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Guest Blog: How Bay's Kitchen Are Raising Awareness Of IBS

IBS Awareness Month: What you need to know about IBS & FODMAPs

IBS Awareness Month 2021 is here and what better way to celebrate than speaking out about IBS & FODMAP.

The topic of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is often glossed over due to the stigma that surrounds talking openly about the associated daily struggles with your gut and bowels. But, here at Bay’s Kitchen we truly believe speaking openly can help IBS by reducing the stress a sufferer experiences by trying to hide and mask their symptoms.

1 in 5 people in the UK now suffer with IBS, and its various symptoms that can vary from person to person and typically include bloating, cramping, wind and a change in bowel habits (with lack of better wording – constipation and/or diarrhoea). In short, it cannot be cured but there are many things that can help to manage IBS and reduce the debilitating symptoms.

 

One thing that is scientifically proven to reduce symptoms and so is now recommended by most medical professionals (doctors, GPs, Dietitians etc) is the low FODMAP diet. I, myself, was recommended this when I was diagnosed. At the time there was a massive lack of both information and food products suitable to have with the diet. This is how and why Bay’s Kitchen was born. The need for convenient and tasty food that was suitable to consume whilst following a low FODMAP diet was through the roof.

What is a FODMAP?

FODMAP is an acronym for a group of short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Foods high in FODMAPs will ferment in the gut and cause the symptoms of IBS. FODMAPs are present naturally in some foods but are also in artificial sweeteners which are now used a lot in convenient foods. A diet reducing the amount of FODMAPs consumed has been found to improve or help to maintain IBS symptoms. This was discovered by a research team at Monash University in Australia.

 

What is the Low FODMAP Diet?

A Low FODMAP is a specific diet that had been proven to reduce symptoms of IBS in over 75% of people who have given it a whirl. High FODMAP ingredients are avoided for a period of 2-6 weeks. This diet can be particularly challenging to follow and there are three different phases to it; elimination, reintroduction and continuation.

1. Elimination.

This is by far the hardest phase and should last around 4-6 weeks. All moderate and high FODMAP foods are removed from your diet and hopefully you will see symptoms dramatically improve.

2. Reintroduction.

This phase allows you to test your body to see which FODMAPs you can tolerate and at what quantity, in order to make the diet less restrictive.

3. Continuation.

This is continuing the diet by consuming the foods that were successfully reintroduced and avoiding those that you cannot tolerate.

    Although the Low FODMAP Diet can help IBS, you should always speak to a health professional before following it. Due to the number of foods that are eliminated, we strongly recommend talking to a dietitian to provide you with a meal plan ensuring you are getting enough fibre and nutrients. The diet is very restrictive, and you should not be on full elimination for more than 6 weeks as this can harm your gut microbiome and cause more damage to your gut. This is why it’s so important to follow all three steps and not to miss out the reintroduction stage (we know it’s such a daunting part!)

     

    How can we at Bay’s Kitchen help?

    We produce sauces, soups, stocks and gravies that are all low FODMAP making it much easier for you to stick to the restrictive diet. Having to plan and cook from scratch meals that are low in FODMAPs is exhausting, our products give you a convenient and worry-free way of eating. We send all of our products for FODMAP Friendly Food Certification, so you know that it is safe for you to eat.

     

    Our website also provides you with information, blogs and recipes that can help you at all points in your fodmap journey. Selling through Mighty Small was a must for us. Not only do they provide ‘better for you’ food choices and options for those following specific diets, but they also support small, innovative brands, meaning you can purchase our foods, as well as other amazing brands foods and drinks all from one place with one shipping charge. What could be better?!

     

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