You are here

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

Irritable bowel syndrome diet is a suggested meal plan to regulate the bowel movement so as to minimize abdominal pain and stomach cramps. IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome usually triggers after the infection of intestine. However, other causes may also be there such as over-stretching of intestine or the muscle movements. There is nothing connected with the size of the intestine.

Stress is also one of the major factors responsible to worsen the situation. Nerves connected to the brain and colon and during stress these nerves become hyper active and causes squeezing or contracting of intestines. People suffering from IBS have over responsive colon in connection to these nerves. Irritable bowel syndrome diet proves helpful for people as it includes light and easy to digest foods.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet: Recommendations

Though no specific dietary changes are recommended for the people having IBS, the healthy eating is the best way to inhibit the symptoms of the disorder. Women are more tend to get this medical problem than men, hence, necessary dietary and lifestyle changes should be made to avoid the condition.

Following are the suggestions that can be implemented by those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Caffeinated drinks should strictly be avoided as these induce the intestine. Colas, tea, and coffee are the drinks that should be restricted from the diet.
  • 3-4 small meals are better than having large meals. Large meals are difficult to digest and allow intestines to stretch more.
  • Gluten foods like wheat, barley and rye should be highly avoided as they involve excess movement of intestine.
  • Milk and milk products should also be restricted from Irritable bowel syndrome diet as lactose sometimes creates irritation among the IBS sufferers
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited in such case as it increases inflammation and flatulence.
  • Gastric patients should avoid vegetables producing gas. Such vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, sauerkraut, cabbage and beans.
  • Allergic foods should also be excluded from the diet. Sufferers of IBS are prone to food sensitivities, hence an ‘elimination diet’ is designed for them to identify the problem foods. However, this diet is not a long-term solution as it is nutritionally insufficient.

Apart from these food restrictions, sensible eating along with light exercise is the best solution to treat and to reduce the repetition of this syndrome.

Typical Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet Plan

An ideal meal plan suggested by the dietician or health expert should include 20-30 gm of dietary fiber from various foods and 30-35 gm of right kind of fat.

Following is the meal plan:


1 bowl – high fiber cereal or porridge with fresh fruits

Low-fat milk or soy milk

Whole grain toast with margarine or honey


Wholemeal bread sandwich with low-fat cheese

Lean meat or beef

Tinned salmon

Vegetable salad

Low-fat yoghurt with tinned fruits

Fresh fruit juice of water


Grilled chicken seasoned with pepper and lemon juice

Whole meal bread

Salad bowl with boiled potatoes

Snacks (May be consumed throughout the day)

Cheese crackers

Fresh fruits

Low-fat yoghurt

Water, tea or fresh juice

Further Reading