Soluble fibre helps IBS symptoms, but which are the best low fodmap options?

Low Fodmap For Life

Do you eat enough fibre in your diet? Sometimes on the low fodmap diet we might find that we have inadvertently reduced our fibre intake as we cut out wheat, most legumes, certain fruit and vegetables etc, but what does this really mean for our health?

“Adequate dietary fibre is essential for proper functioning of the gut and has also been related to risk reduction for a number of chronic diseases including heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes” Australian Government National Health & Medical Research Council

This got me thinking lately about whether there is a relationship between fibre and IBS… and I was suprised by what I uncovered.

Late last year, The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a paper¹ that was based on a systematic review of randomised control trials (from a total of 906 people) of using fibre to help treat IBS. What they found was that soluble fibre is effective in treating IBS.

Ok, so if we know that soluble fibre is helpful for those of us with IBS, what exactly is it and what should we be doing differently to get more of it?

The Dietitians of Canada have published a simple and insightful brochure² on this topic, and these are their key points:

Dietary fibre comes from plant foods. There are two types: soluble and insoluble fibre. Most fibre containing foods have a mix of both.

  •  Insoluble fibre is found in the skins of vegetables and fruit and the bran portion of whole grains. Insoluble fibre helps promote regularity and a healthy digestive system.
  • Soluble fibre can be found in some vegetables, fruit and legumes like beans and peas. When water is added to food the soluble fibre thickens and becomes sticky, gummy and gel like. Soluble fibre can help slow the digestion of food.

Soluble fibre helps to:

  • Lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Control blood glucose (sugar) levels.
  • Manage diarrhea and loose stools
  • Reduce some of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Reduce the risk of getting intestinal ulcers
  • Have a healthier colon by increasing the amount of healthy bacteria

 So, which are the best low fodmap sources of soluble fibre?

To make things easy for you, I have captured below the best low fodmap sources of soluble fibre based on my research² ³:

Vegetables & Fruit (approximately highest to lowest)

  • passion fruit
  • avocado*
  • brussell sprouts *
  • oranges
  • sweet potato*
  • broccoli*
  • eggplant
  • peas*
  • carrots
  • potato, skin on
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • rockmelon / cantaloupe
  • grapes
  • pineapple
  • parsnips
  • spinach
  • kale
  • green beans

Grain products

  • oats, rolled*
  • oat bran
  • barley
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • pasta, spelt
  • whole spelt bread

Beans, Nuts, Seeds

  • kidney beans, canned*
  • butter beans, canned*
  • chickpeas, canned*
  • chia seeds
  • flaxseed*
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • lentils, canned*
  • almonds*
  • brazil nuts

Supplements

  • psyllium husks are also a good source of soluble fibre, but often dietitians say to avoid this on the elimination stage of the low fodmap diet. [I use it occasionally.]

* Limit serving sizes of these foods. Check with the Monash University App for correct serving sizes.

Next week I’ll share a post with some handy tips for how we can include more of these foods in our daily diet.

Sacha

¹ http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/v109/n9/pdf/ajg2014195a.pdf

²http://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Soluble-Fibre.aspx

³http://www.livestrong.com/article/28882-list-foods-high-soluble-fiber/

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7 thoughts on “Soluble fibre helps IBS symptoms, but which are the best low fodmap options?

  1. Thank you for the time you put into this! I was recently put on a low FODMAP diet due to some speculation about IBS and found myself really overwhelmed and your website is really helping me out. I tend to run faster in the digestive area so it looks like I’ll be experimenting with soluble fiber!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there, when it comes to referencing fodmaps I always refer to the information provided by Monash University on their app. This is always the best source of information and they keep it updated.
      Surprisingly a lot of high fodmaps foods can be tolerated in limited amounts – which is what the * is meant to indicate on some of those foods in the list above. Butter beans are definitely the best in my opinion – I have them, in small quantities and really enjoy them. Good luck with everything! Sacha

      Like

  2. Hello. I have downloaded the fodmap app and I can see that it differenciates from buckwheat kernel and buckwheat groats. The first one is only advisable in small amounts. I wonder what is the difference between these two as I dont know which one is the one a have at home.
    Many thanks,
    Alba

    Like

    • Hi Alba,
      Thankyou so much for your comment! I have just popped onto the app and realised that the buckwheat has recently been updated, so this is the first time I have seen this! I tried to research the difference between kernals and groats and they seem to be one and the same, and pictures I have found of ‘groats’ look exactly the same as the ‘kernals’ I have in my cupboard! It seems very strange that there is such a difference in the fodmap levels, especially given that buckwheat flour is low fodmap. I have been eating buckwheat kernals (that is how they are described on the ingredient list), however, I don’t eat them whole or uncooked – I soak them for at least 2 hours and then use them to make this recipe: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2014/08/buckwheat-chia-bread/. I haven’t had any adverse reactions to this, however if I had eaten the whole or without soaking, perhaps they would have?

      Does anyone else have any information around this?

      I’m sorry that I can’t clear up the confusion for you. If you are worried, stick with groats (Bob’s Red Mill have a great product) and buckwheat flour.
      Sacha

      Like

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