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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

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Fitness Consultant


Can I avoid high fibre foods that aggrevate my IBS?

Hi, I suffer from IBS and have noticed that if I eat foods that are not so good for me (e.g white bread, pasta) I don't feel so bad, and whenever I eat anything that has a high fibre content I always end up being bloated, have awful wind etc etc. I've reduced the amount of fruit, veg and wholemeal that I am eating and have been feeling a bit better. Could you give me some advice on how I can reduce my fibre intake but not affect my weight loss, as I am finding this very difficult, my weight seems to go down one week then back up the next! Any help would be brilliant. Thanks C x


Our expert says...

Hi, and thanks for your query.


Like a lot of people with IBS it sounds like you may get flare-ups when there’s an influx of fibre into the diet, and this can particularly be the case when it’s soluble fibre found in high amounts in porridge, pulses and certain fruit and veg. The irony is that actually, in the longer run, as a basic component of the diet, higher fibre is usually a good thing because it keeps the intestines slightly distended so they are less likely to go into spasm. It’s not  “bad” to have white breas d and pasta – they’re still healthy foods – so don’t beat yourself up, but rather than accepting that you must always eat low fibre, I would try to switch to higher fibre versions everso gradually bit by bit. Also keep a food diary just in case there are specific foods that you seem to have a particular problem with. IBS and food intolerances seem often to run concurrently, so it helps to try to investigate this possibility.  At times when you must  eat a lower fibre diet to keep your bowels from playing up, it might be slightly harder to feel as full, but I’d get round this by eating plenty of high protein foods, and eating more liquid foods like soups and stews that help with satiety. I hope this helps!

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