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LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF"
      #363722 - 02/27/11 02:44 PM

Reged: 09/26/10
Posts: 198

I was told by somebody that "my diet" didn't conform to the EFI guidelines because "I" was eating too much IF.
I find this ridiculous because I eat AT MOST 20 grams of fiber per day.

Moreover though, this person told me my diet wasn't conforming to the EFI protocol because I was eating the following foods:


Envirkids Frosted Flakes
Envirokids Gorilla Munch Cereal
Horseradish Mustard
Caribbean Jerk
Rice crackers
Seasome Crackers
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Frozen Spinach
French Style Green Beans
diced green chillis
corn tortillas
Paprika/cumin/chili powder
Pepper Relish

Now for crying out loud, LOL, are you serious?
I checked, virtually of all these foods listed has NO FIBER, and many of them have ZERO carbs.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that if a food product has less than 1 gram of fiber (or even 2 grams) that somehow it is high in "IF" and not EFI safe.

I mean seriously, we are talking about mustard and brown rice protein powder...all of 1 gram of fiber.
Is this absurd or true?

Yes, I plead guilty.
On my sandwiches I like to have mustard+hot pepper relish slabbed between two pieces of bread (without any lettuce mind you!).

Yes, I plead guility, I also like to have Brown Rice Protein Powder which Heather said was safe since it has less than ONE GRAM of fiber.

I am sorry, but nowhere on Heather's EFI guide, or IF foods to avoid did I ever get the impression that mustard/paprika/cumin/brown rice protein powder were "bad guys" to "watch out for."

Now am I wrong, am "I" missing something, or is this critque absolutely nit-picky, splitting hairs, and taking the IF thing way too close to a molecular level?

I mean seriously, to me, IF caution=foods with a lot fiber (raw lettuce).
Processed Brown Rice Powder and Mustard DO NOT seem IF, they have less than 1 gram of FIBER!

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363723 - 02/27/11 03:07 PM

Reged: 07/18/06
Posts: 543
Loc: Florida

Those foods have zero carbs?? maybe the spices and condiments. Why are you concerned with the carb content?

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363725 - 02/27/11 06:18 PM

Reged: 10/04/09
Posts: 104

EFI guidelines are not only about fiber content.


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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363728 - 02/27/11 06:59 PM

Reged: 09/26/10
Posts: 198

This post is in regards to ONLY the fiber content.
In which case, I am asking, isn't it absurd to say that stuff like horseradish sauce/hotpepper relish/mustard/cumin et.c are not allowed due to IF content?

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363729 - 02/27/11 07:05 PM

Reged: 02/15/05
Posts: 1999
Loc: Northern Illinois, USA

I have a hard time believing those are verboten due to fiber content, although I can see where the relish and horseradish could be a trigger for some. Some of us just don't handle sharp or spicy flavor very well.

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363730 - 02/27/11 07:22 PM

Reged: 01/03/04
Posts: 533

I think the more important thing if you are following the IBS diet is that you are eating more soluble than insoluble and soluble before insoluble. So if the majority of your diet consists of those insoluble foods, you may have problems. For me, rice based cereals tend to be better than corn.
Just wondering,do you get pain immediately after eating the mustard and hot sauces or do they seem to be ok for you?

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363731 - 02/27/11 08:00 PM

Reged: 09/26/10
Posts: 198


See what got me is, the person reviewing my diet made it seem like I was not following the "spirit" of the EFI diet as horserasih/mustard/cumin/paprika/brown rice protein powder they considered IF.

I'm thinking to myself, this is absurd.
I put mustard on my sandwich.
I have brown rice protein powder as my workout protein shake (because I can't handle Soy/Whey...what else am I supposed to have!!).

I can not believe that having mustard on a sandwich, or having a brown rice protein powder shake (both with under 1 gram of fiber per serving) would contribute to symptoms and worsen IBS!!!

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363737 - 02/28/11 04:13 AM

Reged: 01/03/04
Posts: 533

What kind of pain do you have? Just constipation or diarrhea?

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363738 - 02/28/11 04:35 AM

Reged: 03/13/05
Posts: 5499

It might be helpful to review what Heather says on the IF page and the FAQ page

"insoluble fiber is in bran, whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables (note the exceptions under Soluble Fiber), greens, sprouts, legumes, seeds, and nuts"

"Insoluble fiber, like fat, is a very powerful GI tract stimulant, and for those of us with Irritable Bowel Syndrome this can spell big trouble."

"In general, if a plant food (no animal products contain fiber) seems rough, stringy, has a tough skin, hull, peel, pod, or seeds, be careful, as it's likely very high in insoluble fiber."

"Oatmeal, brown rice, and corn meal (polenta) tend to be the best-tolerated whole grains for IBS." Note the these are best-tolerated but not by everyone. It is something you have to figure out for yourself perhaps when you are stable.

"The number one rule here is: Never eat insoluble fiber alone or on an empty stomach. Always eat it with a larger quantity of soluble fiber, and you will help keep your IBS stable."

"The second rule to remember here is that while you should be having lots of fresh fruits and veggies every day, make sure you cook, peel, chop, seed, dice, and/or puree most or even all of them. Peeling and seeding fruits and veggies will remove the toughest insoluble fiber altogether. Chopping, cooking, and pureeing will mechanically break down the insoluble fiber in fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts before you eat it, making it much less likely to provoke problems."

"If you have IBS, however, then by definition you do NOT have a normal gut, and insoluble fiber can trigger symptoms and actually exacerbate constipation. No matter what your specific IBS symptoms, you need insoluble fiber for healthy bowel function, so once again, the key here is not to avoid insoluble fiber foods altogether, but to carefully eat as much of them as possible."

If you review the foods you listed you will see that generally speaking they have more IF than SF and they should be treated with caution or eaten with enough SF to offset the IF they contain. For example, if you want to take brown rice powder for extra protein after you are stable then assume it contains 1 gram of IF and take 1 gram of an SF supplement with it.

You have been posting to this board for years. Many time complaining how the EFI diet does not work for you. Presumably you are still unstable. Perhaps you have not paid enough attention to the IF in your food. It might be worth while dramatically decreasing your consumption of IF until you are stable and then slowly start adding it back in later.

Good luck

STABLE: ♂, IBS-D 50+ years - Science of IBS

The FODMAP Approach to Managing IBS Symptoms
Evidence-based Dietary Management of Functional GI Symptoms: The FODMAP Approach
FODMAP Chart & Cheatsheet
The Role of Food & Dietary Intervention in IBS

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Re: LOL Are You Serious? Heather question of "IF" new
      #363751 - 02/28/11 12:49 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7798
Loc: Seattle, WA

There are no restrictions on those condiments due to fiber content. But, if you don't have much tolerance for hot/spicy foods, you may have to be careful for those reasons.

What's most helpful to remember is that, while you need to try and eat as much insoluble fiber foods as you can tolerate, in order to do that you have to do it carefully. There are no hard numbers here, you just want to be sure you always eat insoluble fiber foods with more soluble fiber foods. And cook/mash/blend/puree/chop insoluble fiber foods.

The condiments you're talking about would likely be served with a soluble fiber foundation - bread for a sandwich, rice, pasta, etc. Which should make them just fine for you, again assuming that you do okay with hot/spicy.


Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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