioned, then it is restricted.
Fresh fish ideally, if not available choose canned salmon, tuna or sardines. Choose canned fish in water, not oil. You can also choose shellfish.
Chicken, turkey, goose, duck or pheasant. Remove the skin before serving.
Any red meat such as steak. Cut off all fat before eating. Do not eat more than 3 times a week and not more than 4 oz a serving.
Good source of complete protein, you can eat up to 3 a week.
Canned meat, sausages, pork, hot dogs and cold cuts.
Avoid all sources of cow milk. Goat’s milk, rice or almond milk are allowed alternatives. Some may have a reaction to soy products.
Limit these to half a cup a day.
You may choose the following fruit, but are restricted to 1 portion a day:
Half cup of blackberries
Half cup of cherries.
Half cup of grapefruit.
2 slices of pineapple.
Half cup of raspberries.
|Water - drink 6 to 8 glasses a day.
Not Allowed: Coffee
PHASE 2: Duration from Week 3 to 3 Months
To reintroduce foods one at a time.
1. Reintroduce any foods you wish one at a time. After adding a food, wait 2 or 3 days to see if it triggers an attack.
2. If you experience a reaction to a food, eliminate it from your diet permanently. Allow your body to heal a few days before adding another food.
3. Begin adding grains to your diet. These include: rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, flaxseed, rice, rye, quinoa and amaranth.
4. Never return to eating: white bread, macaroni, spaghetti, pancakes, waffles, or crackers - all items made with refined white flour.
PHASE 3: Long-Term Maintenance
When your body is more balanced it will be possible for you to tolerate a slightly less alkaline diet. Although you should still stick the basis plan you will be able to tolerate the odd indulgence - be that a slice of chocolate cake or muffin. In order to avoid returning to bad habits, it is a good idea to limit 'treats’ to twice a month.
See also: IBS Natural Treatment
What If I Have Excess Gas?
Gas is a common gastrointestinal complaint caused by several factors, one of which is food. While someone with IBS does not produce more gas than others, they may be more sensitive to it. Complex carbs such as fruit and vegetables produce the most gas, and protein and fat the least. This is why a high fiber diet sometimes has the unwanted side effect of causing more gas. One way around this is to use BEANO, an enzyme supplement which taken orally can help break down the pectin in complex carbs more efficiently. Another alternative is to limit the amount of cruciferous vegetables (the worst culprits) on your eating plan These include cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and beans. Some people also find cucumber troublesome.
• Chew your food slowly and eat in a relaxed environment.
• Avoid fizzy drinks.
• Avoid drinking too much liquid with your food.
• Wear loose clothing.
• Avoid chewing gum or mints. This increases the amount of air you swallow.
See also: IBS Causes