Posted 7/27/2006 6:30 PM (GMT -6)
Moderators, please note: The following post is not from copyrighted sources but are from combined sources I have learned over my period of time researching the best diet for the control of IBS.
There are several different types of vegetarians. Lots of people, including myself, until I started learning about it, thought that the term "vegan" was just short for "vegetarian." But as you read the different types of vegetarians this will clear up any misconceptions.
Total Vegetarians eat only plant food. They do not eat any animal foods, including fish, eggs, dairy products, and honey.
Vegans not only omit all animal products from their diets, but they also eliminate them from the rest of their life. Vegans use nothing from animals, such as leather, wool, and silk.
Lacto-Vegetarians will include dairy products into their diet of plant food.
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products.
Pesco-Vegetarians include fish into their diets.
Pollo-Vegetarians eat poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck.
I realize that the first thoughts that some people have when introduced to a vegetarian lifestyle is that they believe to be a healthy person they must incorporate protein, fiber, calcium and other minerals and vitamins into their diet. And they are correct. The daily requirements for vitamins and minerals are in abundance in most high potency mutivitamin/multimineral supplements. And I will show you below how an IBS sufferer who follows a vegetarian diet can also incorporate all the protein , fiber and calcium they need.
We just have to re-do a little of our thinking. For example: when we think of foods high in protein we typically think of foods such as: meats, egg yolks, fish, and dairy products.
When we think of foods high in calcium we think of dairy products such as milk, most cheeses, yogurt, ice cream and calcium fortified foods such are orange juice. There are a few citrus fruits that IBS sufferers can eat such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. But don’t be mistaken. Although these are rich in Vitamin C they contain no calcium.
From what I have learned through my endless hours of research is that most all of these foods are typically " no-no" foods for most IBSers ( I understand we are each unique and know our own trigger foods). But keep in mind that meats contain no fiber and most are not low fat (please correct me if I am wrong here) and most all of the calcium rich foods that we consume are usually not the ones that agree with our IBS.
A high fiber, low fat diet is the best diet to keep your IBS under control.That is why a vegetarian diet works so well.
So if you are interested in a low fat, vegetarian diet but simply cannot live without your meats then the Pesco/Pollo vegetarian diet would be best for you. But remember—no red meats, dairy or egg yolks. Follow a lower fat eating plan eating turkey, chicken and fish instead of red meat. As a Pesco/Pollo vegetarian follow this simple rule:The leaner the better. If you cook your meat and cook it in a lean way and eat smaller portions, like a piece of meat the size of the palm of your hand, about 4 ounces, you might find it actually being better tolerated.
Here is a list I compiled of foods that are rich in sources of protein for vegetarians and safe for those who suffer IBS. When I say "safe" I mean typically safe but once again you know your own trigger food and would need to delete them from this list. These also provide concentrated sources of not only protein but also essential calories, vitamins and minerals. Some of these overlap with foods high in calcium but I am not going to take the time to sort them out:
pulses (legumes within a pod)
soya products (tofu, soya milk,,texturized soya protein such as soya mince)
cereals ( wheat, oat, rice)
whole grain breads
nuts and nut spreads (such as peanut, cashew almonds and almond butter).
*The daily requirements for protein range by age. For males the range is 45-63 grams and for females the range is 46-50. Vegetarians get plenty of protein so that is no issue to be concerned about.
Sources of well-absorbed calcium for vegetarians who suffer IBS include:
soybeans and soynuts
beans (mashed or pureed are safer)
Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate
Collard greens, cooked
Soy or rice milk, commercial, calcium-fortified, plain
Commercial soy yogurt, plain
Turnip greens, cooked
So once again, there is no concern for vegetarians not getting enough calcium in their diet.
*The recommended level of calcium for adults age 19 through 50 years is 1000 mg per day. I get 450 mg per day in my multivitamin alone. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for those age 51 years and older.
After all this hard work I might throw in that there is another very important advantage of being a vegetarian/IBS sufferer and that is that a vegetarian lifestyle highly encourages getting regular exercise. This is great, I would almost say a "must" for IBS because exercise improves the bowel. Even gentle exercise works the muscles of the bowel and helps them to return to a pattern of normal contractions. Exercise is especially beneficial for relieving constipation. And it doesn't have to be rigorous, aerobic types of excercise. Even gentle exercise such as walking at your own pace, stretching or gentle yoga movements will work.
If you are interested in knowing more just reply to this post or shoot me an email.
My best to you all on your way to good health,