A Comprehensive SIBO Diet List PDF: Calming Your Symptoms Whilst Nourishing Your Gut

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a challenging condition, with its symptoms ranging from bloating, reflux, altered bowel movements and abdominal discomfort to more severe symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, weight loss/gain and other symptoms resulting from nutritional deficiencies caused by SIBO. Given the delicate balance of the gut microbiome and digestive system, managing SIBO requires a multifaceted approach, often beginning with dietary modifications. Crafting a SIBO-friendly diet involves careful consideration of foods that promote gut health while minimizing symptoms and bacterial overgrowth. In this blog, we’ll delve into essential components of a SIBO diet, exploring a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, starches, proteins, fats, and beverages that can support symptom relief and digestive wellness. Whether you’re just starting out on a SIBO diet for the first time or looking for clarification on the best dietary approach, this list aims to simplify the overwhelm around what to eat on a SIBO diet and support you towards improved gut health.

 

What is a SIBO friendly diet?

Low FODMAP

A SIBO-friendly diet reduces FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols—a bit of a mouthful! FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates which are more difficult for your gut to digest. Given that gut bacteria thrive on FODMAPs, they can induce digestive symptoms, especially in cases of bacterial overgrowth such as SIBO.

 

Low carbohydrate

Furthermore, SIBO can cause inflammation and damage to the intestinal lining, resulting in carbohydrate malabsorption, causing difficulty with digesting and absorbing all carbohydrates, not just FODMAPs. The SIBO-friendly diet reduces the overall carbohydrate content.

 

Anti-inflammatory

Additionally, a SIBO-friendly diet is an anti-inflammatory diet (unlike some generic low FODMAP diets). SIBO is associated with gut inflammation, which can exacerbate symptoms, prevent gut healing and contribute to discomfort. By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods such as SIBO-friendly fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, individuals with SIBO can help reduce inflammation in the gut. This dietary approach involves avoiding or minimizing processed foods, refined sugars, and inflammatory fats, which can exacerbate digestive issues. Additionally, incorporating anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger can further support gut health. By reducing inflammation and promoting a balanced gut microbiome, an anti-inflammatory diet combined with the low FODMAP diet can alleviate symptoms associated with SIBO and contribute to overall digestive wellness.

 

SIBO Friendly Prebiotics

The SIBO Diet also incorporates small amounts of prebiotics during treatment to support a healthy gut microbiome. While excessive consumption of prebiotics can exacerbate SIBO symptoms by feeding the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, strategic inclusion in controlled amounts can encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. This controlled exposure to prebiotics helps to rebalance the gut microbiome over time, promoting a healthier microbial environment and aiding in long-term symptom management.

 

SIBO Diet Food List: What to eat!

 

Low-FODMAP Salad Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Radishes
  • Lettuces
  • Cucumber

 

Root Vegetables & Starches (in moderation):

  • Sweet potatoes (peeled)
  • White potato (peeled)
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Butternut squash
  • Pumpkin

 

Cooked Vegetables:

Cooking vegetables can make them easier to digest.

  • Zucchini/courgette
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant/Aubergine
  • Chard
  • Bok Choy/Choy Sum
  • Beansprouts
  • Water chestnuts
  • Bamboo shoots

 

Low-FODMAP Fruits:

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Citrus Fruits (in moderation): Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemon and lime

 

Gluten-Free Grains:

  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats (moderation)

 

Avoid High-FODMAP Grains:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye

 

Why is gluten not recommended on a SIBO diet?

Gluten is a common trigger for individuals with SIBO due to it’s potential to exacerbate inflammation and therefore gut imbalances. Removing gluten can aid in gut healing and symptom management. Most gluten-containing products are naturally high in FODMAPs due to wheat being a FODMAP itself.

 

Lean Protein Sources:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish (salmon, cod, sardines, haddock, tuna)
  • Beef and lamb – limit to once per fortnight
  • Eggs
  • Plant-Based Proteins:
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Lentils (in moderation)

 

 

Healthy Fats:

 

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds (in moderation) – avoid cashews and pistachios.

 

Limit Saturated Fats:

Reduce intake of fatty meats and processed foods which are pro-inflammatory.

 

Drinks:

  • Water: Hydration is crucial. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Herbal Teas: peppermint tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea and licorice tea
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Both can irritate the digestive system. Opt for decaffeinated beverages if needed.

 

Can I eat dairy on a SIBO diet?

Dairy is often excluded from a SIBO diet due to several reasons. Firstly, dairy products contain lactose, a type of sugar that can be difficult for individuals with SIBO to digest properly, especially if there is an underlying lactose intolerance. Consuming lactose can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, exacerbating existing SIBO-related discomfort. Additionally, dairy products can be high in fat, which may slow down digestion and exacerbate symptoms in individuals with compromised gut function such as constipation. Furthermore, some people with SIBO may also have sensitivities to the proteins found in dairy, such as casein or whey, which can trigger inflammation and worsen symptoms. Therefore, excluding dairy from the diet can help alleviate digestive distress and support overall symptom management in individuals with SIBO. However, some individuals can tolerate small portions of certain dairy products that are low FODMAP such as butter, hard cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan), and small servings of Greek yogurt and lactose-free yogurt.

Remember, individual tolerance to foods can vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and how it reacts to different foods and portion sizes. Keeping a food diary can help track your symptoms and identify potential triggers. Food timing is also important. Not snacking between meals and fasting for 12 hours overnight can provide the gut with time to rest and heal, an important part of recovering from SIBO.

Conclusion:

This article provides a simplified food list to clarify the SIBO diet and kick-start your journey to managing symptoms. It’s important to note that this list isn’t exhaustive but serves as a helpful starting point for dietary adjustments.

In conclusion, the SIBO diet aims to support the management of symptoms and promote gut health. By focusing on low-FODMAP, anti-inflammatory and (some) prebiotic-rich foods while avoiding gluten and dairy, individuals can tailor this diet to their own needs. Listening to your body, tracking symptoms, and practising mindful eating are crucial to a successful dietary approach.

Check out the Essential SIBO Diet Support Bundle for comprehensive food lists for a SIBO-friendly diet (foods to avoid, foods to include and foods to moderate with exact quantities) plus full meals and a full recipe pack of over 50 SIBO-friendly recipes.