My Food Intolerances
I love food. There are very few foods that I actually don't like. Green olives, raw celery and those peanuts with the skins on are all I can think of right now that I don't like. So what really makes my life difficult is that while I may like all food, not all food likes me. I've had digestive issues since I was a teenager (diagnosed with IBS in my early 20's). Only recently have I discovered exactly what foods bother me. A couple of years ago I put myself on an elimination diet. I figured out that I can't eat foods high in fructose. Well, I guess I could, but I would have to suffer the consequences, and I'd rather not. I don't even want to discuss what those consequences are! There is a very helpful blog that explains what fructose malabsorption is, so I if you are interested in learning more, please be directed here. I also found another great page here. The best source I've found on which foods to eat or not eat with fructose malabsorption is this table:
Nutrition Guide for Fructose Malabsorption
There are some foods that I can't tolerate even in tiny amounts. These include sugar alcohols, chicory root (inulin), and brown rice. There are some foods that I can tolerate in small amounts. Fruit is of course the most obvious source of fructose. While I can't eat a whole apple (that would be a disaster), I can eat a few slices of apple. I can eat citrus fruits and berries just fine in reasonable quantities. I love broccoli and it doesn't agree with me very well, but I eat it anyways. Just 3 - 4 small florets at a time.
The jury is still out on tomatoes. I can tolerate one little slice on a sandwich, but any more than that, no way! I don't seem to have as much problem with canned tomatoes, however. Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn't. It all depends on how much of it I eat. I really just try to not eat too much of something if it is "suspect."
my granola bars. That recipe has only 1/4 cup honey total, which when cut into 12 bars is only 1 tsp. honey per bar. This I can tolerate. There was a time before I figured it all out that I was putting about 1 Tbsp. honey on my oatmeal in the morning. That was not good. I now eat my oatmeal in the morning unsweetened, with only a little cinnamon and about 12 blueberries and it doesn't bother me at all.
So you might be wondering, "What the heck CAN she eat?" Well....meat, eggs, cheese and dairy (thankfully), white rice, quinoa, potatoes, spinach and swiss chard, carrots, nuts, and dark chocolate. Unsweetened lemon and lime juices are fine too.
And then there's wheat. When I first went on my elimination diet, I discovered that whole wheat and whole grains did not agree with me. I thought that refined wheat, such as white bread, was OK in that it didn't give me intestinal distress. What I didn't realize until recently was that it was causing exhaustion, joint pain, bloating and just a general unwellness. So I have eliminated all wheat, and basically gluten, from my diet. Even though you will notice I have blogged in the past about recipes with wheat, I'm currently delving into the world of wheat-free and gluten-free cooking and baking.
Foods I try to avoid:
Fruit (especially mangos, apples, peaches, pears)
Raw onion and garlic
Whole grains (such at whole wheat and brown rice)
Dried fruit (raisins)
Chicory (inulin)***my personal arch-enemy!
Jams and jellies
High fructose corn syrup
Asparagus -- recently added :(
Zucchini -- recently added :(
Foods I can eat, sparingly:
Cooked onion and garlic
Pure maple syrup
Green beans (1/2 cup at a time, once or twice a week)
Lettuces (but not Iceberg)
Grapefruit (1/2, once or twice a week)
Foods I can eat with no problem:
Meat, poultry, fish, seafood
Cheese (thankfully, I can tolerate dairy)
Spinach and other greens
Lemons & Limes
Nuts and seeds
Oils and butter
Gluten-free flours, such as almond, sorghum, white rice, tapioca and potato
If all of this seems confusing, it is! These lists are by no means exhaustive. I'm still trying to figure it all out and I'll be adding and subtracting from the lists as I go. When it comes to IBS everyone is so different. What one person can tolerate, the next can't. I've done a lot of studying up on the subjects of fructose and wheat, so if you have any questions, just ask. I hope this page helps someone!