Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive system disorder that causes abdominal pain and discomfort. An IBS attack usually happens after eating certain foods known as triggers. In addition, people with this chronic condition also experience bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. For those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, here are 8 IBS foods to avoid.
Top IBS Foods to Avoid
- All fried and fatty prepared foods
The fats in fried and other processed foods are known to be the cause of strong colon contractions, which results in stomach pain and diarrhea. Be aware of the number of fried foods consumed daily, including French fries, meats, eggs, and pastries. Also, it would be wise to avoid all fast foods, butter, margarine, and fatty sauces. Limiting or, better yet, eliminating fat can make a big difference when it comes to IBS flare-ups.
2. Spicy Foods
One of the most asked questions amongst IBS sufferers is (what is the best diet for irritable bowel syndrome?) My answer is always any diet that does not contain chili peppers. The capsaicin in chili peppers is problematic because it causes the large intestine to spasm, which results in diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate spicy foods from any irritable bowel syndrome diet plan. Although I recommend stopping all spicy foods, if you must have it, do so in moderation.
3. Alcohol and Caffeinated Beverages
Most people that suffer from IBS consume caffeinated beverages and alcohol daily. Therefore, if you are one of those people, stop, now! Alcohol and caffeine are considered IBS trigger foods. Some people find that adding plenty of water to coffee and teas helps lessen the effects of stimulant beverages on their IBS. Nevertheless, this is not the case for everyone.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Many of the artificial sweeteners consumed contain mannitol and sorbitol that possesses mild laxative properties. Too many foods and drinks containing these sweeteners can result in excess intestinal gas and some cases, diarrhea. Do your absolute best to avoid them as much as possible. If you chew gum excessively, reducing or eliminating it can help because gum and chicklets contain mostly artificial sweeteners. If you must chew, read the labels on the packages to assure that you are not purchasing items containing those problematic sweeteners.
5. Fermented Foods
It is no secret that fermented foods cause uncomfortable flatulence. Therefore, avoid eating sauerkraut, vinegar, tempeh, kimchi, cider, beer, wine, cultured milk, and yogurt. Also, avoid foods in the cabbage family such as turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Other IBS foods to avoid include legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans. Garlic and onions should also be limited.
6. Insoluble Fiber-Rich Foods
Insoluble fiber irritates the intestines and causes digestive issues. Therefore, eating certain cereals rich in this fiber can cause bloating, loose stools, diarrhea, and intestinal pain. Insoluble fiber-rich foods include whole corn, bulgur, whole-wheat pasta, wheat bran, whole wheat, multi-seed bread, flaxseed bread, and multi-seed cereals, to name a few.
7. Red Meat
The body tends to take a longer time digesting red meat, which causes it to stay in the stomach and intestines longer than usual. As a result, digestive issues can arise, such as intestinal pain. Therefore, people with irritable bowel syndrome should avoid eating red meat and adopt a plant-based diet. Create an IBS diet chart and leave the following foods off it. Foods like sausage, pork chops, minced meats, and ham should not be eaten by anyone suffering from IBS.
8. Dairy Products
Dairy products contain fat, lactose, seroproteins, and casein, which can irritate the stomach of some individuals causing constipation or diarrhea. Therefore, avoid or limit the use of anything dairy, including cheeses. Almond, soy, and untreated goat milk should be used instead.