EatFit

'Eat Better. Feel Better. Live Life'

The New IBS Diet – The low FODMAP Diet

Irritable Bowel Syndrome FODMAP

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you may have stumbled across the term FODMAP or Low FODMAP Diet but don’t worry if you haven’t until now. This new IBS diet is relatively new to South Africa but is backed by a decade of evidence from many international research centres. In this blog post we explain more about FODMAPs and the science behind this exciting elimination diet to help IBS sufferers.

FODMAP, FOODMAP…fodmapwhat are these things?

FODMAPs are a group of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods and researchers have discovered that these worsen symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea in individuals suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What the term FODMAP stands for

  • Fermentable – they are fermented by the bacteria in your gut
  • Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of a few sugars joined together in a chain. Fructans are a type of oligosaccharide and is a type of fibre found in wheat, onions and garlic.
  • Di-saccharides – “di” means two so there are two sugars in this molecule. Lactose (the sugar found in milk) is a disaccharide.
  • Mono-saccharides – “mono” means single and so this is a single-sugar molecule. An example is fructose (a sugar commonly found in fruit and fruit juice)
  • And
  • Polyols – these are sugar alcohols commonly used as sweeteners in diet products but also found naturally in some fruits and vegetables e.g. Xylitol.

The term was coined by Australian researchers Susan Shepherd and Peter Gibson at Monash University.

The low FODMAP diet and IBS

An IBS FODMAP diet is fast becoming a key treatment strategy worldwide.  This diet has been scientifically proven as effective dietary therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with 50-80% of patients following the diet reporting an improvement in their symptoms. The symptoms that were reduced include excessive wind, abdominal pain, bloating, abdominal distension, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue.

How FODMAPs work to worsen IBS symptoms

After high FODMAP foods are eaten, FODMAPs enter the small intestine, where they are poorly absorbed, and have an osmotic affect. There is a large movement of water across the intestinal wall into the lumen, increases the volume of fluid in your intestine, and this affects the speed at which your bowels move and expansion of your intestinal walls. When FODMAPs pass into the large bowel they are readily fermented by bacteria in the large bowel, contributing to the production of gas. These two processes trigger symptoms such as increased wind, abdominal bloating and distension, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, or a combination of both. The only way to reduce the effects of FODMAPs is reduce your consumption of them by following an elimination diet.

Seeing a Dietician

Elimination diets are difficult to follow and the low FODMAP diet is particularly complicated as FODMAPs are found in a range of different foods. The guidelines and research recommend that anyone wanting to do the Low FODMAP Diet does so with help from a specialized dietitian. A dietician can ensure that you have correctly eliminated all the fodmap dietFODMAPs from your diet but that your diet still remains balanced. Incorrectly following this diet has been shown to lead to certain nutritional deficiencies and can negatively affect your digestive health by reducing some populations of good bacteria found in your large intestine. Please be careful following lists of high and low foods you find online as this are often incorrect.

Low FODMAP Diet in South Africa

Not many dietitians have been trained in the Low FODMAP Diet in South Africa. For the best results get in touch with EatFit so we can put you in touch with FODMAP dietitians or gut health dietitians. An Irritable Bowel Syndrome Dietitian can guide you through the full elimination and re-challenge process.

 

FODMAP South Africa, FODMAP Cape Town, FODMAP Johannesburg, FODMAP Durban

EatFit can connect you with IBS dieticians in all of these areas of South Africa so please get in touch.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition of the digestive system.  Symptoms present are:  abdominal pain, stomach cramps, bloating, excessive wind, change in stool consistency or frequency (diarrhoea and/or constipation).ibs

For an IBS diagnosis IBS:
You should have recurrent abdominal pain on average at least 1 day a week in the last 3 months; along with two or more of the following:

  • Related to going to the toilet
  • Associated with a change in a frequency of stool
  • A change in form (consistency) of stool

Symptom type and severity may vary between individuals but the condition is often lifelong. Symptoms may also become more prevalent during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

IBS South Africa

There is very little data to tell us how many people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome in South Africa. IBS is, however, a very common condition worldwide, affecting 1 in 5 people. It is thought to be a disease of urbanization and industrialization. Around twice as many women are affected as men. Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects all ages, even children and the elderly but is less common in those over 50 years of age.

Digestive problems and sensitive tummies

The exact cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome  is unknown, but most experts think that one cause is digestive problems related to gut motility. Increased gut motility causes food to pass too quick through the digestive system and there is not enough tiirritable bowel syndromeme to absorb the water from your food and the end result is diarrhoea. If food moves too slowly, then too much water is absorbed and this can lead to constipation. These changes in motility may be due to disruptions in the signals travelling back and forward between the gut and the brain. Studies have also shown that people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome also have oversensitive guts and feel pain more acutely than those without Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Bile acid malabsorption (where bile produced by the liver builds up in the digestive system) may be responsible for some cases of IBS, where diarrhoea is the predominant symptom. Certain foods may also exacerbate IBS symptoms of bloating, wind, abdominal distension and diarrhoea.

IBS FODMAP

A new diet called the Low FODMAP diet has been shown to help Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers. Researchers have found that certain foods contain a group of fermentable carbohydrates.  These cause symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea in Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients. The term FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. Examples of culprit foods includes onion, garlic, beans, pulses, honey and plums.

Bloating diet

The low FODMAP diet can be particularly helpful at beating the bloat! Bacteria in the large bowel readily ferment High FODMAP foods contributing to the production of gas.  However, there are other things that may be link with bloating – swallowing too much air when eating, chewing gum, drinking fizzy drinks or eating too fast. Constipation can also lead to bloating.

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome dietitian/dietician

Everyone is individual and so there’s no single dietary strategy for IBS. Before trialling the Low FODMAP diet it is important to get your diet and eating habits properly assessed by an Irritable Bowel Syndrome dietitian. They can advise on key initial changes needed to your diet before embarking on a lengthy elimination diet, such at the Low FODMAP Diet. The low FODMAP Diet is not suitable for everyone and there are nutritional and gut health risks by following the diet for long periods of time (especially if not done under the supervision of a FODMAP dietitian). Get in touch with us if you’re looking for assistance.

 

EatFit Dietitian Training Course for Dietitians

We are very excited at EatFit to announce a new dietitian training course we have devised for South African dietitians. Please come join us for two days jam-packed with information and research about the dietary management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

dietitian training

We have two dietitian training courses available:

Course 1: Evidence based Dietary Management of IBS

The course will look in depth at the research and guidelines for managing IBS patients with diet and will be interwoven with real life patient case studies to apply your learning. Day 1 provides a comprehensive review of the evidence for first line dietary management and Day 2 will look at the research underpinning the low FODMAP diet (in IBS and other conditions) and interventions beyond diet. This course is a research based course and will look at the evidence on IBS & Diet. Once delegates have completed Course 1 they will be eligible to attend  Course 2.

 

Course 2: Running low FODMAP programmes 

Only dietitians that have attended Course 1 will be able to register for Course 2.

This one day course will provide the practical ‘know how’ on the low FODMAP diet and running an IBS patient programme from A-Z, incorporating the low FODMAP diet. The course will provide training on how to run low FODMAP group programmes and detailed guidance on the low FODMAP dietary management process from elimination to rechallenging.

 

We’re excited to have you with us.

Want to know dates and more about the programme? More information can be found here or drop us an email at info@eatfitsa.com

 

Woolworths Garlic Flavoured Olive Oil

garlic olive oil
Garlic Olive Oil

Garlic Olive Oil Ingredients
Olive oil, garlic, flavouring

Nutritional Facts
Per 100mkl
3378kJ (807kcals), Fat 91.3g

Health and Nutrition Claims

Claims
None

Pros

  • strong garlic flavor which strengthens with age
  • useful in Low FODMAP flavoring
  • need very little
  • long shelflife

Cons

  • expensive
  • ‘flavoring’ – unclear what this is

Overall Opinion
A useful garlicy oil for most cooks and a good flavor substitute if you are avoiding garlic

This product is available at selected Woolworth’s. Take a look here to find it online: http://www.woolworths.co.za/store/cat/_/N-fnemxg

 

Eating Fit

Do you want to learn more about eating for IBS and the FODMAP diet? We have various programmes to suit your needs.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

EatFit for IBS
  • 4 sessions
  • Uses an approach called “Eating For Intestinal Tolerance” and is based on the low FODMAP diet
  • Explains the diet and offers advice how to exclude FODMAP foods, and supports patients through the reintroduction stage.
  • Includes meal plans, recipes, dietetic support for 16 weeks and up-to-date research based resources
  • A mix of group sessions and individual consultations to ensure a cost effective solution for patients without compromising on FODMAP education.
EatFit for Digestive Health
  • 1 session group programme
  • Provides all the tools needed for a healthier, happier gut with an IBS Diet
  • Provide guidance on what to eat but also how to eat better. Topics covered include; balancing your meals, plant power, types of fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.

Get in touch with us to find out more about booking a session with us, or attending our programmes.

Fresh Earth – Gluten Free Bread

gluten free bread

Gluten Free Bread

Ingredients
This gluten free bread consists of:Tapioca flour, sorghum flour, rice flour, psyllium husk, potato starch, cane sugar, egg white,hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, maize starch, fibre,salt,rice extract,beet flakes, sunflower oil, yeast, citric acid.

Nutritional Facts
Per 100g
1030kJ (246 kcals), Fat 4.3g,(saturated 1.2g) Carbohydrate 41g, (total sugar 1.4g), Protein 4.5g, Dietary Fibre 10.3g, Sodium 542mg (Salt 1.38g)

Health and Nutrition Claims

Claims
Gluten, soya and cows milk free

Pros

  • Good low FODMAP locally made bread that freezes well
  • Comes as white and brown variants
  • Taste is acceptable, better toasted
  • Good fibre content in the brown bread

Cons

  • expensive

Overall Opinion
A great range of products. Available online, see www.freshearthbakehouse.co.za. Many products in the range, yet to be reviewed also available at Dis-Chem nationwide and some Pick ‘n Pays

We love Fresh Earth Bake House. Their gluten-free products are delicious and accommodate those with gluten allergies or those on a banting diet.

Looking to buy this bread online? Click here.

 

Want to learn to eat without bloating and stay satisfied? Our Eatfit Programmes could benefit you.

We have various options to suit your needs. Here’s a quick breakdown:

EatFit for IBS

A 4 session programme that focuses on “Eating For Intestinal Tolerance”, and is based on the low FODMAP diet (which has been proven to be effective in reducing irritable bowel symptoms).

It explains the diet and offers advice on how to exclude FODMAP foods – and supports pateints through the reintroduction stage. The programme includes meal plans, recipes, dietetic support for 16 weeks and up-to-date research based resources.

EatFit for Digestive Health

A one session group programme with all the tools needed for a healthier, happier gut with an IBS Diet.
We will provide guidance on what to eat but also how to eat better. Topics covered include; balancing your meals, plant power, types of fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us.

 

Why You Can Trust a Dietitian

Looking for a Dietitian South Africa?

The nutrition sector may feel confusing with terms such as dietitian, nutritionist and nutritional therapist used interchangeably so we thought we would give you three reasons why it’s worth booking to see a dietitian.

dietitian south africa

1.‘Dietitian’ is a protected title

Not just anyone can call themselves a dietitian. Dietitians in South Africa are statutorily regulated, with a protected title and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. The title ‘dietitian’ can only be used by those appropriately trained professionals who have registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HPCSA). Unfortunately, the title ‘nutritionist’ is not protected in most countries and anyone can say they are a nutritionist, even if they only completed a 2 week online course. In South Africa they can register with the HPCSA if they have done the appropriate training so please check if they are.

2. Dietitians have a university degree in nutrition

Always ask about your health practitioner’s qualifications so you know what you are getting. Dietitians have to complete a recognized nutrition qualification at degree or master’s level at specified universities. Most dietitians study the subject of nutrition for 3-4 years to ensure they use the most up-to-date and scientifically rigorous evidence to base their advice to patients. Dietitians also get training from hospital internships in managing a range of clinical conditions and are the only nutrition health care professionals working in hospitals.

3. Registered Dietitian South Africa are regulated by the HPCSA

Dietitians need to be registered to practice and they have to abide by the HPCSA Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics to ensure they provide a high quality of service. They can be ‘struck off’ for not doing so. Nutritional therapists are not eligible to register with the HPCSA and so are not regulated in South Africa. If you receive incorrect nutritional advice from a nutritional therapist there is no one you can report them to.

south africa dietitian

Takehome Messages

    • Everyone seems to be an expert in nutrition these days given the accessibility of information on the internet but if you would like advice backed by scientific evidence from a registered nutrition expert then please book to see a dietitian.
    • Always evaluate the qualifications of your health care professional
    • Please check if your health care professional is registered with the HPCSA

How our microbes make us who we are

stomach health

Stomach Health

Did you know that you are made up of more microbial cells than human cells? Scientists also believe that your microbes play a central role in your overall health and there is growing evidence to show that diet can determine what your gut ‘microbiome’ or microbial population looks like and how healthy it is. Here is a Ted talk by Robin Knight which we highly recommend if this is an area you want to know more about.

How our microbes make us who we are

Want to learn more about Stomach Health and how to eat for health? Take an Eatfit Course.

We have various programmes to suit your needs. Our programmes incorporate behavioral change techniques to help patients make changes easily. Here’s a breakdown of what we offer:

EatFit for IBS
This is a 4 session program. It’s a mix of group sessions and individual consultations to make it cot effective, does not compromise on FODMAP education and provides you with peer support.

We use an approach called “Eating For Intestinal Tolerance” that is based on the low FODMAP diet (which has been proven to be effective in reducing irritable bowel symptoms).

The programme explains the diet, offering advice how to exclude FODMAP foods and supporting patients through the reintroduction stage. It includes meal plans, recipes, dietetic support for 16 weeks and up-to-date research based resources.

EatFit for Digestive Health
This programme is 1 session in a group that provides all the tools needed for a healthier, happier gut with an IBS Diet.

This programme will provide guidance on what to eat but also how to eat better. We will cover various topics, which include balancing your meals, types of fibre, plant power, prebiotics and probiotics.

Research has shown that gastrointestinal health is intricately linked with overall health and it is important to nurture your gut microbiome.

 

Probiotics

What Are Probiotics?

You may have heard the term ‘probiotics’ but most people are unclear of what this word means and why probiotics may be beneficial to your health.

what are probiotics

What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health and gastrointestinal system. Probiotics are often referred to “good”, “helpful” or “friendly” bacteria because they have been linked with various health benefits. There are many types of bacteria and they appear to have different benefits, but two of the most common strains studied and used in commercial probiotics are;

Are probiotics and prebiotics the same thing?
It’s easy to get confused but probiotics are live bacteria and prebiotics are carbohydrates that our live gut bacteria like to feed on such as onions, garlic, and chicory.

probiotics south africa

Are there any health benefits taking probiotics?

Much more research is need in this area but it is thought that taking probiotics may help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive system if it has been disrupted by an illness or treatment such as antibiotics. All of us have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in our gut and a good balance can help our body function optimally in a number of ways;

    • Keep bad bacteria in check. By eating or drinking more ‘good’ bacteria, they help displace potentially harmful bacteria by competing for space and evicting them from our gut.
    • Improved immunity. oProbiotics are also believed to stimulate our own immune system and may lead to an improvement in immune function. However, more research is needed in this area.

There are some common conditions that probiotics may help treat are:

    • Antibiotic-related diarrhoea. Antibiotics wipe out ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria resulting in diarrhoea. Taking probiotics while taking antibiotics may prevent diarrhoea.
    • Infectious diarrhoea.probiotics may help shorten an episode of diarrhoea related to a stomach bug.
    • Try to count the units of alcohol you are drinking. You will always be surprised and this can help you keep those units down.
    • Irritable bowel syndrome There is some evidence to show that taking probiotics may help with overall IBS symptoms and may reduce abdominal bloating and flatulence.
    • Lactose intolerancelactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose (a type of sugar found mainly in milk and dairy products). Some studies have found that certain probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, may help to reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhoea.

There is insufficient evidence to support health claims that taking probiotics will help boost the immune system, eczema, colic, inflammatory bowel disease or vaginal conditions.

prebiotics

Safety and other concerns
It does seem that for most people probiotics appear to be safe. If you wish to try them – assuming you have a healthy immune system – they shouldn’t cause any unpleasant side effects. However if you are acutely ill or have a compromised immune system you should be cautious about taking probiotics as more research is needed to guide us when probiotics should be avoided in relation to serious health conditions.

It’s also important to note that probiotics are not classed as medicines but rather as supplements. As such claims that they can cure, treat, or prevent disease are not allowed. In addition there is no regulation of the types of microbial strains used or even the amounts. Do your homework as only specific strains, in certain quantities, may help some conditions. Some manufacturers may not include the correct quantity of probiotics, which are measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), so the probiotic may not be as effective as the research indicated. Probiotics are also expensive so it is important to check that you are getting the correct product.

Which probiotics should you take?
Not all probiotics are created equal and different strains have been shown to have different functions. Different strains of the same species can vary and may not produce the same effects. A probiotic is defined by its genus (e.g. Lactobacillus), species (e.g. rhamnosus), and strain designation (often a combination of letters or numbers). In addition everyone has a different composition of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract so it’s hard to make firm recommendations.

There are many commercial probiotics available and they may consist of a single type of bacteria, or a mixture. They are available in capsules, powders, yoghurts and fermented milks. Try to choose products that contain the same microbial strains and quantities as documented in the research and are in line with your health goals. A probiotic that helps against antibiotic associated diarrhoea may not help someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Please speak to your doctor or dietitian if you would like some more guidance.

probiotics

How should you take probiotics?
Please read the manufacturer’s instructions for dose and timing as this does vary between probiotic brands. It is also recommended to not take your probiotic with a hot drink as this may kill the friendly bacteria. If you are on antibiotics, please take the probiotic 3 hours after the antibiotic.

How to boost your microbiota the natural way

    • Eat 30g cheese a day, a portion of unprocessed artisanal cheese the size of a matchbox contains a broad spectrum of microbiota.
    • Feed your bugs with natural fibre contained in fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses.
    • Polyphenols are chemicals found in tea, coffee, red wine citrus, garlic, onion and dark chocolate, which promote the growth of healthy bacteria.
    • Fermented food and drinks like yoghurt and kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut all contain healthy bacteria.
    • Avoid antibiotics unless necessary or advised by your doctor.

probiotic foods

Conclusion
The future around the use of probiotics in the management of health and illness is exciting and promising but the research still has a long way to go. It’s not an exact science as there are many microbial strains and their role may vary in relation to certain diseases. In addition, we all have different microbial fingerprints so there is no one solution that fits all

What Are Probiotics? Want to know more about improving your health? Get in touch with us.

Fad Diets

For many January is not just the start of the a new year but also the start of new diet. However, it is important to not get tempted by fad diets promising quick weight loss. Fad diets are restrictive eating plans which often cut out certain food groups or advise that you eat certain foods or food combinations.

fad diets

Why should we avoid fad diets?
Unfortunately many fad diets are based on poor scientific evidence and they may make you unwell. Cutting out whole food groups might make your diet nutritionally unbalanced and lead to poor long term health. For example, removing all carbohydrates from your diet will also remove fibre from your diet which is important for gastrointestinal health. Often fad diets are hard to stick to, so people end up putting the weight back on and begin a cycle of yo-yo dieting which is also bad for your health. You can lose weight without making dramatic changes to your diet and putting your health at risk.

How to spot a fad diet
Not all diets are equal so be wary of misleading weight loss claims and pseudoscience. Watch out for diets that;

  • Promise that you will lose more than 1 kg of weight a week. Crash diets may make you feel really unwell and unable to function.
  • Recommend that you eat a certain type of food as they have special fat-burning effects such as the grapefruit diet or because they fit best with your blood group. There is no evidence to support these types of diets.
  • Encourage the avoidance of a whole food group, such as carbohydrates, dairy products or a staple food such as wheat. Variety and balance are important tenets for good health and key to sticking to a weight loss diet.
  • Suggest you should substitute foods for large doses of vitamin and mineral supplements. Supplements are expensive and cannot replace the benefits of real food.
  • Recommend raw food on the basis that our body can digest it better. Cooking actually helps make some foods easier to digest and your body is well equipped with different enzymes and cellular processes to assist with the digestion and absorption of all foods.
  • Are endorsed by celebrities sharing personal success story. Just because someone is famous, it does not mean she/he understands nutritional science. One personal story does not make them an expert in weight loss and often celebrities use touched up photos and have a support team, such as a personal trainer, behind the scenes.
  • Suggest your weight is linked with a food allergy/intolerance or a yeast infection and that you must avoid certain foods. Speak to a doctor if you are worried that you have an allergy so you can get appropriate guidance.
  • Are fashionable and promoted by a book. Just because the book has been published does not mean it is supported by good research evidence. Authors often pick and choose the information that they want to include so you get a very subjective view.
  • Recommend you only drink fluids or juice to detox. Detox diets are based on the idea that toxins build up in the body and can be removed by eating, or not eating, certain things. However, there’s no evidence that toxins build up in our bodies and our liver deals well with the daily process of clearing the body of harmful by products.
  • Promote a ‘secret’ or ‘miracle’ ingredient that doctors do not know about yet. Everyone likes the idea of a magic bullet but if one was discovered, we would not be facing a global obesity crisis.
  • Suggest a diet will work for everyone. We are all different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ diet solution.
  • Are sensationalist. Claims that sound too good to be true, often are. Diets recommended by health care professionals may sound boring but that is because they are obligated by law to only give advice that is based on evidence and cannot make sensationalist claims.

diet

How to lose weight the healthy way
Weight gain is a slow process caused by us eating more calories than we burn through normal everyday activities and exercise. To lose weight we need to eat less and exercise more. Losing weight does not happen over night and can be challenging as our bodies are well equipped to defend against starvation. Fad diets may work in the beginning as they impose strict rules on how you eat or force you to rethink what you eat. However, they are hard to stick to for a long time and may adversely affect your health. The only way lose weight healthily for good is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. Below are some suggestions to guide you on how to change your diet for the better.

Aim for 5-10% weight loss as your initial goal
This amount of weight loss has been shown to improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. A healthy weight loss of 0.5 to 1kg a week translates into eating 500kcal less a day.

Re-evaluate what is on your plate.
Fill half of your plate with vegetables and reduce the carbohydrates to ¼ of your plate. Ensure any carbohydrates you are eating are wholegrains as these contain fibre and keep you fuller for longer. Also aim for 1 portion of lean protein and 1 portion of low fat dairy per meal to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body need for good health. Remember you can still eat too much of a good thing. Eating healthy is one thing but we still need to keep an eye on those portion sizes.

diet dietitian

Have regular small meals through the day and don’t skip breakfast
Regular meals help you stave off hunger and resist those cravings when you tend to reach for unhealthy foods like biscuits and chips. Breakfast is a key meal of the day so please don’t miss it. When we sleep we fast for 8 to12 hours so our blood sugar is low first thing in the morning. This can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and more likely to choose unhealthy foods later in the day. Eating in the morning after a night’s sleep provides much needed glucose to your starved brain and should make you feel happier and more alert. Eating breakfast may also help you control your weight.

Think about how and where you eat
Eating behaviour can also determine how much you eat. Sit at a table, turn the TV off and try to eat slowly, dragging out your mealtime to 20 minutes. Savouring each mouthful, focusing on what you are eating can help you look out for the signs of satisfaction. Pause in the middle of the meal, think about how the food tastes and what is your current fullness level is. Aim to be satisfied and not full!

Get support
Eating healthier is much easier if you do it with help. This could be family, friends or even joining a weight loss group. If you would like some individualized weight loss advice, dietitians are well placed with their nutrition experience and training to help you.

Lose the Booze

IBS Alcohol – Loose the Booze

The festive season is here and drinking alcohol is common feature of most parties and get togethers. Drinking in moderation is fine but many people tend to drink well above the recommended safe limits. Here are some suggestions on how to lose the booze.

ibs alcohol

If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly
South African guidelines recommend that regular alcohol consumers should not exceed one drink per day (women) and two drinks per day (men). Whilst there is some evidence to show that one glass of red wine may help reduce cardiovascular disease, the benefits of drinking have been exaggerated in the media. There is far more research showing that alcohol consumption leads health problems such as weight gain, liver disease and cancers so it’s important to keep an eye on how much and how often you drink alcohol. Alcohol is a also a diuretic and stimulates urination. This leads to dehydration and contributes to your hangover.

ibs and drinking

Don’t let the drinks sneak up on you
Counting alcohol units is a good way to monitor your alcohol consumption. It is advised that women drink less than 14 units per week (two to three units per day) and at men drink at maximum of 21 units per week (four units per day). Unfortunately wine glasses are getting bigger so we inadvertently may be drinking more than we should. 2 large glasses of wine easily pushes us above the recommended daily unit intake. The alcohol content of wines has increased over time and South African wines tend to have higher alcohol content due to hotter climates. Alcohol content makes a big difference to the amount of units you may drink at any one time so read the labels on your wine or beer bottles to gauge the wine strength or ask your bartender for the alcohol content of the wine. It may be worth choosing lower alcohol versions or learning the alcohol content of your favourite brand to help you estimate how much you are drinking. A low alcohol beer should contain no more than 2.5% ABV.

For more information about units, have a look at the website Drink Aware

Top tips for sticking to the limits with IBS Alcohol

  • Never drink on an empty stomach. Eating before drinking will slow down your body’s absorption of the alcohol.
  • Alternate with glasses of water or soft drink with alcoholic drinks. Other options are a glass of mixer such as tonic. This will help you stretch out your unit quota and stayed hydrated at the same time.
  • Top up your drinks with ice. This will dilute the drink and reduce the amount of alcohol you can get into the glass. Even a glass of white wine can be diluted with a few cubes of ice.
  • Extend your drink by adding a low calorie mixer such as a shandy.
  • Try to count the units of alcohol you are drinking. You will always be surprised and this can help you keep those units down.
  • Savour your drink. Drink slowly, take small sips and pace yourself.
  • Avoid top ups as this makes it hard to monitor how much you are drinking and you may drink more than you think.
  • Give your body a break. Having at least two alcohol-free days every week will help your liver repair itself. You may even want to try an alcohol free month like October.

ibs drinking

What to drink – IBS Alcohol
Healthy drinks are an important part of a balanced diet and staying hydrated has many health benefits including regular bowel function, better energy levels and improved concentration. Aim to drink 2 litres of non alcoholic beverages a day. Water is the best and cheapest option followed by semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and diluted fruit juice. Keep carbonated drinks to a minimum (not more than 1 a day), as they are not good for your bone health, generally high in sugar, and additives.

Seasons Greetings from EatFit Dietitians. Have a happy and joyeous festive season.

The FODMAP Diet

Embarrassing digestive problems like bloating, wind, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation are common symptoms if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and affects as many as one in five of us on a daily basis. Learn about the FODMAP Diet.

The Low FODMAP Diet
A diet called the Low FODMAP diet might be able to help you. Researchers have found that some foods contain a group of fermentable carbohydrates and these cause symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or nausea in IBS patients. The term FODMAP stands for;
diet fodmap

  • Fermentable
  • Oligo-saccharides
  • Di-saccharides
  • Mono-saccharides
  • And
  • Polyols

Examples of culprit foods include onion, garlic, beans, pulses, honey and plums.

A scientifically researched diet with good results
Research has shown that 3 out of 4 IBS sufferers benefit from following the Low FODMAP diet. The diet was developed by researchers at Monash University, Australia, and has since become available in the UK, Europe, the United States and Asia. In the last 18 months FODMAP accredited dietitians have launched the concept in South Africa. The diet is not a fad diet and has been well researched over the last decade. It is fast becoming a key treatment strategy for anyone suffering from IBS.

fodmap diet south africa

FODMAP Diet: Not a diet for life
The diet involves a strict elimination of these fermentable carbohydrates for approximately 6 to 8 weeks followed by a gradual reintroduction of key high FODMAP foods. Reintroduction is an essential part of the diet to work out what your key trigger foods are and how much of these you can consume without symptoms. Everyone is different and trigger foods do vary between individuals so it helps to do the reintroduction in a precise and thorough manner.

fodmap diet

It’s best to seek guidance from a FODMAP dietitian
For the best results research has shown that the diet should be done under the supervision of a FODMAP trained dietitian. Unfortunately, much of the FODMAP information found on the internet is inaccurate. People who do not seek properly qualified FODMAP specialists or those who try to do it themselves often do not get the outcome they expect from the diet. The diet is also complex and nutritionally important foods are eliminated. A FODMAP specialist dietitian can tailor the diet to meet your individual nutritional needs, suggest suitable low FODMAP alternatives and provide the support needed to ensure the elimination and reintroduction phases are done correctly.

Please see a doctor if you have possible IBS
If you suspect you may have IBS, please visit a GP or gastroenterologist for a diagnosis. Many of the symptoms overlap with other gastrointestinal conditions such as coeliac disease so it is important that these conditions are excluded before you try the low FODMAP diet

For more information about the low FODMAP diet, please contact EatFit Dietitians.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic gastrointestinal condition that affects as many as 1 in 5 of us on a daily basis. Symptoms include abdominal pain, discomfort, wind, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, rumbling noises, fatigue, backache, nausea, depression and anxiety.

irritable bowel syndrome

The medical definition of IBS is recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days a month in the past 3 months, associated with two or more of the following;

  • A change in frequency of stool
  • A change in appearance of stool
  • An improvement in symptoms after a bowel movement

Symptoms do vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. More women seem to be affected by IBS than men.

irritable bowel syndrome south africa

IBS can affect your quality of life as it is unpredictable and it can stop you going to work, socializing and eating the foods you enjoy. It is often associated with low self-confidence or self esteem.

Triggers
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but several factors may play a role such as an increased sensitivity of the gut to pain, a change in bowel motility and problems digesting certain foods. A case of gastroenteritis or psychological factors such as stress are also linked with IBS symptoms.

fodmap diet

Diagnosis
If you suspect you may have IBS please consult your doctor. Diagnosis may take time as there are no tests for IBS. Instead your doctor will need to follow a process of elimination to ensure nothing else might be causing your symptoms such as coeliac disease or bowel cancer. This might involve a gastroscopy, colonscopy and some blood tests. Once your doctor has given you a diagnosis of IBS he/she can then advise on next steps.

ibs south africa

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
IBS symptoms can be managed through medication, changes to your lifestyle and dietary therapy. A new diet called the low FODMAP diet, where fermentable carbohydrates are removed and reintroduced has been shown to help 3 out of 4 IBS sufferers. Please speak to your doctor about this diet and ask for a referral to a FODMAP trained dietitian as this diet should be done under careful dietetic supervision. It is difficult to cut down on so many foods, and still eat a nutritionally balanced diet without specialist dietary advice. Making other changes to your lifestyle such as exercise and managing stress can also help alleviate IBS symptoms.

For more information about the low FODMAP diet, please contact EatFit Dietitians.

Popcorners – Kettle Flavor (Medora Snacks)

Fun FODMAP Snacks

fodmap snacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free popped corn. These fun fodmap snacks are available at Dischem nationally – or online here.

Ingredients
Yellow corn, sunflower oil, sugar, sea salt.

Nutritional Facts
Per 32g serving
588kJ (140kcals), Fat 4g, Carbohydrate 23g, (total sugar 3g), Protein 2g, Dietary Fibre <1g, Sodium 110mg.(Salt

Health and Nutrition Claims
Gluten free

Pros

  • Sweet
  • Crunchy
  • Moreish
  • Good after taste

Cons

  • Expected them to be salty

Overall Opinion
Tasty , easy , low calorie snack but would have preferred a salty flavor, will look out for other flavours to test.

Have questions about a low FODMAP diet? Read more.

 

 

Want to learn how to eat well for IBS without compromising on taste? Take an Eatfit Course.

We offer two programmes to suit your needs. Our EatFit programmes incorporate behavioral change techniques to help patients make changes. Our group programmes are also more affordable and can be run across a range of venues.

EatFit for Digestive Health

This programme will provide guidance on what to eat but also how to eat better.

  • A one session group programme that provides all the tools needed for a healthier, happier gut with an IBS Diet.
  • Research has shown that gastrointestinal health is intricately linked with overall health and it is important to nurture your gut microbiome.
  • Topics covered include; balancing your meals, plant power, types of fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.

EatFit for IBS

This 4 session programme uses an approach called “Eating For Intestinal Tolerance”.

  • The programme explains the diet, offering advice how to exclude FODMAP foods and supporting patients through the reintroduction stage.
  • It is based on the low FODMAP diet (which has been proven to be effective in reducing irritable bowel symptoms.
  • The programme includes meal plans, recipes, dietetic support for 16 weeks and up-to-date research based resources.
  • It’s a mix of group sessions & individual consultations which ensures a cost effective solution for patients without compromising on FODMAP education.

Get in touch with us to book your session.

Melissa’s Gluten Free Homemade Orange Snap Biscuits

gluten free biscuits

Gluten Free Biscuits available at in-store at Melissa’s.

Ingredients
Maize meal, rice & corn flours, butter, egg, sugar and orange zest

Gluten Free Biscuits Nutritional Facts
None given

Health and Nutrition Claims
Gluten Free

Pros

  • Pleasant taste with a hint of orange

Cons

  • Very grainy, sandy mouthfeel
  • Lots of sandy bits left in the mouth

Overall Opinion
Can be used on low FODMAP Diet – small amount of butter is allowed

You could also make your own here.

 

Have questions? Want to learn to eat without painful bloating?

Get in touch

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here.

Learn to Eatfit

We have various courses available to teach you how to eat well for your stomach and gut. Our group programmes are affordable and our  programmes incorporate behavioral change techniques to help patients make changes seamlessly.

EatFit for Digestive Health
This is a one session group programme provides all the tools needed for a healthier, happier gut with an IBS Diet.

  • This programme will provide guidance on what to eat but also how to eat better.
  • Topics covered include; balancing your meals, plant power, types of fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.
  • It can be run across a range of venues

EatFit for IBS

This 4 session programme uses an approach called “Eating For Intestinal Tolerance” and is based on the low FODMAP diet. This diet has been proven to be effective in reducing irritable bowel symptoms.

  • It is a mix of group sessions and individual consultations to ensure a cost effective solution for patients without compromising on FODMAP education.
  • The programme explains the diet, offering advice how to exclude FODMAP foods
  • Offers support to patients through the reintroduction stage.
  • It will includes meal plans, recipes, dietetic support for 16 weeks and up-to-date research based resources.

Have questions or want to book? Get in touch with us.

Marmite Rice Cakes

gluten free products

These delicious gluten free products are available at major supermarkets

Ingredients
Rice, Marmite Yeast Extract, ( yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B12)

Nutritional Facts
Per 100g
1659kJ (391kcals), Fat 2.5g, Carbohydrate 77.3g, (total sugar 0.8g), Protein 14.8g, Dietary Fibre 3.5g, Sodium mg.(Salt 2g)

Health and Nutrition Claims
Rich in Vitamin B

Pros

  • Savory
  • Low calorie
  • Rich in Vitamin B
  • Easy transportable snack
  • FODMAP friendly

Cons

Overall Opinion
A great lunch box option

 

Bonus! Easy 15 Minute Rice Cake Dip Recipe.

We pride ourselves on providing solutions for our clients suffering from intestinal issues – which is why we also offer a range of gluten-free and FODMAP recipes on our website.

Here’s a delicious lentil & pepper spread that will go great with savoury gluten free products like rice cakes, and is FODMAP-friendly.

You’ll need:
  • 1 teaspoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 red pepper finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1/2 tin rinsed and drained lentils
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
How To:
  1. Place the garlic infused oil, pepper, carrot and herbs into a frying pan. Heat and cook the vegetables for a few minutes to soften them.
  2. Add the lentils, miso, vinegar and chopped parsley, and mix well.
  3. Soften and get to right consistency with extra olive oil as needed
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. If you prefer it smoother you can blend.
  6. Serve with rice cakes or with vegetable sticks

Enjoy!

 

Life Bake – Grain Free Toast

grain free toast

Grain Free Toast is available at health food shops

Ingredients
Golden linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, water, psyllium husk and rock salt.

Nutritional Facts
Per 100g
966kJ (230kcals), Fat 10.5, Carbohydrate 2.5, (total sugar 2.5g), Protein 19.3g, Dietary Fibre 25.9g, Sodium 568mg.(Salt 1.42g)

Health and Nutrition Claims
No GMOs, NO added grains, sugar, yeast, preservative free, vegan, high in dietary fibre, source of Omega- 3 fatty acids.

Pros

  • Very crunchy
  • Mega seeds

Cons

  • Bland, needs some flavouring
  • Quite a mouthful
  • Hard to bite into.

Overall Opinion – Grain Free Toast
Not an option on the low FODMAP Diet which allows not more than 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds per sitting.
1 slice gives 6.5g fibre, so be wary of the high fibre content

Want more gluten free product reviews? Look here.

Life Bake – Grain Free Crackers

grain free crackers

Grain Free Crackers are available at health food shops

Ingredients
Golden linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, water, psyllium husk and rock salt.

Nutritional Facts
Per 100g
966kJ (230kcals), Fat 10.5, Carbohydrate 2.5, (total sugar 2.5g), Protein 19.3g, Dietary Fibre 25.9g, Sodium 568mg.(Salt 1.42g)

Health and Nutrition Claims
No GMOs, NO added grains, sugar, yeast, preservative free, vegan, high in dietary fibre, source of Omega- 3 fatty acids.

Pros

  • Crunchy, light , airy cracker
  • Fodmap friendly in limited quantities

Cons

  • Slightly bitter aftertaste
  • Needs a topping or spread

Overall Opinion – Grain Free Crackers
Useful snack food if you like seeds.
Suitable in small quantities on the low FODMAP diet.
Do not exceed 2 crackers in one sitting.
Dietary fibre for 2 crackers is 4.2g

Want to know more? Get in touch with us.

Hollys Plain Vanilla Biscuit

gluten free cookies

Holly’s Biscuits are a Gluten Free Cookies range of allergy friendly bakes produced in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Available is packs of 24.

Available at Dischem nationally.

Ingredients
Rice flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract.

Nutritional Facts
100g provides 2006kJ (478kcals) , Protein 5.9g. Carbohydrate 66.4g (total sugar 17.8g) , fat 22g (saturated fat 13.2g), Dietary Fibre 1.9g, Sodium 161.1mg (Salt 0.4g)

Health and Nutrition Claims
Wheat free, gluten free

Pros

  • Looks homemade
  • Seems like vanilla
  • Crunchy
  • Good mouth feel
  • Tastes buttery and sweet but not complicated.

Cons

  • Slightly grainy aftertaste

Overall Opinion – Gluten Free Cookies
A delicious all rounder that will satisfy most people.

Want to know how to make your own gluten free goods? Read here.