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Eating for IBS & Diabetes – Part 2

November 2,2018

Joanna Baker APD & RN
​This article is a follow-on from last week’s article Diabetes & IBS – Part 1. If you haven’t read that article yet, check it out here.

Managing Diabetes is a combination of medication, diet and lifestyle. Of course if you also have IBS then your management plan needs to be combined with a low FODMAP diet. This can be a tricky combo, but it is achievable. Here is our 5 step plan.

1.Know which low FODMAP foods contain Carbohydrates

All foods containing carbohydrates are absorbed as glucose and will increase blood glucose levels. Low FODMAP foods that contain carbohydrates include:

  • Grains and cereals e.g. oats, quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat, GF pasta
  • Breads e.g. low FODMAP bread, gluten free bread and sourdough bread
  • Starchy vegetables e.g. potato, corn, sweet potato
  • Fruit e.g. oranges, bananas, rock melon/cantaloupe, berries
  • Dairy products and alternatives e.g. lactose free milk/yoghurt, soy milk, rice and nut milks
  • Sugars and sweeteners e.g. table sugar, maple syrup, rice malt syrup
  • Canned, drained and rinsed legumes e.g. chick peas, butter beans & lentils

2.Know which low FODMAP foods do not contain carbohydrates

Foods that do not contain carbohydrates will not increase blood glucose levels and are great to help you feel full and satisfied. Low FODMAP foods that do not contain carbohydrates include:

  • Fresh cuts of meat, poultry & fish
  • Cheese
  • Fats & oils
  • Nuts e.g. brazil, macadamia, walnuts, peanuts
  • Non-starchy vegetables such as salad vegetables and green vegetables.

3.Spread your carbohydrate containing foods evenly throughout the day

​Eating regular meals and spreading your carbohydrate containing foods throughout the day will help to keep blood glucose levels stable. It will also keep energy levels even and put less stress on your pancreas. Learning to “carb count” with a dietitian and having the similar number of “serves” at each of your meals or snacks, is an easy way to make sure you get enough but not too much carbohydrate containing foods at a time. Small regular meals have also been shown to help with managing IBS type symptoms, so this works well for both conditions.

List of low GI and low FODMAP foods4.Consider glycemic index

Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream. If something has a high GI, it means that the carbohydrates are absorbed quickly and cause a sudden rise in blood glucose levels. If a food has a low GI, the carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly resulting in a gradual rise in blood glucose. Including a low GI carbohydrate containing food in each meal, will help to keep blood glucose levels stable throughout the day.

Glycemic index is something that you will need to pay attention to, as many low FODMAP foods are high GI and many of the low GI foods are high FODMAP.

5.Include physical activity

Physical activity helps to move the glucose from the blood stream and into the body cell, much the way insulin does. If you have insulin resistance, like in type 2 diabetes, having 10-15 minutes of activity after meals can help the body to process the glucose in your blood stream. You don’t have to go nuts with exercise, all movement is good movement so choose something you enjoy and look forward to doing regularly is probably the best type of movement for you.

If you have type 1 diabetes, physical activity is great for overall health and wellbeing, but you may need to include a carbohydrate based snack around your activity and carry a hypo kit with you. Also make sure to monitor your blood glucose levels during and after activity and adjust your insulin as needed.

Marnie & Joanna are gut health expert dietitians with the knowledge and skills to support you with personalised advice and solutions for diabetes and IBS. We consult privately in Melbourne’s inner South East and via Skype. To make an appointment or seek advice, you can call any of the consulting rooms directly or email us at