The Best Sources of Soluble Fiber Beneficial for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Eating a lot of dietary fiber is good for your health. However, if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , eating fiber may make your symptoms worse. But it is possible that the problem is not the fiber itself, but the type of fiber you eat.

Insoluble fiber can make IBS symptoms worse in some people, according to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in liquids and forms most of the stool. Examples include wheat bran and whole grains.

In contrast, soluble fiber can be beneficial for people with IBS. In their recent guidance, the ACG concluded that soluble fiber can not only help reduce IBS symptoms, but also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels .

Another possible problem is that some high-fiber foods contain large amounts of FODMAPs . FODMAP – short for fermentable oligosaccharides , disaccharides , monosaccharides, and polyols – are indigestible carbohydrates that emit gas when fermented by bacteria in the colon . Eating foods high in FODMAP can cause bloating and cramps in people with IBS.

This article lists some foods that are high in soluble fiber but low in FODMAP. If you have IBS, eating these foods can help you avoid or reduce your IBS symptoms.

Summary

People with IBS are often sensitive to foods high in insoluble fiber. Other common triggers include high-fiber foods known as FODMAPs, which ferment in the intestines and cause bloating and cramps.

To avoid IBS symptoms, choose foods high in soluble fiber and low in FODMAP, such as fructan, sorbitol, and mannitol. This includes non- FODMAP potatoes and carrots.

It is also important to note that some foods suitable for irritable bowel syndrome, such as green beans and sweet potatoes, can cause symptoms when eaten in excess. This also includes overripe bananas, which can cause IBS symptoms, unlike less ripe bananas.

Frequently asked questions

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a jelly-like substance that softens stool. It also slows down the digestion of fats and carbohydrates and helps lower cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber absorbs fluids, rather than dissolving in them, and makes stool bulkier.

  • Ideally, you should eat 20 to 35 milligrams (mg) of fiber per day. If you are not getting enough food, try eating foods rich in soluble fiber. But be careful not to increase your fiber intake too quickly, as this can make IBS symptoms worse.

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