November 28, 2022

Low FODMAP vs. Mediterranean: Which is the Best Diet Meal Plan for IBD

The mention of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, can send a shiver down anyone's back. There is something about gut health that you always wish remains at optimal levels. The simple act of eating can become excruciating. The abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, fatigue, and bloody stool is horrifying. Indeed, it is not something you would wish on your worst enemy. Yet those are the symptoms IBD sufferers have to deal with.

IBD is an umbrella term for chronic gastrointestinal tract inflammations. The CDC estimates that 1.3% or 3.1 million American adults have had a positive diagnosis of IBD. The two main IBD types are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease. IBD is especially unpleasant because any part of the digestive tract is fair game. That starts from the mouth, through the colon, and onto the anus.

IBD can result from an incorrect immune system response to environmental triggers. Genetic factors can also bring it on. 

Doctors will prescribe different treatment options, including corticosteroids, biologics, and immunomodulators.

But do you know an IBS diet plan can help manage the condition? Our article explores Low FODMAP vs. Mediterranean meal plans for IBD management.

Mediterranean vs. Low FODMAP Diet Plan

As we hinted already, adopting an IBS diet plan can help manage IBD. The Low FODMAP and Mediterranean diets are quite effective. But, the challenge for most people is preparing meals. 

You can get a Low FODMAP or Mediterranean diet meal delivery right to your door from ModifyHealth. The meals are gluten-free and consider allergies, plant-based, and low-sodium needs. The low-sodium meal delivery is convenient, making it easier to stick to the diet. You also get practical tips to help you navigate and deal with the IBS.

Now, let's explore what each IBS meal plan entails.

Understanding the Mediterranean Diet Plan

The Mediterranean diet is an irritable bowel syndrome high-fiber diet. Your meals will consist of plenty of veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, olive oil, and whole grains. You can also throw in your favorite herbs and spices.

You will have to let go of red meat. But, in moderation, you can continue to eat eggs, cheese, poultry, and yogurt.

The Mediterranean meal plan has tons of benefits, including:-

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced heart disease and type II diabetes risk
  • The Mediterranean diet for weight loss has shown significant positive results.
  • Better cognitive functioning, etc.

In IBS management, the Mediterranean diet meal plan has shown improved inflammatory markers and clinical scores. Patients achieved clinical remission after a 12-week treatment. Some of the benefits include:-

  • Better nutritional status for IBS patients
  • Symptomatic remissions for those with mild to moderate IBS
  • Decreased inflation and comorbidities
  • Elimination of processed foods from the body
  • Better quality of life due to a reduction in the IBS symptoms
  • Plugs nutrition gaps
  • Prevention of IBD onset.

Understanding the Low FODMAP Diet

FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharide, and Polyols. It sounds like a mouthful, but the basis of this IBS diet plan is simple. All you need to do is remove foods your GI tract will not absorb well. These are sugars and a specific group of fibers. That means no more lactose, fructose, and sugar polyols.

Fructans like those you will find in leeks, garlic, wheat, and artichokes are also out.

The FODMAPS foods list also means avoiding lentils, green peas, and chickpeas. These contain galacto-oligosaccharides that make the IBS worse.

Please note that the Low FODMAP diets are for short-term use. It is also quite restrictive because of the number of foods you have to cut from your diet. Over time, you will slowly reintroduce some of these foods.

Please seek medical advice before embarking on the Low FODMAP meal plan. Do not try it if you are underweight, at least not without the doctor's go-ahead. Also, please note that you may lose weight because of the food restriction. But, the Low FODMAP is not a weight loss diet, and you should not use it for this purpose.

So what are the benefits of a Low FODMAP diet to IBS management? Research conclusively shows that FODMAP can help with IBS. The diet helps with the following:-

  • Effective for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and IBS treatment
  • Relief from bloating, constipation, gas, and diarrhea
  • Better quality of life with the IBS symptoms
  • Quick identification of trigger foods allowing you to avoid them in future

When on a Low-FODMAP diet, you can eat:-

  • Meat, eggs, and almond milk
  • Specific cheeses like feta, cheddar, brie, and camembert
  • Grains like oats, quinoa, and rice
  • Low FODMAP veggies including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and cucumbers
  • Fruits like strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges, and blueberries.

Low FODMAP vs. Mediterranean Diet; Which is Better for IBS Management

We have looked at both Low FODMAP and the Mediterranean IBS diet plans. Without a doubt, both have massive benefits when it comes to IBS management. But, you may be wondering which is a better option for you. A straightforward answer may be challenging to give. Both are excellent for improving your digestive gut health. But, we do need to reiterate some facts we shared.

  • Please seek medical advice before using any IBS diet plan
  • Low FODMAP is only for short-term use. The meal plan is quite restrictive and removes a lot of essential foods. Foods that your body needs for continued good health.
  • The Mediterranean diet plan follows the Mediterranean people's meals. That means you can adopt it on a long-term basis. Aside from IBS management, you get many other benefits, as mentioned above. These include weight loss and reduced heart disease and diabetes risk.
  • You must have the right foods for both IBS diet plans. Opt for Low FODMAP or Mediterranean diet meal delivery. It will remove guesswork from the meal prep process.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with IBD is a nightmare. Indeed, you could lose your ability to function in society. While there are medications available, an IBS diet plan can also be a big help. We have looked at the Mediterranean and Low FODMAP IBS diets. Please do more research and get your doctor's go-ahead before starting any diet.

We also understand the challenges of meal prep when dieting. But, you can choose Low FODMAP and Mediterranean low sodium meal delivery right to your doorstep. Modify Health offers free shipping, so that does not impact the cost. The meals are affordable, healthy, and sure to take care of pesky IBS symptoms.

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