9 Foods to Avoid if You Have IBS ...


9 Foods to Avoid if You Have IBS ...
9 Foods to Avoid if You Have IBS ...

If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, learning what foods to avoid if you have IBS is key to a good treatment plan. IBS causes digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, nausea, stomach pain, a nervous stomach and other digestive ailments. If not treated, it can cause poor absorption of nutrients and a number of health issues, pain, and embarrassing social situations. The good news is, you don't have to let your tummy troubles ruin your life and you most certainly shouldn't give up hope. The following foods to avoid if you have IBS are a good starting point to monitor your symptoms, but you’ll also want to be sure to see a specialist for further help.

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High Fat Foods

One of the main foods to avoid if you have IBS is any food, whether healthy or not, that is high in fat. Remember, IBS is not about calories, or a diet plan geared at losing or gaining weight. An IBS diet is about avoiding foods that stimulate or aggravate the bowel, or that are hard to digest. Fat is a big trigger for people with IBS, so avoid eating too much fat at each meal, or eating too many fatty foods in one day. A little fat is okay with each meal, but you’ll have to learn how much you can tolerate and from what sources. As a general rule, all oils cause a problems for people with IBS, as do fatty meats and high amounts of nuts and seeds.


Refined Foods

All refined foods should be avoided in IBS. They are full of sugars, fats, preservatives, chemicals and more, all of which can aggravate the bowels and stomach, along with interfering with the nutrient absorption from foods. Be sure to avoid refined foods for the most part anyway, since they are void of nutrients in comparison to healthier fresh foods. All sources of gluten should also be avoided, even if the sources aren’t refined and are in whole grain form. Go for gluten-free options like oats, rice, quinoa, and more foods in the whole non-refined form.


Carbonated Foods

Carbonated water, sodas and other beverages cause major issues in people with IBS. Those bubbles in your drink end up in your stomach and cause major gas and bloating. Instead, drink plain water, herbal teas, and flavor them with lemon and some stevia if you want some flavor.


Carbonated beverages are a no-go because they can exacerbate IBS symptoms significantly. The fizz that brings that satisfying pop to sodas and sparkling waters is the same culprit that can lead to discomfort and embarrassing social situations for individuals with sensitive digestive systems. Sipping on these bubbly drinks can make gassiness and bloating much worse, so it's best to avoid them altogether and stick to smoother, gentler options that soothe rather than upset your stomach.


Spicy Foods

Spicy foods may be tasty and some can even be healthy, but they should be highly avoided if you have IBS. Instead, flavor foods with lemon and lime juice, along with herbs and seasonings, which can actually improve IBS. Just be sure to avoid cayenne pepper, along with paprika and any seasoning that includes hot, spicy ingredients.


Spicy foods often contain capsaicin, the component that gives peppers their heat, which can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and exacerbate IBS symptoms like cramping and diarrhea. Gentler alternatives are herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme that are not only safe for IBS, but can also make dishes delicious without the addition of heat. Furthermore, incorporating these milder options can lead to a more varied and enjoyable diet, without the risk of triggering your IBS. Always check labels when buying pre-made spice mixes, as they may sneak in ingredients that aren't IBS-friendly.


Certain Veggies

Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, yet if you have IBS, they cause bloating and major pain, quickly. Corn, eggplant, summer squash, all legumes and beans, and cucumbers with seeds also pose a problem. There are plenty of IBS-friendly options to include in the veggie department so load up with those, and you'll never feel guilty about avoiding broccoli again!


If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you may need to make some dietary adjustments to help manage your symptoms. Certain vegetables can be especially problematic for those with IBS, as they can cause bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.

Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are generally considered to be some of the healthiest vegetables, but for those with IBS, they can be difficult to digest. Other vegetables to avoid if you have IBS include corn, eggplant, summer squash, all legumes and beans, and cucumbers with seeds.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other vegetables that are safe for those with IBS. These include sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, kale, spinach, and asparagus.

If you have IBS, it’s also important to pay attention to how you prepare your vegetables. Boiling, roasting, baking, and steaming are all good cooking methods that can help make vegetables more digestible. Avoid frying or sautéing your vegetables in oil, as this can add fat and make them harder to digest.


Sugary Foods

Most all sugars and fruits will ferment in the gut, so for those with IBS, it is best to avoid all sources of sugar. Some people will find that they can tolerate small amounts of berries and lower sugar citrus such as grapefruit, lemons and limes, along with stevia, a zero calorie sweetener. All artificial sweeteners should also be avoided since they contribute to IBS symptoms for most people.



Dairy contains lactose, or milk sugar, which causes symptoms to arise very quickly in people who have IBS. Lactose-free varieties may be enjoyed if you choose to do so, along with small amounts of unsweetened, low lactose yogurt due to the probiotic content, which has been said to “eat up” most of the lactose sugars. There are a variety of nondairy alternatives out there, so be sure to explore this option instead of giving up dairy-type foods completely.



Alcohol aggravates the gut and is generally best avoided on an IBS diet. All alcohol is fermented and many varieties contain a high sugar content as well. Some people tolerate lower sugar versions, such as small amounts of red wine, while others can’t tolerate any form at all.



Coffee stimulates the gut and can trigger the bowel to move. For some people, this may seem like a good thing, but over time, coffee can cause problems to arise since it may harm the gut lining to some degree. Test your tolerance to coffee if you enjoy it, but if you can’t, be sure to enjoy the variety of coffee alternative beverages instead.

IBS can be a terrible disorder to deal with. It can cause social issues, major pain and make eating seem like punishment if you aren't eating the right foods. If you have IBS or know someone with IBS, what problem foods do you avoid?

Sources: helpforibs.com, webmd.com

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Everything I like is on the list lol! Except for spicy foods

so many foods that I like contain these things.. hmm-__-

alcohol is the worst for me. Can only tolerate a glass, anymore and I start to be bloated enough to look like I'm pregnant.

After reading this I feel like I can't eat anything

Lets narrow things down... What CAN I eat?

That's not foods that's types and your describing everything

This is literally so helpful, I've been training for the tough mudder and have been changing my diet which has affected my ibs, looks like I need to change my diet again, thanks this has been really helpful

Weetabix is the worst for me

I have a huge issue with eating the right types of fruits. I always get nervous stomach when I'm commuting or going on Lin drives. Anyone have tips for not "thinking" about your stomach pain?

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