Do you ever find yourself wondering “Is porridge good for IBS?”
In this article, we will discuss if porridge is good for IBS. We will also discuss if it is low FODMAP and share some tasty low FODMAP porridge recipes.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS PORRIDGE?
Porridge is a nutritious breakfast meal made from oats, and milk or water. It can also be known as oatmeal.
You can use different spices, fruits and toppings to make your porridge tastier!
IS PORRIDGE GOOD FOR IBS?
Porridge is good for IBS as it is a great source of low fermentable fibre. This means you should experience a large amount of gas from consuming porridge.
Porridge made from 40g of oats contains 4 grams of fibre (1).
Fibre from porridge can help you with IBS-C and IBS-D as it bulks up the stool. For IBS-C, this makes stools easier to pass and in IBS-D, this helps to pass more solid stool.
Porridge contains ten times less resistant starches (a type of fibre) than raw oats and therefore porridge may be a better option for IBS patients (2).
Resistant starches act like prebiotic, which means they are broken down by gut bacteria. During the bacterial fermentation a lot of gas is produced (3). In some IBS patients that gas can cause IBS symptoms such as bloating and stomach pain.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF PORRIDGE
Aside from the gut health benefits of fibre, porridge also contains a type of fibre called beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have proven antidiabetic effects and efficiently lower LDL cholesterol (4, 5).
CAN PORRIDGE IRRITATE THE GUT?
Porridge should not irritate the gut. However, it may increase excess gas and bloating if you are not used to meals higher in fibre.
If you find that porridge does irritate your gut, try a smaller portion and slowly increase over time.
Remember that IBS management is a multifactorial approach. This means that aside from diet modification, you should also pay attention to sleep optimisation, stress management, optimal hydration, and regular exercise.
IS PORRIDGE LOW FODMAP?
Porridge oats are naturally low FODMAP (6). But to make porridge low FODMAP, you have to use low FODMAP milk or a low FODMAP plant-based milk alternative.
Examples of low FODMAP milk and plant-based milk alternatives are:
- Lactose-free milk
- Rice milk
- Almond milk
LOW FODMAP PORRIDGE TOPPINGS
To make your porridge even more nutritious and delicious, you can add some toppings. But pay attention to make sure they are low FODMAP.
You can add to your porridge:
- Low FODMAP seeds such as chia seeds
- Low FODMAP spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla
- Low FODMAP fruits such as unripe banana, kiwi, blueberries
- Low FODMAP nuts such as almonds or walnuts
- Low FODMAP yogurts like lactose-free yogurt or coconut yogurt
- Low FODMAP sweeteners such as maple syrup
- Dark chocolate or cocoa nibs
By adding some toppings to your porridge, you will get more diverse nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Additionally, by adding some nuts, fruits, or chocolate you will increase the fibre content, which plays a role in gut health and overall health.
LOW FODMAP PORRIDGE RECIPES
Now that you have all the information you need about the porridge and IBS, here are some low FODMAP porridge recipes!
- Nutty banana split porridge
- Porridge with peanut butter and blueberries
- Carrot cake porridge
- Caramelised banana topped porridge
- Porridge with strawberries
- Cardamom scented porridge
- Pumpkin spice porridge
- Creamy porridge
- Tropical porridge
Porridge has many benefits for your overall health, including gut health and IBS. It can be beneficial for both IBS-C and IBS-D.
Porridge can be a great meal option, even on a low FODMAP diet. When preparing porridge make sure you use only low FODMAP ingredients if you are following a low FODMAP diet.
If you find that porridge irritates your gut, try a smaller portion and then gradually increase it over time.
Written by Barbara Lešnik, Student Dietitian, reviewed by Serena Bansal Registered Dietitian BSc Hons and Kirsten Jackson Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Serena is a UK HCPC Registered Dietitian with a keen interest in IBS and gut health. Serena graduated from Coventry University in 2021 with an upper second class in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
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