Are Bananas Good For Ibs
If you’ve ever suffered from abdominal pain or diarrhea related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), then you may have been told that your problem could be solved by avoiding bananas. This is because unripe bananas contain fructose, which can cause symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, urgency, etc., in some IBS sufferers. But what about the ripe banana? Is it okay to eat bananas if you suffer from IBS?
This article will discuss how bananas affect those who have IBS and whether or not eating them is safe. We’ll also look at possible solutions to make sure you don’t end up feeling worse.
What Are Fructose Malabsorption Disorders?
Fructose malabsorption disorders occur when the small intestine does not absorb enough fructose, which causes excess amounts to pass through into the colon where bacteria break down this sugar, producing hydrogen gasses, methane, and carbon dioxide. These gases travel back up through the intestines causing bloating, flatulence, and discomfort. In many cases, these gasses cause severe stomach pains, diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn, nausea, and other gastrointestinal problems.
People who experience this condition often avoid foods containing large amounts of fructose such as fruit juices, honey, corn syrup, syrups, table sugar, fruit salad dressing, ketchup, soy sauce, chocolates, ice cream, cakes, cookies, etc. The reason why fructose malabsorption occurs has to do with the way that our bodies digest carbohydrates. When we metabolize glucose into glycogen, it enters the bloodstream without being absorbed by the intestinal tract. Then, once in the blood stream, the rest of the glucose is carried on the blood throughout the body, but not all of it. If there’s more than 15 percent left over in the blood, the remaining glucose gets stuck in the intestine. Once there, the fructose in the glucose molecules is split apart by enzymes and absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing digestion completely.
In order to prevent fructose from getting into the bloodstream, the body needs to absorb the full amount of glucose before it travels through the intestinal tract. If too much remains after absorption, the remainder goes right through the gut wall and into the bloodstream, creating harmful gas. People with fructose malabsorption usually feel bloated, have trouble passing stools, suffer from diarrhea, and experience other digestive issues.
The Solution: How To Eat A Banana Safely With IBS
Banana contains less than 1 gram of fructose per serving. As long as you only eat one banana, you won’t get any fructose into your system. Some research has shown that even if you ate an entire bunch of bananas at once, you’d still only ingest 0.1 grams of fructose per day. Since each person absorbs different levels of fructose differently, however, you should always check with your doctor if you think you might have a fructose malabsorption disorder.
That said, here are some tips to follow so you can enjoy bananas safely while keeping your IBS under control.
Don’t Overdo It On Ripe Bananas
As mentioned earlier, ripe bananas contain larger amounts of fructose. Eating several bananas every day could lead to a build-up of fructose in your system and cause problems. Your best bet is to stick to one medium sized banana per meal. You should also try to avoid consuming bananas within four hours of going to bed.
Eat Fresh Fruit Instead Of Juices And Syrups
Fresh fruits are naturally lower in fructose than juices and other processed products. Also, fresh fruit doesn’t have added sugars, preservatives, or artificial colours. Although fresh fruit isn’t perfect either, since it takes longer for your body to process it, it’s still a safer option than processed products.
Avoid Anything That Contains High Amounts of Sugar
Anything made with white flour, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, sorghum, barley malt, dextrose, molasses, sucanat, sucralose, and anything that uses evaporated cane juice, should be avoided if you’re trying to manage your IBS. All of these things contain high amounts of fructose.
Keep An Eye On Any Medications
Some medications interact badly with certain types of food. Be careful about taking any kind of medication that interacts with any type of food, including supplements. Always consult your physician if you want to take any new medications.
Be Mindful About Other Foods
It’s important to remember that just because you’re managing your IBS well, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider changing your diet overall. There are plenty of ways to improve your diet and health besides simply cutting out certain foods. Stay mindful of your dietary habits and try to keep healthy snacks around to help satisfy cravings.
Although bananas aren’t bad for anyone, they can definitely cause problems for those who have fructose malabsorptions disorders. They also create an issue for those who wish to reduce their intake of carbs and sugars due to their weight loss goals. If you have IBS, it would be wise to talk to your doctor first to find out if you should cut out bananas altogether or if there is another solution. Either way, it’s important to stay aware of how your diet affects your overall health.
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