6 Diets for IBS: High-Fiber Diet, Elimination Diet, and More

6. Low FODMAP diet

FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are difficult for the intestines to digest. Since these carbs pull more water into the bowel, people with IBS may experience more gas, bloating, and diarrhea after eating these foods.

The acronym stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.” Temporarily restricting or limiting your intake of high FODMAP foods for six to eight weeks may improve your symptoms of IBS.

It’s important to note that not all carbohydrates are FODMAPs. For the best outcome, you have to remove the right kinds of foods. Foods to avoid include:

  • lactose (milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt)
  • certain fruits (peaches, watermelon, pears, mangoes, apples, plums, nectarines)
  • legumes
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • sweeteners
  • wheat-based bread, cereals, and pasta
  • cashews and pistachios
  • certain vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, onions, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms)

Keep in mind that while this diet eliminates some fruits, nuts, vegetables, and dairy, it doesn’t eliminate all foods from these categories. If you drink milk, choose lactose-free milk or other alternatives such as rice or soy milk.

To avoid overly restrictive meals, speak with a dietician before beginning this diet.

Your best diet

Certain foods can help IBS, but everyone is different. Examine your symptoms and talk to your doctor before starting a new diet. Stay in tune with how your body reacts to certain diets, as you may need to tweak the foods you eat.

According to the National Institutes of Health, you should drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and decrease your caffeine intake to promote regularity and minimize IBS symptoms.