Low FODMAP diet shows promise for IBD

ChemCompound_sqClinicians around the world are recommending the low FODMAP diet as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Research suggests that over two-thirds of people with IBS report symptom improvement or resolution when following the diet.

FODMAPs are certain types of poorly absorbed carbohydrates that are highly fermentable in the presence of bacteria.  They can cause a variety of uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) also struggle with IBS and continue to experience GI symptoms in the absence of inflammation.

A brand new study published in the IBD Journal investigated the effectiveness of a low FODMAP diet in managing various degrees of IBS-like symptoms in eighty-eight people with inactive inflammatory bowel disease.

The results are promising.

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Managing IBD through food and nutrition

First_aid_sqToo many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are receiving lousy nutrition advice, including the ridiculous notion that what they eat doesn’t matter.

Recently I shared my concerns with Hemda Mizrahi, host of the internet radio show “Turn the Page”.

“Turn the Page” connects listeners around the world to expert advice on a variety of topics.

I welcome you to listen to the audio here, download and/or share our episode “Managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease Through Food and Nutrition“.

High protein diets linked to adverse gut health

baconburgerYou might be familiar with the beneficial by-products that result from our gut bacteria feeding on indigestible carbohydrates, like fiber.  But, what happens to undigested protein that ends up in your large intestine (aka your colon), and why should you care?

A new review article titled “Insights into colonic protein fermentation, its modulation and potential health implications” investigated the harmful effects of protein fermentation and their relationship to irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, and foul-smelling farts (sorry, folks).

Although our bodies are well-equipped to efficiently break down protein, some of it still escapes digestion and ends up in the colon.

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A healthy sugar? Not!

This infographic is from 2014, but I felt compelled to share it today because some of the smartest people I know still believe that certain added sugars are good for us.

Please remember that added sugar, defined as sugars and syrups added to foods during processing, preparation or at the table, offers zero nutritional benefit.  Most of us eat way too much sugar and it’s making us sick.

Check out an earlier post for more information on how much sugar is safe to eat.  And, to find out if you’re choosing the “healthiest” sugar, check out this fun infographic by Noelle Campbell.

huffingtonpostsugar

Click image to enlarge.

This infographic is from an article in the Huffington Post titled “Sorry, But There’s No Such Thing as a Healthy Sugar.”  Definitely worth a read.

Butternut Squash Grain-Free Muffins

muffinSatisfying a food craving on a restricted diet can sometimes require quite a bit of culinary creativity. Fortunately, there are people like Lillian Mahl, who are up for the challenge. Thank you, Lillian, for sharing her easy recipe for delicious grain-free, low sugar Butternut Squash Muffins.

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Gluten-free breads to add to your shopping list

breadMost gluten-free breads leave a lot to be desired. Baking bread without gluten, the protein responsible for its pleasurable airy structure and doughy consistency, is a challenge that often results in an unappetizing brick that tastes and feels like cardboard.

Fortunately, some bakeries have managed to overcome the gluten barrier to create enjoyable gluten-free breads that will satisfy any bread craving.

One of my patients was kind enough to share with me two of her favorites.
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Minimize GI symptoms with good posture

First_aid_sqThere are many reasons why I look forward to the weekends, and the NY Times Sunday crossword is one of them. I usually flip to the end of the magazine ignoring what’s in between (then I look at the puzzle for five minutes before being reminded that I am not particularly good at crosswords).

At any rate, this past week I decided to flip through the pages of “The Work Issue” and stopped at a spread of photos of working men and women eating their lunches at their desks, an occurrence apparently referred to by social scientists as “desktop dining.”

I love learning about what people eat, but what stole my attention in these photos was how these people were eating. In most cases they were hunched over with their necks forward and their heads up.

As a nutritionist specializing in gastrointestinal issues, I’ve learned that how you eat is as important as what you eat.

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New study shows benefits of organic milk

cattlwI try to buy organic dairy products and I recommend that my patients do the same based on an educated guess that healthier cows are going to produce healthier milk. A new study suggests that’s true.

Researchers from Newcastle University in England carefully selected and analyzed 170 published studies from over 20 years comparing the nutrient content of organic fresh full-fat cow milk to that of conventional. They published their results in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The key takeaway is that organic milk has a higher concentration of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

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30 Vegetables in 30 Days

vegout-logoYou’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: People who eat more vegetables live longer and healthier lives.  There is overwhelming data to support this fact.

Yet, the average American doesn’t eat anywhere close to the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables each day, and I would wager that the average person with inflammatory bowel disease eats even fewer vegetables.

Let’s change this.

Next month is National Nutrition Month and I’d like to invite you to join me and others across the country as we participate in the “VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge”.   You win by eating 30 different vegetables in 30 days.

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