What diet in case of irritable bowel? Advice from a dietitian

What diet in case of irritable bowel?  Advice from a dietitian

Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder characterized by abdominal pain, bowel movements and bloating. To alleviate these symptoms, adopting a healthy and targeted diet is an asset. Which foods should you favor and which should you limit? The answers from Florence Foucaut, dietician-nutritionist.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also called functional colopathy, is a digestive disorder that is not serious but can greatly affect the quality of life of the person who suffers from it. In Europe, it is estimated that 5 to 10% of the population are affected.1.

Irritable bowel: what treatment?

If there are medicinal treatments to treat this intestinal pathology, it is above all advice on food hygiene and lifestyle which will allow us to limit its impact on a daily basis. “Generally speaking, to reduce and calm the symptoms of functional colopathy, it is recommended to adopt a few simple daily reflexes: have a balanced and varied diet, eat at regular times, taking care to chew well, 'hydrate sufficiently by making sure to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day and limiting your consumption of alcohol, coffee as it possibly accelerates transit and fatty foods', recommends Florence Foucaut, dietitian-nutritionist. Overview of the foods to include on your menus and those to avoid as much as possible.

Irritated colon: what to eat?

To prevent these symptoms and to reduce their intensity, it can be useful to consume foods low in FODMAPs. “These are fermentable carbohydrates: they are fermented by bacteria in the colon and cause painful symptoms in people suffering from digestive disorders.explains Florence Foucaut.

But other foods, because they are too fatty or contain gluten or lactose, can be difficult to digest for people suffering from an irritable bowel.

How to reduce intestinal inflammation?

By opting for foods that are easy to digest, free of potentially “toxic” substances for the intestines. However, each person's situation is different: it is therefore important that you analyze your own case and adapt your diet according to what aggravates them or, on the contrary, calms them. “If necessary, do not hesitate to turn to a health professional in order to avoid deficiencies linked to inappropriate dietary avoidance.”recommends Florence Foucaut.

What foods are good for irritable bowel?

Here is a list of food products that you can include on your menus. However, remain vigilant, listening to your body and your feelings to adapt your diet as accurately as possible.

Certain vegetables: spinach, zucchini…

Carrots, lettuce, lamb's lettuce, green beans, zucchini, endives, baby spinach, etc. are foods low in these sugars. Prefer cooking in water or steam.

Certain fruits: red fruits, kiwi…

Certain citrus fruits such as lemon, tangerine and grapefruit, exotic fruits such as pineapple, passion fruit and kiwi, berries and red fruits can be consumed. Depending on your sensitivity, choose cooked or very ripe fruits.

Certain dairy products: yogurts, cheeses, etc.

Cheeses low in lactose and milk sugar are allowed. This is the case for hard cheeses such as Emmenthal, Gruyère, Comté or even Beaufort, but also for Bleu, Brie, dry goat's cheese and Mozzarella. You can also consume yogurts, cottage cheeses and skyrs because the bacteria present in these dairy products have the property of destroying lactose. “But be careful, in some people tolerance is lower, even at low doses., specifies Florence Foucaut. “In this case, you can turn to lactose-free yogurts..

Plant-based drinks: almond and rice “milk”

What we call almond, rice or even soy or coconut “milk” do not contain fermentable carbohydrates. You can use them as an alternative to milk for your culinary preparations or in drinks.

Certain starchy foods: potatoes, tapioca, etc.

Potatoes, parsnips and tapioca are allowed because they are rich in starch but low in fructose.

Meats: be careful when cooking

Lean meats, both red and white, are allowed. Cooking on the grill and in foil is preferred.

Fish: they are all allowed

Fish are allowed, both fatty (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc.) and lean (pike, cod, hake, sea bream, dab, etc.).

Eggs: don’t deprive yourself of them

Whether they are soft-boiled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached… the consumption of eggs is authorized in the context of irritable bowel syndrome. “Small downside for fried eggs, depending on each person's sensitivity.warns the dietitian.

Drinks: you have the choice

Non-carbonated mineral waters, tea and herbal teas, as well as red wine in small quantities are permitted.

Certain cereals: oats, quinoa, etc.

Some are preferred because they do not cause difficulties during digestion. “This is the case for sourdough bread, gluten-free bread, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, white rice, corn, oats…”lists our expert.

Gluten-free foods: to try

According to Health Insurance, “a diet low in gluten can improve people with chronic diarrhea.. Also, do the test by swapping pasta, bread and other products made from wheat and derivatives for a while, with rice, buckwheat, tapioca (cassava), millet, sesame, quinoa, sorghum, yam, corn…

What foods to avoid in case of irritable bowel?

Conversely, certain foods have the capacity to cause painful symptoms, or even make them worse. This concerns in particular foods containing FODMAPs as well as fatty products. Panorama.

Foods from the FODMAP family to avoid

FODMAPs are so-called fermentable sugars. FODMAP is an acronym that means:

  • F: Fermentable (fermented by gut bacteria)
  • O: Oligosaccharides (fructans, FOS, GOS, inulin)
  • D: Disaccharides (lactose)
  • M: Monosaccharides (fructose)
  • A: And
  • P: Polyols (sorbitol, xylitol, etc.)

Concretely, the main foods rich in FODMAPs are:

  • Foods rich in lactose such as milk;
  • Certain cereals such as wheat (pasta, bread, semolina, etc.), barley and rye;
  • Certain vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, artichokes, onions, garlic and shallots, mushrooms, beets and fennel;
  • Certain legumes such as chickpeas;
  • Certain fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, watermelon, mango;
  • Dried and oilseed fruits such as prunes, walnuts, almonds and pistachios;
  • Table sugars such as honey and maple syrup;
  • All synthetic sweeteners;
  • Chewing gum and sweets.

Meats: consume in moderation

Fatty meats, such as pork and mutton, are not recommended. Likewise, meats in sauce and smoked meats should be consumed in moderation. Likewise, cold meats, in general, are not recommended, as are offal and tripe.

Fatty foods: difficult to digest

Fried foods, mayonnaise, cream, butter… can cause digestive problems. If this is the case, limit their consumption.

Drinks: there is sorting to be done

Limit your consumption of carbonated drinks (water, soda, cider, beer, etc.), as well as coffee. “This stimulant should be limited or even stopped in the event of diarrhea or loose stools. Fruit juices should also be consumed in moderation. Finally, be careful with white and rosé wines, as well as champagne.recommends Florence Foucaut.

Foods containing gluten: to test

Test whether avoiding them could improve your symptoms. Gluten is a protein found in many cereals. 5 cereals contain gluten. To easily remember their name, there is a simple mnemonic using the word SABOT:

  • S = seigle
  • A = oats
  • B = wheat (and its derivatives such as spelled, wheat, kamut, etc.)
  • O = orge
  • T = triticale (it is a hybrid cereal of rye and wheat)
Foods low in Fodmap

Slide: Foods low in Fodmap