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We eat to fuel our bodies, to give us nutrients we need to function, to grow and repair, to prevent disease, and of course for pleasure. This second part can be more difficult for those who suffer with digestive conditions. We’re here to try to help you rediscover that pleasure whilst feeding your body the goodness that it needs.
Our philosophy is based on a Mediterranean style diet which we believe is optimum for gut and total body health. We understand and respect that many people may choose to follow completely plant-based diets for a number of reasons. In our experience we find that these dietary choices make management of gut conditions more difficult.
A Mediterranean diet includes good fats from fish (oily), olive oil, nuts and seeds, and is generally lower in animal fats. It includes a wide variety of unprocessed wholegrains, salads, vegetables, and fruits which promote diversity of your gut microbiome and total health. It also includes legumes, which we advise in moderation as these can be problematic for IBS sufferers as they are highly fermentable.
If you have a digestive condition such as IBS or FD, or indeed many other gut conditions, your diet can play a crucial role in managing your symptoms. However, it’s vital that in managing these symptoms that you don’t miss out on necessary nutrients. For this reason, we believe in inclusion rather than exclusion diets (such as gluten or dairy free diets). Without supervision from a Registered Dietitian (RD) exclusion diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health problems in the long term, such as osteoporosis.
We know that certain foods can be problematic for those with IBS and that these do not affect everyone in equal measure. The common culprits are fibre, wheat, fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (dairy sugar), the onion and garlic family (known as alliums), sweeteners and a few others such as resistant starch (starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon intact, where it is fermented by the GM), caffeine and alcohol. “Lots of the good stuff” we hear you say. Yes, a lot of this is “the good stuff” but there are still ways to enjoy much of them whilst reducing your symptoms. People experience differing degrees of tolerance to food components which is why we also believe that any dietary approach needs to be individualised according to your own responses.
Dietary programmes such as the low FODMAP diet have helped many people with IBS, however some find it restrictive and difficult to maintain in the long run. We will explore some of the potential dietary triggers in the Dietary Advice sections to your left.
Visit The Gut Experts’ Kitchen for some tasty, gut-friendly recipes and our Blog to get the latest advice and tips on managing your diet if you have IBS or FD.
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