This is the weekly dietitian clinic summary where I pick up some key issues that were discussed with clients this week and share the advice with everyone. This is a great way of learning and also realising that so many people get the same things wrong (it isn’t easy!).
So this week has been all about bowel health. With Chron’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and functional gut problems (everything my geeky self loves to help with!).
Constipation – constipation is more often than not caused by 3 things – lack of fluid, fibre and movement. If this is you then simply start with your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (opt more vegetables than fruit). Make sure this is 5 different types (hint: 5 apples won’t count) and weigh them out (80g = 1 portion).
Then target fluid, if you are someone who is prone to constipation, that 1L a day just won’t cut it. Aim for around 2L (or more if you are overweight or exercising regularly). See my top tips for hydration.
Finally you have movement. Most of us are fairly sedentary during the day and even if you go to a couple of crazy gym classes a week, it really isn’t enough for your bowels. Try to use you lunch break for a short walk/ go for a 2 minute walk every 1 hour/ invest in a stand up desk/ invest in a cheap pedometer (whatever – you move and your bowels will too!).
Fruit is really good for you and it isn’t something you need to avoid. But, if you suffer from a digestive health problem (especially wind or diarrhoea symptoms) then you need to be careful. Having large bowls of fruit salad/ smoothies / fruit juice or more than 1 portion at once is likely to cause these symptoms to flare. Instead, reduce down to 2 portions a day (80g each), spread through the day and avoid smoothies and fruit juice. Use vegetables for your snacks instead where you need to fill a gap.
Yes there are people out there who have a gluten intolerance and those who have Coeliac Disease. However, for many other people who feel gluten/wheat gives them a problem – try just weighing out portion sizes first. After all, since when would anyone diagnose themselves with a lactose allergy after their ice-cream in a 3 course meal because they felt really bloated?
If you would like some further dietetic advice and information around digestive health, please contact me.
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