Got IBS? Avoid Sweet Fruit. Here’s Why.

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Fruit – it’s another one of those seemingly faultless foods. So pure. So natural. Fruit’s supposed to be good for you, right? Unfortunately, for many IBS patients, the sweeter the fruit, the bigger the stomachache.

The sugar that makes fruits sweet is called fructose. In many IBS patients, this sugar, fructose, is a trigger for abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, fructose intolerance is often overlooked by doctors.

Researchers at Monash University in Australia found that for patients with irritable bowel syndrome, restricting fructose was highly correlated to improvement in symptoms1. Basically, 85% of the people sticking to the low-fructose diet showed a positive response, vs. 36% of the people that didn’t follow the diet. Looks like fructose is a potential IBS culprit!

What foods should I avoid?

Avoid sweet fruits (like bananas, grapes, melons), dried fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup. These are all high in fructose.

What fruits can I eat?

You can eat fruits with little fructose, like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, etc. Eat half a cup of berries a day. As a bonus, these fruits are high in antioxidants.

So, give it a go. Try a low-fructose diet for 30 days and see how you feel. Let us know how it works out!

Reference studies:

1Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR. “Fructose malabsorption and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: guidelines for effective dietary management.” J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Oct;106(10):1631-9.

5 Responses to “Got IBS? Avoid Sweet Fruit. Here’s Why.”

  1. I have UC and IBS, what about the seeds in berries, do they not irritate the gut too? I am doing a juice fast and wandering whether I should cut out apples and pears and stick to carrots, garlic and green leaves? any ideas?

  2. Hey Lucy, good question. I’ll answer it in two parts:

    I have UC and IBS, what about the seeds in berries, do they not irritate the gut too?

    If you’re in remission and your gut is working well, then it’s okay to eat or juice berries. But if you’re in flare up, you should avoid them, because the seeds can irritate your gut.

    I am doing a juice fast and wandering whether I should cut out apples and pears and stick to carrots, garlic and green leaves? any ideas?

    Since you have IBS, you should eliminate sweet fruits (e.g. apples and pears) for now. Stick to the vegetables – you can also add celery to the mix.

    Good luck!

  3. I can’t eat Blackberries or Raspberries either 🙁

    Sometimes I do okay with Strawberries. I’m okay with nuts if they are cooked in something else like a muffin. I can eat Cabbage and sulfur rich vegetables. I had to quit eating all fruits and vegetables, after a few months I have started adding them back in a few at a time… I’m okay with Strawberries, Acai Berries, Pomegranite, Acid Free Orange Juice (and that is so far it).

    I’m glad you wrote this article because so many people tell me, “eat raw vege’s and fruit and you’ll get well” — which would probably kill me. lol.

  4. hi,/i have IBS and come from a family with lactose intolerance and insulin resistance…if i do eat fibre like bran muffin or rye bread,i’m bloted…what now????

  5. Hi Annie,
    For a patient like you, who feels bloated after eating bran and rye flour, I would start your IBS healing program with a very useful tool called ALCAT test. For more information on this test go to http://www.alcat.com
    For more information on IBS issues, you can subscribe to our free newsletter at http://www.knowyourgut.com
    Be Well,
    Galina

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