This elimination diet is
extreme and should not be followed for longer than one week. It’s designed to
help people who suffer from severe, persistent, diarrhea-predominant IBS
determine which foods may be aggravating their condition. It avoids all common
IBS trigger foods. This plan is very low in dietary fiber and is based on the
few foods I’ve found that people with this type of IBS can tolerate best. Fiber
(and nutrition) will be slowly increased as you introduce new foods.
If you’re a candidate for
this extreme plan, follow it for one week. Every day, choose one option for
each of the three meals &mdash breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, once or
twice per day, choose from my suggested snacks. Eat slowly, and thoroughly chew
your food. Approximate calories have been provided to help adjust for your personal
weight-management goals. If you find yourself hungry (and if weight is not an
issue), feel free to increase the portion sizes for meals and snacks. Stick
with flat water as your beverage, and try to drink at least 8 cups throughout
After following this plan for one week, you can
start experimenting by adding new foods. You should add one new food every two
to three days. (It’s best to stick with one portion of a new food per day.)
Keep an IBS diary and write down everything you eat and everything you feel.
Pay close attention to how you feel after eating each new food, which will help
you determine whether that food can be permanently reintroduced into your diet.
If any food bothers your stomach, stop eating it and add it to your list of
problem foods. Move on to the next food category. You can always retest a
problem food at a later date.
At the end of this tough assignment, you will
have identified most of the foods that aggravate your IBS. Let’s hope it’s a
short list. For the sake of good nutrition and food variety, here’s my
suggested order for reintroducing new foods:
- Dairy (fat-free and reduced-fat milk,
yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Sweet potatoes
- Wheat products: Start with white versions of
bread, crackers, and pasta. In the future, when symptoms subside, you can
slowly test small amounts of whole wheat varieties.
- Oats and barley
and wild rice
- Cooked vegetables (noncruciferous)
(without tough outer skins, at first)
- Whole grains (whole wheat breads, cereals,
pasta; popcorn; quinoa; millet; amaranth; etc.)
- Whole nuts and seeds
- Garlic and onion
beans and lentils
soy sauce, and other condiments (test one at a time)
- Dried fruit and all-fruit jams
juice, sugar, and honey
EXTREME ELIMINATION DIET
(300 to 400 calories)
Hot Cereal with Banana Slices
Prepare 11/2 cups cream of rice cereal with
water and 1 tablespoon soft tub trans fat–free spread. Enjoy with 1 sliced
Cold Cereal with Soy Milk
Enjoy 2 cups puffed rice cereal with soy milk
(or rice or almond milk).
Scrambled Eggs with Rice Cakes
Beat 2 whole eggs with 2 egg whites and
scramble in a hot skillet coated with oil spray. Season eggs with preferred
herbs. Enjoy with 2 rice cakes, each topped with 1 teaspoon soft tub, trans
(400 to 500 calories)
Grilled Chicken with Rice
Enjoy 5 ounces grilled chicken (or fish,
shellfish, or lean beef) with 1 cup cooked white or yellow rice with preferred
Turkey Burger with Baked Potato
Serve a 5-ounce, bunless turkey burger with 1
medium baked potato topped with 2 teaspoons soft tub trans fat–free spread. Do
not eat the potato skin.
Turkey and Avocado on Rice Cakes
Divide 4 ounces sliced turkey (or chicken)
over 2 plain rice cakes, and top each with 1 thin slice avocado. Enjoy with 1
ounce of baked potato chips.
(500 to 600 calories)
Salmon with Rice
Enjoy 1 serving of Easy! 3-Step Microwave
Salmon or 5 ounces grilled salmon (or sole, haddock, cod, or tilapia) seasoned
with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Serve with 1 cup cooked
white or yellow rice with preferred seasonings.
Rosemary Chicken with Baked Potato
Enjoy 5 ounces Rosemary Chicken with 1 medium
baked potato topped with 1 tablespoon soft tub trans fat–free spread. Do not
eat the potato skin.
Roast Turkey with Mashed Potatoes
Enjoy 6 ounces skinless roast turkey with 1
medium baked potato scooped and mashed with 1 tablespoon soft tub trans
fat–free spread (or 1 cup cooked white or yellow rice). Do not eat the potato
100 calories or less
plain rice cakes
hard-boiled egg (or 4 egg whites)
rice cake topped with 1 teaspoon nut butter
ounces soy, rice, or almond milk
100 to 200 calories
to 200 calories’ worth of plain rice crackers
ounce baked potato chips
baked potato with 1 teaspoon soft tub, trans fat–free spread (or 1 tablespoon
guacamole); do not eat the potato skin.
rice cakes, each topped with 1 teaspoon nut butter
rice cakes, each topped with 1 tablespoon guacamole
Click here to view my list of IBS-safe recipes.
Click here for the Elimination Diet With Added Fiber.