The Eating for IBS Diet: Think Substitution, Not Deprivation

Going through life on a deprivation diet is not an option for me. I deserve to eat without fear. You do too.

And I don't know about you, but I live to eat. Dreaming about breakfast is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Looking forward to dinner is what gets me through the day.

So now's the time to put the IBS diet tips and tricks into practical use. Think substitution, never deprivation.

For instance:

Replace dairy milk with unsweetened soy, rice, oat, almond, cashew, flax, hemp milk for for cooking and recipes. Read the ingredients to make sure there is no oil added. (Avoid coconut milk, that is very high fat.)

Try a wide variety of brands and flavors, the difference in taste can be dramatic. I think some are truly wretched but most are delicious.

I've had good luck with grocery and health food store generic brands, and they're inexpensive.

I like to keep two types of non dairy milk on hand. I use unsweetened for cooking and and vanilla for cold cereals or drinking. Chocolate non dairy milk is delicious cold or heated up for a mug of hot cocoa.

Find your favorite oat, soy, rice, almond, cashew substitutes for dairy butter, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, yogurt. For cheese, pay attention to whether the brand is truly dairy-free or simply lactose-free. Most non dairy cheese brands contain small amounts of casein, a dairy protein. The tiny quantity is often very tolerable for IBS, but if you're completely intolerant to casein you'll have to find a non dairy cheese that is entirely dairy-free. Even with the non dairy cheeses, keep your eye on the fat content.

For ground meat / hamburger recipes like tacos, sloppy joes, chili, try substituting TVP. I absolutely love this trick. It's a deliciously convincing bit of kitchen magic. And it couldn't be easier to use. TVP is textured vegetable protein, a dried plant food available in grocery and health food stores in the baking section. Just eliminate the cooking oil from your ground meat recipe and season the TVP as you would the meat. With most recipes people honestly can't taste the difference. But your gut will know...

Try a wide variety of low fat vegan versions of deli meats, hot dogs, burgers, chicken fingers, if you love fast food and junk food. They are much easier on the IBS gut than the fats and proteins in red meat versions.

Use only fat-free salad dressings, mayonnaise, etc. Make your own dressings with whatever combo of flavored vinegar / flavored mustard you like, no oil needed at all.

Substitute unsweetened cocoa powder for solid chocolate in IBS baking. Fabulous chocolate cakes are your IBS friendly reward!

For most recipes, you can almost always reduce the amount of oil called for by at least 1/3.

When baking for IBS replace from 2/3 to 3/4 of the oil called for with applesauce.

Use only egg whites - simply replace each whole egg in a recipe with two egg whites. Egg Beaters are also a good choice.

Use non-stick pans and cooking spray for all IBS cooking. This will dramatically lessen the amount of oil you cook with. You can get wonderful crispy, golden, and crunchy food with just a little cooking oil spray and a well seasoned skillet instead of deep frying. Air frying is also a great safe option.

Do you have a weakness for a particularly deadly IBS trigger food? (Mine's cheesecake.) Try slowly eating just one to two measured tablespoons after a satisfying meal of low fat, high soluble fiber foods.

I've found this to be a pretty foolproof method for occasionally treating myself to a splurge on my IBS diet.

Watch out for hidden fat in seemingly safe foods: biscuits, scones, pancakes, waffles, restaurant French toast, crackers, mashed potatoes, store-bought dried (usually fried) bananas.

Take immediate control of your IBS symptoms with Heather's IBS diet kit...

Read on to learn all about your soluble fiber safe foods...

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