Most people with IBS assume that they should avoid dairy products considering they tend to be high FODMAP and can easily irritate the stomach. But what if we said that there are actually certain dairy products that have the possibility of helping IBS symptoms? Yogurt, a fermented milk product and daily snack for most, can be great for some diagnosed with IBS.
Why can yogurt be good for the gut? Once yogurt has gone through the fermentation process, it’s full of probiotics. Probiotics are considered “good bacteria” which help restore balance in the gut by helping the body get rid of “bad” bacteria. Other fermented milk products like kefir and cottage cheese also have probiotics and are great to eat. If you’d like to learn more about why fermented milk in general is beneficial to the gut, you can read this IBSLife article here.
Probiotics have also shown promise of regulating bowel movements in several studies, helping those with IBS-C go more often and those with IBS-D have regular stool. While it’s not a full-proof solution to gut issues, discussing adding yogurt to their diet with their physician or dietitian could offer some hope to those struggling.
There are several different types of yogurt available on the market: regular, greek, lactose free, and vegan. With all of these options it can be hard to figure out which is best for the IBS gut. IBSLiferecommends going with the Low FODMAP friendly options such as lactose free yogurt and vegan yogurts. There are plenty of different vegan options that are made with coconut milk, soy milk, and almond milk. Some even come in different combinations of the three. When shopping, look for the plain flavors since most flavored yogurts add large amounts of sugar which can trigger IBS symptoms.
The one tricky thing about eating yogurt is the texture. The unusual consistency can tend to throw some people off and can be hard to get past for picky eaters. Instead of eating yogurt on it’s own, a serving could be tactfully added into a smoothie so that it’s hidden by the fruit flavors. A great way to help get used to the texture is to add granola, fruit, or dark chocolate chips. An option that some might think is a good replacement is frozen yogurt, but not all frozen yogurts contain probiotics and almost all of them contain high quantities of sugar. It’s recommended that if one is eating yogurt for the probiotic gut benefits, to solely stick with refrigerated yogurt and avoid frozen.
While yogurt isn’t helpful for everybody diagnosed with IBS, it can be beneficial for some! It is full of “good” bacteria called probiotics which can help the body get rid of harmful bacteria. When it comes to yogurt, there are many options but if dairy is a major trigger for IBS symptoms, vegan yogurt could be the right choice. If texture is an issue, there are some tricks available to hide the texture while still providing the benefits of yogurt! Make sure to talk to your doctor before making any major dietary changes.