IBS Diet - GI

Since the GI Diet and Atkins many of us have fallen victim to a ‘carb fascination’.  Atkins showed that it was possible to lose weight using this principle, and many followed.  

It helped that it was one of the few diets that left you feeling full, and it’s popularity is easy to understand on that metric alone.

The key question is does it have any relevance for IBS sufferers ?  

Most of us now understand the principle and utilise the diet, but would be hard pushed to understand or make a correlation between the diet and actual evidence of IBS benefit.

Diets, like clothes, should be tailored to you.
Joan Rivers

Diet for IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The GI Diet - Our View

We will come off the fence and confess that a number of us follow the GI diet in principle and find it useful.  We have to adapt it to meet our IBS needs, however this takes nothing more than an application of common sense.  In applying that common sense, we do not treat carbs as the enemy, we treat them as part of a natural healthy diet.

Our use of the GI diet relates more to the avoidance of sugary and empty foods.  We readily eat carbs, but are selective of the ones we choose, for example we avoid certain rice such as sticky jasmine rice and go for firmer grains, be it a basic long grain or a sushi rice  (Brown rice is ideal but may disagree with your IBS).  That gives us an even flow of energy, as opposed to the ‘hit’ we get when a substance like Jasmine Rice goes straight into the system.  Similarly the genetic make up of potato plays a huge part.Waxy potatoes will gradually release energy, compared to floury potatoes such as Maris Piper.

Good health is vital to combating IBS and to that end we feel that understanding and adapting a sensible GI plan will help you stay in shape and keep IBS under control.  It will not cure IBS or have a major impact on  it in isolation, but it will help.






GI Definition

A low-glycemic diet is a weight loss diet based on controlling blood sugar.

One example is the Glycemic Index Diet developed by David J. Jenkins, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto and later turned into a successful line of diet books by author and former president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Rick Gallop. According to the publishing company Virgin Books, the G.I. Diet has sold over two million copies.

G.I. stands for Glycemic Index, one of several metrics used to quantify short-term changes in blood glucose levels in humans following the ingestion of carbohydrate-containing foods. Glucose is the body's source of energy; it is the fuel used by the brain, muscles, and other organs. Glucose is set at 100, and all foods are indexed against that number. Therefore, foods that are quickly digested have a high G.I., and foods that are digested more slowly have a lower G.I

IBS Diet - The Revolution

Can  the GI Diet help IBS ?

There is little reliable evidence to argue this point either way.  A direct correlation between IBS and GI is a very hard case to make and scientifically complex.  The GI principles them selves clearly have foundation, anyone who has tried this diet will have been pleased by the results, however there are clashes with the FODMAP diet.

Some of the slow to digest products are not good for IBS.  Take Agave syrup as an example, it is a wonderful and tasty low GI sweetener.  High in fructose, this makes Agave a problem if you follow the FODMAP diet.  IBS sufferers often have weak digestive systems and much of the advice from the GI diet is to eat food that takes time to digest, which would suggest that it increases the pressure on an already struggling system.

Despite that the GI diet has a wonderful way of reducing the peaks and troughs of energy that you may experience on a regular diet.  No more sugar highs and lows, or feeling lethargic, it is a diet which has much to commend.