Foods to Eat and Limit for IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is more common than you think – it affects one in five Australians and one in seven people worldwide – but that doesn’t make it less embarrassing or annoying. The pain, diarrhea and constipation that occur from IBS can be exacerbated with unsuitable diets. If you’re having IBS, some foods may be triggering your symptoms while others could alleviate them. Here are some foods you may need to watch out for, or consume more.

Limit:

Food with high FODMAP content. FODMAP, or fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols are short-chain carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed properly in the guts, causing excess gas and triggering IBS symptoms. These include:

  • Lactose: Dairy products, including milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, kale, coleslaw, sauerkraut and more.
  • Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Any sugar substitute, including xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol.
  • High-Fructose Foods: Including honey, simple syrup and high-fructose fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, mangoes and more.
  • Gluten: Whole grains, wheat, rye.

Eat:

Foods with high soluble fibre and/or low FODMAP content. These foods can remove excess fluid, help your digestion process and reduce the risk of constipation, diarrhea and bloating.

Here’s a helpful list by Monash University: