No-one ever said it would be easy but you CAN deal with IBS, if you do it right and make the correct nutritional decisions. IBS trigger foods differ from person to person – it’s a common fact. Whilst some sufferers can manage just fine with a piece of Cheddar & others bloat up to the size of a balloon, nothing is definitively set in stone.
The best thing you can do though is listen to advice and make your moves tentatively based on this advice. And that’s where I come in. I’m very much a firm believer that you don’t have to live off gravy granules and tomato soup in order to get through that awkward digestive period. Normal foods are there to be eaten – and some are much more prone to being a ‘trigger food’ than others. You’ve just got to know the basics.
On my plight, I’m going to look at what foods we can consider when going about a regular eating lifestyle. Under the microscope today is….
GRAZE SNACK BOXES
Munificent in their convenience, idealised by many as a great healthy option, Graze boxes are not to be sniffed at. They’re great for the busy worker, the tied-down mother, and they’re even okay for the regular IBS sufferer. Well, some of them more than other…
This week I’m analysing the best and most trying category there is, the magnificent maleficent, Little Puds.
These are great for people watching their calories (the Little Puds are all under 150 calories) but are they good for IBS?
- Raspberry BakewellFor all of you who love a good old cherry bakewell, or something a little more tart, this must seem like a dream. But in these, as you’d expect, is a grand scale of wheat flour. Wheat flour is worse for most people with IBS because it’s an insoluble fibre. In fact, any wheat product is. In these little bakewells you’ll find both plain and wholemeal wheat flour, which is likely to knock your colon out of whack. The fatty acids included in this (the beautiful stuff that gives it that gooey texture) are some of the most difficult foods to digest for people with IBS because they are reconstituted animal products which aren’t recommended on a FODMAPs diet and could cause you a range of problems.IBS PROBLEM RATING: 5/10
- Coconut crumble cake
For those of you who love the Bounty in a box of Celebrations, this is the pudding for you. An exotic medley of all things that are good, this one has the wheat flour which we know is a problem. This one has three types of flour, however – wholemeal wheat, self-raising wheat and fortified plain white flour. On a more positive note, the best thing about this pudding is that rather than using regular cream, which might throw your bowels sideways (as many animal products do) this uses coconut cream, a naturally sourced dairy substitute which goes down a hell of a lot better in the gut. At only 3% of the pudding’s entire contents, you may not even notice it. But if this was regular cream you definitely wouldn’t be able to enjoy it in the same way!
IBS PROBLEM RATING: 8/10 (9/10 with regular cream!)
- Sticky Toffee Pudding
A classic! And my favourite. Gooey and indulgent, a sticky toffee pud is always my go-to on the restaurant menu… well it always used to be. This pudding is a recipe for disaster, quite literally. The melding of the different nuts, pistachios and pecans, produce a lot of healthy fat in the gut and, whilst ‘healthy’ tends to denote ‘good health’ all IBS sufferers know that ‘healthy’ means something completely different to how our bodies cope with it. These types of foods are not too severe if you’re suffering with the diarrhoea type of IBS as the fats gather in the stool and may even help your symptoms. Constipation-sufferers might, however, feel the reverse effects. The gastrocolic reflex response in the constipation IBSers is weakened and it is likely high-fat food will cause your colon to spasm and stop any bowel movement completely. There isn’t any wheat flour in this one, only rye flour which is easier to digest, but the sugar content is through the roof. Golden syrup and burnt sugar make up the toffee sauce and, with excessive sugar in your diet, yeast is likely to multiply in the gut, and cause bacteria overgrowth in the intestines. Having said this, the sweetened skimmed milk is even worse than the refined sugar in the golden syrup as they behave the same way in the body as regular sugar, whilst multiplying the effects of the refinement.
IBS PROBLEM RATING: 9/10
- Brilliant Black Forest
Scrumptious! Decadence called … he wants his pudding back. This pudding is glorious and is jam-packed with cherries (62%). Whilst these are a natural source of fibre, fruit has been known to have devastating effects on people with the diarrhoea form of IBS as it over-excites the colon. The flour in this is rice flour, which is some of the best flour any IBS sufferer can treat themselves to as rice is a great source of insoluble fibre and is thus easier for the body to break down. That this brownie uses dark chocolate over milk chocolate is much better for your bowels as the animal fats aren’t as likely to incur problems and the increased cocoa percentage is a powerful antioxidant. The raising agents included in this make it a gluten-free dessert and, with gluten being a typical source of bloating, is a nice satiating bread-like alternative for people suffering with the constipation side of IBS.
IBS PROBLEM RATING: 5/10
Winner – BRILLIANT BLACK FOREST! Now dig in and stop worrying! 😉