Today there seems to be an epidemic of people affected with tummy upsets and food intolerance. Maybe it has part something to do with our busy and often stressful lifestyles and part because of our highly processed food supply. Whatever the cause the reality is that many people suffer from gut issues that can affect daily life. Some common symptoms include bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, reflux and constipation. This can also be combined with general fatigue and sleepiness. Below is a list of common foods that may be making your symptoms worse…
1. Artificial sweeteners. Mainly found in diet lollies and drinks, these non-caloric sweeteners are poorly absorbed in a lot of people. If it ends in “ol” e.g. Sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol then avoid. Stevia is an exception and generally wont cause any issues.
2. Onion. This can be particularly potent. The problem is that onion is used in most take-away meals and commercially flavored foods in the form of onion powder. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully when at the supermarket.
3. Garlic. Also potent and once again its difficult to avoid when eating at a restaurant. When cooking at home a good alternative is garlic infused olive oil, which doesn’t seem to cause problems.
4. Wheat based products. Not because of its gluten but rather the fructans which are large chains of glucose. You needn’t worry about removing every trace of wheat, but try cutting down on thinks like bread, pastas and wheat based biscuits.
5. Lentils. They are super nutritious but also super gassy. Try buying them dried and soaking overnight rather than in a can. Sometimes they are better tolerated this way.
6. Honey. Being high in fructose it may cause issues for those prone to fructose intolerance. Once again be careful as its added to many commercial foods that you may not expect. A good alternative is golden or maple syrup.
Generally speaking it usually will be a combination of foods that cause symptoms, rather than one food in isolation. For those will Irritable Bowel Syndrome I would strongly recommend seeing a Dietitian experienced with food intolerance due to the complexity of this area.