Got Digestive Problems? Take It Easy on the Veggies. | Chris Kresser
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Got Digestive Problems? Take It Easy on the Veggies.


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Reviewed by Tracey Long, MPH, RDN

digestive problems veggies
If you have digestive problems, veggies high in insoluble fiber—like spinach—can make them worse. iStock/Edalin

Previously, I wrote an article called “FODMAPS: Could Common Foods Be Harming Your Digestive Health?” I described how certain classes of foods, known as FODMAPs, are poorly digested in certain people and can lead to gas, bloating, pain and changes in stool frequency and consistency. Studies have shown that conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are associated with FODMAP intolerance, and that a low-FODMAP diet offers relief in a substantial percentage of people with IBS. (1) I also have information on what would make up a diverticulitis diet menu if you’ve suffered from an attack.

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Today I’ve got another tip for those of you with digestive issues, including IBS, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux: eat fewer vegetables.

Yep, that’s right. Fewer vegetables.

Find out how following mainstream advice to eat six to eight servings of vegetables a day could hurt your gut.

Vegetables, Insoluble Fiber, and Soluble Fiber

Vegetables (as well as some fruits) are often high in insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed is a little bit like rubbing a wire brush against an open wound. (2, 3, 4) Ouch.

Vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include:

  • Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc.)
  • Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
  • Green beans
  • Kernel corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
  • Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
The vegetables that are high in soluble fiber, but lower in insoluble fiber (and thus tend to be safer for those with gut issues) include:
  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Summer squash (especially peeled)
  • Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Plantains
  • Taro
  • Yuca
Another helpful tip is to reduce the variety of vegetables you eat at any given meal. Instead of stir-fries with six different veggies, have a single steamed or roasted vegetable as a side dish. This works better for most people with gut issues.

But Won’t I Become Deficient in Nutrients If I Don’t Eat Tons of Veggies?

First of all, I’m not suggesting that you don’t eat these foods at all if you have digestive problems. I’m simply suggesting that you limit them. There are also steps you can take to make these foods more digestible and less likely to cause problems. They include:

  1. Never eat insoluble fiber foods on an empty stomach. Always eat them with other foods that contain soluble fiber.
  2. Remove the stems and peels (i.e. from broccoli, cauliflower, and winter greens) from veggies (and fruits) high in insoluble fiber.
  3. Dice, mash, chop, grate or blend high-insoluble fiber foods to make them easier to break down.
  4. Insoluble fiber foods are best eaten well-cooked: (5) Steamed thoroughly, boiled in soup, braised, etc; avoid consuming them in stir-fries and if you do eat them raw, prepare them as described in #3 above.

Second, although fruits and veggies are high in certain nutrients, animal products like meat, organ meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are as high and sometimes higher in those nutrients. For example, the chart below compares the micronutrient profile of beef liver and beef with blueberries and kale, two plant foods often referred to as being particularly nutrient-dense:

chart comparing nutrient content of liver, beef, kale & blueberries

It’s also worth pointing out that most traditional cultures only ate a few vegetables and fruits that were available seasonally. They couldn’t walk into Whole Foods and buy every vegetable on the planet at every time of year.

I have nothing against vegetables. In fact, I like them quite a bit and I do think they’re beneficial.

But the advice to eat six to eight servings a day is not based on solid scientific evidence and may cause unnecessary distress in people with gut problems.

Fermented Vegetables: A Better Alternative?

Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kim chi, sauerruben, and cortido are excellent alternatives for people with gut issues. First, the fermentation process “pre-digests” the vegetables and makes them easier to absorb. Second, fermented veggies contain probiotic microorganisms that help heal the gut.

Although sauerkraut and kim chi contain cabbage, which is high in insoluble fiber (and a FODMAP to boot), I’ve found that many patients with gut problems can tolerate it quite well. FODMAPs are sugars and sugar alcohols, and fermentation breaks down sugars. This is probably why fermented FODMAPs are better tolerated than non-fermented FODMAPs.

If you’re new to fermented vegetables, you have two options:

  1. Make them yourself. Check out this page for a great primer. It’s really quite easy, and cheap.
  2. You can buy them at a health food store. Make sure that it says “raw” on the jar, and they’re in the refrigerated section. The sauerkraut you can buy in the condiments section has been pasteurized and won’t have the same beneficial effect.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to health, and no two people should follow the exact same diet. Someone who’s experiencing more mild digestive issues might see a big difference after reducing the amount of vegetables they eat, while someone else with IBS, SIBO, and/or significant bloating might benefit from following a more restrictive approach, like a short-term, low-FODMAP diet.

But what’s the best way to determine which approach is right and support someone who’s trying to make major dietary changes and improve their health? I believe that a health coach, working together with a Functional Medicine practitioner, can offer the support needed to help clients alleviate their digestive discomfort and heal.

Health coaches are armed with knowledge. They understand how human motivation works, and they’re experts in the science behind behavior change. They are skilled at offering their clients the support they need to make changes—like adopting a low-FODMAP diet or implementing other treatment protocols from their doctor.

At the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program, we teach you how to offer the kind of support that helps clients reach their wellness goals. We also offer a solid background in Functional and ancestral health, so you understand the mechanisms behind a number of chronic illnesses and health conditions.

Learn more about what health coaches do from the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.


Join the conversation

  1. Chris:

    Just found this FODMAP list that you linked to in a prior post.

    Note the differences between it and your lists here, i.e. celery, spinach, and lettuce are on the O.K. list.

    Will you please clarify? Also, radishes and cucumbers aren’t on any list I’ve seen, so I’d like to know about them, and also, whether cucs should be peeled (I’m already seeding them).

    Thanks so much.


  2. I’ve never much liked veggies anyway, so when I learned a few years ago (thanks to Dr. Eades’ blog post about fiber) that I don’t even really need the fiber, because it is such an effective gut irritant, I stopped worrying about not eating veggies. I can go weeks at a time without touching one, and my gut has been much happier for it. I eat a lot of grass fed beef and pastured egg yolks (not even the whites, because they are irritating). I eat starchy stuff for my carbs, mostly white rice and potatoes, and a little squash when it’s in season. I’m also lucky that I have an outstanding source of raw dairy, although I seem to tolerate all dairy pretty well.

    I do occasionally eat some fruit, mostly dates and bananas, but that is a few times a month at most.

    I worked rotating shift work for several years, and that did considerable damage to my already very finicky digestive system and underperforming metabolism (or are those one and the same?). It’s unlikely that I’ll ever be able to eat lots of fibrous anything ever again. I’m glad that I never developed a taste for veggies.

    Actually, none of the food sensitivities I’ve discovered or developed have really been bothersome to me long-term (once I discovered them and eliminated those foods) but I would just about kill to be able to eat chocolate again! Theobromine really, really does not like me. 🙁

  3. Even the oft touted fermented foods (supposedly natures magic) are not recommended because I’ve heard they are high in argenine, tyramine and histamine and may cause GI distress…see my point?

  4. …And fat, do not forget good fat with vegetables…(not olive oil fix…It is very important.

  5. Hey Chris,
    Is it possible to create food intolerances by restricting the diet to say only fats and proteins? I have heard that if you restrict your food too much you can become more intolerant of the foods you normally could eat. Is that possible? Or is it just an awareness and your senses being acutely more fine tuned to see what you were intolerant to to begin with. Also after you build your gut back up can you reincorporate more raw veggies, dairy, or even grains and legumes? Is it temporary if you have IBS or permanent? Thanks I am just worried about restricting my diet so much that I soon become intolerant to anything except meat….seems like all food is out to kill us really. Everyday there is a new “Hey don’t eat this anymore” in the blogosphere and I am kinda sick of it.

  6. Hi, great info. It is very individual, but it is the best to cook them nicely, so they soft or even very soft and take away skin if one finds it aggravates the condition. As the gut heals one may try some additions – watery raw vegetables, no skin first, cooked vegetables with some skin if desired.
    Fermented veggies due to the process are predigested so it is much easier for body to work on them and they full of enzymes…
    Yes, it is very true – we did not have Whole Foods around and somehow well survived on much fewer vegetables and, for sure there were no greens for us on the market except for early spring salad greens that were actually always very very tender. And we did not have cucumber and radish all year around, tomatoes included… The life was more “structured”, a regimen was more bold and while still stress, somehow it was different and society respected person’s needs to take care of food, life, etc beyond the office. It does not mean people would not get sick. But rest so much needed for body to heal was always taken vs. times we live now.

  7. Yes!!! So glad that word is getting out on the FODMAP diet. I was plagued with terrible bloating my whole life until I discovered this about a year ago now. I had been trying very hard to solve the bloating issue once and for all as I was at my wits end with finishing every day looking 6 months pregnant and I had noticed that certain foods very obviously caused bad bloating and gas, these being onions, apples, garlic, potatoes, peppers and ginger and looking up information on the internet about intolerance to these lead me to the Fodmap diet.
    Since then, my life has been transformed! I actually really don’t eat any fruit or vegetables anymore. I can tolerate a little green salad and the odd banana, but don’t make a point of eating them. I make sure I get all my essential nutrients from a varied healthy diet and it really is very easy to do without including the fruit and veg.
    I’ve never felt better, my skin and hair are fantastic and I’m full of energy. It is frustrating to look back and realise how brainwashed I was into think fruit and vegetables were so healthy. It just didn’t occur to me that they could be at the root of my problems. The 5/6 a day message is so deeply ingrained. THANKYOU for shining a spotlight on this issue!

    • Oh Hannah 🙂
      What do you eat for meals and snacks? I’m you, before you cut the trigger foods out, and I’ve been vegan for 20 years thinking this will help -constipation if I just get vegan down right 🙁
      If your not eating produce, is it just meats and eggs? Do you get enough food w/o produce?
      Please share….

      • I am both of you too!! bloated 24/7 until I severely restricted veggies. Something ingrained in me still tells me i need some greenery…. I just dont feel right without something green on my plate. It is important for your acid/alkali balance to include veggies to balance out all the acidic meats etc, or so i’ve heard.

        • MEEE TOOO! I am paleo(only the best foods) Blood type Diet ( foods healing or toxic for my O blood type)/ Metabolic protein type( macronutrient portions) and very low carb. This combo is my ticket to healthy bowels. The Blood type foods that I’m to avoid ALWAYS give me trouble if I try to eat them. The Protein Metabolic type says my plate should be 1/3 veggies and that always goes against the grain but always gives me troubles when I over eat them. I now eat 2 oz good protein with a handful of recommended veggies with some healthy fats 4x a day. I eat celery, carrots and onion and artichokes in small amounts on a small handful of chopped spinach or on a romaine lettuce wrap. At first this seemed like a measly amount of food but after just a few days, my entire systen thanks me. It is actually more satisfying than any larger meals. Too many veggies make me hungry and bloated which is a horrid combo to live with. IN the end, The Blood Type foods with the metabolic portions is the way to better stomach health for me.

  8. I have celiac and also cannot have dairy or soy. Six months ago, I was also diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorbtion . It’s been a tough concept to get used to, the idea of limiting my vegetables but it has actually done wonders for my digestive health. I am also very FODMAP sensitive.

  9. For me, raw nuts cause the most digestive trouble. If I soak/roast them they’re fine, but I also had my gallbladder removed a couple years ago (I wish I had known about the paleo diet when I started having trouble) so I don’t know if that factors into it. As long as I stick to low glycemic foods, meat, fish, and eggs I seem to have no significant gut pain/problems and no joint pain – which is amazing after years of feeling awful. 🙂

  10. agreed. Russian folk wisdom says no fibrous veggies if you have an upset stomach, and more well-cooked ones, preferably with broth. Thanks for the article! : )

  11. Bubbies pickles and sauerkraut are great for people who are new to fermented foods. The Bubbies brand is pretty easy to find at health stores or online.

  12. Thanks, this is good advice for those with Crohn’s disease with strictures or high inflammation that could lead to partial or even full bowel obstructions if they ate too much insoluble fiber vegetables and fruit.

    I often recommend skinning, de-seeding, well-done cooking, and/or juicing. But hadn’t known that insoluble might be easier to digest than soluble.

  13. Chris:

    This is an awesome post. Thank you. So useful.

    Here’s a coincidence – about a week ago, I just happened to switch from eating A LOT of greens to eating carrots, cucumbers, and celery – and I’ve felt so much better (not really knowing why, until now that I’ve read this post).

    As for the celery – I guess I’ll eat less. I’ve heard, though, that if you peel the stringy side (as you’d peel a carrot), it’s more digestible. Is that true?

    All along I’ve been eating radishes and ginger – because it’s my understanding that they’re good for the gut. Is that true?

    As for fruit, it would be great if you’d post the ones that are high/low in insoluble fiber.

    Thanks, Chis. Great info.


  14. Ever since I switched to a Paleo/traditional diet, I’ve eaten fewer vegetables and can really tell which ones don’t agree with me. There are many on the first list that I can’t tolerate. Choosing seasonal veggies is good advice: besides the fact that it’s healthier and more eco-friendly, the things that you’re sensitive to become apparent.

    • Vegetables don’t have vitamin A. They have beta-carotene. Sites like Nutrition Data make the mistake of saying they’re the same thing. They’re not. Beta-carotene is the precursor to the active form of vitamin A (retinol). Only a small amount of beta-carotene gets converted into retinol in most people.

      • That is why it is a good idea to take those with animal fat: normally carrots will be eaten with sour cream in old world…or with onion cooked in chicken or duck fat…

  15. Yes, I have been doing this for awhile now. I don’t eat many veggies, finding I don’t have much appetite for them (because they aggravate my gut), but when I do they are well cooked. I still enjoy fruits but I try to limit them to in season berries and melons. Veggies that I ferment myself have been really beneficial for me.

  16. I read in another FODMAPS source that coffee has a surprising amount of insoluble fiber. At the time I learned this, I had reduced “typical” FODMAPS with no real change in my digestive discomfort. Stopping coffee, however, produced a next-day and on-going HUGE improvement. This makes me very sad, since I love(d) my coffee (like I used to love my wheat!), but having a happy tummy is worth it!

    • Have you tried Teechino coffee replacement? Not sure though if your gut would still be happy as it does contain chicory, but maybe worth a try if you really miss coffee.

      • I tried to come off coffee several times…love my coffee so hard to give up. The alternatives with chicory really tore my system up.

    • Coffee has a lot of fiber – if you eat it. I can’t see how filtered coffee would have a significant amount of fiber. However, coffee has several other compounds (like tannins) that can irritate the gut.

      • I tried cutting out coffee a few months ago. I did it mainly as an attempt to cut out dairy, because I love the taste and texture of cream in my coffee. However, my gut was very unhappy – it locked up solid for the entire week! I did not get headaches, but it seems that I am rather dependent on the coffee anyway. I have recently turned up a local source of grass fed dairy, however, and I use the cream in my coffee – I swear I can taste the grass.

      • Hi Chris,
        Thank you for the great information. Great timing too as we had fresh green beans from the garden in a Thai style stirfry last night and I had the classic symptoms! Wondered what it was…….as far as the tannins in the coffee, I guess this goes for certain wines as well?? Please say it isn’t so!!

      • Thanks for pointing this out! Coffee really messes with my gut. It helps with constipation but for me it’s impossible to have a ms. Ideal when drinking coffee! It’s why I’m now only drinking tea. 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth for your comment. I too was wondering about the coffee since I’ve been having a little bit of well, you know, discomfort. I think I’ll go back to drinking green tea in the morning. It’ll make me very sad as well!

    • Coffee also contains proteins which cross-react for gluten, so if you are gluten-sensitive coffee will set off those typical symptoms 🙁

      • I was hoping to replace coffee with dandelion tea too but apparently not good if have fructose malabsorption
        🙁 running out of alternative options!!

    • Yes I had a problem with instant decaffeinated coffee. I though it must be something to do with how it was processed.

  17. THANK YOU Chris…. I’ve been feeling guilty about eating all meat, eggs, and fats lately and no fruits or veggies due to gut issues. Now I know I can take my time reintroducing them and not feel like I’m gonna drop dead!

  18. Yes I totally have done this. I no longer eat even steamed chinese takeout because the vegetables are still too hard.I love vegetables but not raw unless its a bit of mixed greens and herbs. When I caught the stomach virus even yuca was too much fiber for me to handle. I think vegetables are overrated, and have found if I need more green things I just juice my cucumbers and drink them or have liquid chlorophyll or spirulina in a smoothie. People who have gut issues should def. Not be forcing themselves to consume vegetables…

    • Some people are sensitive to fat rather than fiber, and dietary changes are only one possible intervention with gut issues.

      • I also have problems with 24 7 bloating / distention and cannot figure out what the issue is. + loose stools. ive tried all kinds of things and am still experimenting and experimenting…

        • Hello Caiti
          I am sorry to hear that, because i had the same problem for a year and It was very frustrated. Indeed, after spending tone of money on supplement and protocols, nothing has worked for me, even with following the perfect diet I was still feeling bloated and tired and even lost 10kg in 8 month.
          Recently, thanks to God ‘I cam across a very good diet (paleo Diet) which after only tow days i felt
          like have again 90% of my health back and I was seeing improvement day after day and almost all my allergies start to call down. do some recherche en this diet to have more details. Good luck

          • I’ve been on a high protein low carb no sugar diet…to restricting.
            I recently through my daughters eczema have figured out my stomach extension issues…
            Yes the underlying culprit. We can now eat all grains including wheat. We make sure it’s free off honey and sugars. It’s been a very exciting find.
            Fructose malabsorption is the term. Amazing

          • I had my GI doc test for celiac disease. He was hesitate and told me “this celiac disease is now the latest fad ‘illness'” There is no PROOF that it exists.

            • Cannot believe some people in the medical field. Believe me Celiac is a real disease……and anything but a “fad disease”. There is proof that it exists. I was diagnosed last yr. @ 60 yrs. old. I had to go to several Dr.s before finding my problem. I have found the ones that are ignorant of the Disease …are not educated and don’t believe any diseases exist beyond what they were taught in Med. School. When one has this closed mind set I would run as quickly as I could from that Dr. If I had not been correctly diagnosed I think I would have died quickly. Gluten Free has made a believer out of me. My family saw how ill I was and going GF has sure been my answer. It has taken close to a year for me to see the improved results. It did not happen quickly for me because of the inflammation in my upper intestine. I know I will have to be GF for the rest of my life. I would not wish this disease on anyone………but I would like to see some of these “fake Drs.” have it. They need educated on some of the auto immune diseases that do exist. Just because there is MD. in their title it does not mean they are always a good, smart and qualified one. I would recommend you see a different GI Dr.

              • You do not havr to be GF for life. U can cure ur celiac. Have u heard of the GAPS diet? My severe gluten and dairy eczema sensitivities/allergies have gone in 3 months. I’m still on the diet and there are so many testimonies out there on how it cures many gut problems from celiac to crohns to IBS to alzheimers to autism to constipation and the list goes on..

          • You need to be careful with these. I took a lot of probiotics and enzymes. I ended up with a large build up of d-Lactate and SIBO to boot.

            • Curious Anna, I understand SIBO can be tested for, but how did you determine D-Lactate was part of the problem? What sort of symptoms or testing revealed that? Thanks

        • I have had gutissues my whole life basicly, bloating, loose stools.. Couple months ago i started intermittent fasting, and my stools are finaly normal, (and only once a day) bloating is pretty much there though

      • Indeed! I’ve been eating 6lb butter / month (kerry gold, unsalted) for the past 6 months, and suffered increasing bloating throughout this experiment… Stopped butter, added more coconut oil… Bloating cut in half within a few days; but still not back to normal after 3 weeks 🙁 … I’ll try clarifying butter, once I rid myself of distension.

        • I have the 24/7 abdominal bloating and distension as well. I recently realized that I have candida. Eating a low carb/no sugar/no yeast diet helps some, but I’ve done some research and will be trying a few other things soon (adding in xylitol and doing a colon/parasite cleanse). For those that are experiencing the bloating and distension, you may want to research the symptoms of candida overgrowth and see if they apply to you.
          Sean, you may want to try cutting down on the coconut oil and see if you get some more relief. As much as I love coconut oil, I have a feeling that it contributes to my bloating somewhat.

          • I had that 24/7 distention too… for 6 years. I got rid of it this summer by fasting for a week on only water and green tea. It was extreme, but it worked. Now I just watch my fiber intake, eat according to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, and keep it pretty low carb (avoiding most fruits). Hope this helps someone.

            • Thank you for sharing! Dr. Fuhrman says in his book Fasting for Health that it’s the best way for the body to heal. Definitely giving some thought to trying it since I can’t tolerate many foods right now anyway.

        • Not all butters are the same, I discovered. I was eating and enjoying KerryGold, but that butter does not sit well with me. Try switching your butter, or using clarified butter (ghee). See if that helps. But as Chris pointed out earlier, some people have issues digesting fats, so butter could be problematic for you.

          • I use Earth Balance – soy free, dairy free, gluten free. It is excellent and the only kind I use now.

        • Coconut oil is not a healthy oil! Unlike other oils (olive, walnut etc.) Coconut oil is SOLID at room temperature which means think what that can be doing to your arteries. Just my thought.

          • It is a healthy oil, your blood should be 98 degrees at the least, which means no solidifying oils. Not even saturated fats from meat solidify in your body unless you are suffering from hypothermia. Also, your digestive system breaks oils and fatty lipids down into simple forms that do not cause build-up on arteries. And fun fact, animal fats do not cause all those horrible problems that anti-meat activists try and foist off to people who do not have any awareness in nutrition and physiology. Olive oil is more beneficial, however, so cook with that. 🙂

            • I’ve heard from a ton of sources that “cooking” with olive oil is not the best idea because of its low smoke point. Saturated fats are supposed to be the best for cooking.

          • I second Anna’s thought on cooking. @Bob: Coconut oil, though solid at room temperature, will become liquid from heat if even held in hand, let alone from the warmth of guts. Furthermore, I doubt this means anything about what it does in arteries.

    • One friend of mine was in a Paleo diet and she had an anal prolapse. the doctor said it is because of the diet.

      • My aunt Sue said that I’d catch a cold if I didn’t bundle up before going out in cold weather, but that doesn’t make it true. I give about the same credence to doctors’ commentary on diet, due to their miniscule training on the subject.

        • So basically you don’t trust a doctor because you don’t trust yout aunt. 🙂 OK…A doctor’s “training” on diet is better than yours anyway

          • My aunt Sue has about the same training in nutrition as most MDs, so her and the doctor’s opinion about the effects of diet are about equal in importance. I’ve had much more training and self-education than most MDs about nutrition, so my opinion about the effects of nutrition is far more trustworthy.

            • That is your opinion. My opinion is that google and internet searches does not count as “training” in nutrition. Or reading some diet book… You are entitled to believe whatever you like.

              I have an example for you: I saw some guy I know posting in another forum. The thread was about nutrition for the athletes. He basically recommended the Paleo diet. And he stated that he is an athlete on Paleo for 2 years now. Well, in reality this guy only goes to gym from time to time, smokes 2 packs of cigarettes per day and he drinks a bottle of wine everyday. (I don’t need to tell you that he is not an athlete.) Some little details he forgot to mention 🙂

              • Unfortunately, training in nutrition does not always provide all needed info either.
                Doctors are not trained in nutrition at all, actually. Unless they have its own interest in it and very few will “prescribe” a diet. All we hear you can eat what you want…
                And whose with a degree in nutrition are often leaning towards (s)he beleives: so you have to find a nutritionist who is “right” for you…That is the problem.

                • @Marina: Now that you mention it, I remember when I was sick (emergency sick) that the doctor from the emergency room prescribed me a diet. It was 3 meal/day. Unfortunately, I don’t remember more.

                  On the other hand, I believe that in order to lose weight you have to cut the carbs and also the sugar and grains. I know is true, but come on, this is not some big news.

                • Caty- Sorry but cutting carbs might actually NOT work for weight loss. For the obese most definitely. For people that are fit and work out frequently I would disagree. Actually if you’re lifting heavy weights frequently low carb might be a really bad idea for your health.

              • And attending some classes and reading some studies does not make an expert either. Why is your opinion right and the last person not? This is not a forum for disagreeing with what others say, this is for Chris to see what people have done and what has worked or not worked. Best regards!

          • It’s true, doctors are not required to learn anything about nutrition during their studies; if you need help with your diet you should probably ask a nutrition professional, a registered dietitian

            • Which they all have their own opinions and may or may not work for you, so keep looking and trying until you are satisfied with your health outcome.

          • I have worked for doctors for years and my father is a doctor. I have witnessed many of them consume what I would consider terrible diets- lots of microwave meals, soda, “junk food” etc. No, I do not think doctors are very versed in nutrition… especially since a lot of the information coming out now was not even available during their training…

        • Ya ur right Jake, paleo diet works for me. I think what IBS does is flip a switch in ur gut to make it revert back to the paleo age, weird as it sounds. When I cut out agricultural produce, i can keep my IBS under control. Chewing on mint leaves also helps. Most doctors are clueless when it comes to chronic disorders, which is why these are called chronic or recurring 😉

          • I agree. Doctors are pretty clueless when it comes to chronic conditions. Otherwise they wouldn’t be chronic. I’ve started paleo this week and already seeing positive benefits. Will keep going and note any improvements.

            • If you have a specific illness you go to a specialist. If you are having tummy issues go to a GI Doctor.

              • GI doctors have no training in nutrition either. They just do a scope and prescribe meds< which don't work, but that's about it. I self-diagnosed my problems and reversed them, all from reading this website, Mark's Daily Apple, and Perfect Health Diet. Feel better than I have in 25 years!

                • So true I have been going to the gi doctor for two years had three procedures done and no relief just more meds my digestive system effect me every day the gi doctor said I have ibs_twisted colon I am in great discomfort I didn’t think I will ever find the real answer doctors don’t care

      • That’s very interesting. I got an anal prolapse after doing low carb Paleo too! 🙁

        When I was on Paleo, my bowel movements were very slow and I was sometimes constipated. The straining and slower bowel movements are what led to it.

        After I started eating more starchy carbs, it has helped things somewhat, although it’s still a problem. I wish I had never gone so low carb or tried any special diets like Paleo. I probably would have done just fine eating gluten free and keeping it at that.

        • Wow, thanks Beth! Please tell me what your eating that has helped you have quicker bathroom breaks? I’m talking to my doctor about surgery but it still takes me forever to go and I’m not low carb nor do I ever have dairy. I just need to find some key foods that will make the difference and if they should be raw or cooked for best results? Please share what’s working for you…

          • After years of having trouble going to the bathroom with added pain I was tested positive for Celiac Disease on 10/2012. Going gluten free and taking a probiotic daily has totally changed my problems in this department. About ten minutes after waking up I am regular without the pain. What a blessed relief!!!

            • Without testing but working with an experienced and sympathetic holistic doc, I’m much better off gluten foods and starches, eating a higher level natural fat (would never believed that could help until it did). Had diverticulosis for 40 years but haven’t had infection for four years while off gluten and starches. Inflammation low-to zero, 50-fat pounds slimmer, have energy and motivation because I feel so much healthier. I’ve been very strict with myself–no chips, no desserts–very little wine–no beer–5 gram portions of green leaves as veggies (usually cooked)… majority of food is meat/poultry/fish/eggs/cheese with their natural fats. Many days I have one meal per day, and 2 whey-protein shakes (with water and heavy cream). For whey-protein I prefer Twinlab 100% Whey Fuel Nutritional Shake, 25 grams protein per scoop. 1 scoop is 1 serving.
              Prefer Vanilla Rush. I’m a buyer not a seller.

              • I have often wondered to myself why I don’t eat salads very often, and finally figured out it was because of the digestive issues they would cause. I did a complete diet change as a New Years resolution. I don’t drink sodas, coffee, or anything with caffeine in it what so ever, or high in syrupy sugars. I weened myself off of coffee being a 3rd shift worker with some green tea and within 2 weeks to 0 caffeine. Having conquered caffeine I moved on to no desserts or junk foods entirely. I would make up for it in just increasing my actual meal sizes. After 6 months of that I switched to a 20g whey protein shake daily so I could supplement beer into my diet for extra calories and not get fat and lazy. As long as it’s not an IPA my stomach is just fine and calm. After starting the protein shakes I noticed a big difference in my muscle tone, I don’t work out often but take the stairs whenever able to at work instead of the elevators. I did some trial physical fitness test for myself and wasn’t doing as well as I’d like – 2 minutes of push-ups (55), 2 minutes of sit-ups (45), and running I wasn’t motivated to go past 1 mile. For 1 week before my test I starting watering down my powerades. I would drink half a one (32oz) and refill it with water and repeat that process throughout my work (9pm-5am) shift about 3 times and then sometimes finish the last full bottle of it being really watered down at that point. Throughout the night I’d have to pee about once every 1-2 hours but other than that I was well hydrated and never over drank to where I felt bloated and sick. I just had my AFPT yesterday (I had a protein shake(35g), sandwich (turkey/cheese/white bread) for breakfast 2 hours before hand) and did 76 push-ups in 2 minutes, 77 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and 13:48 2 mile run (normally I’m a 14:30+). I felt like I got hit by a train afterwards because I hardly exercise so my muscles were recovering happily. I am 24 years old, 6’1, and 180 lbs. After a week of hydrating myself at work only I’ve noticed about 5lbs lost weight and much more defined muscles without flexing. I normally drink about 1-4 beers throughout the morning after I get off work for the extra carbs through out the morning and because it’s tastier than water to me with out too much sugar.

              • I have diverticulosis as well.My doctors tell me to eat a high fiber diet.I’ve been doing that but sometimes have trouble digesting carrots.Sounds weird but its the truth.Sometimes eating too much fiber gives me a lot of gas.I hope someone can give me a tip on what foods to eat.

          • Hi Alison, Hopefully you have gotten some help before now but just in case you are still struggling I will share what has helped me have “quicker bathroom breaks”. I give myself at least 2 hours before leaving the house in the morning. I drink a full glass of water upon rising and do a little yoga before cooking breakfast. I find standing over the stove cooking helps to stimulate my gut. I cook all my food in 1-2 T of fat (coconut oil, bacon fat, lard, chicken fat or ghee). I eat 3 times as much vegetables as protein food – this has been really key for me as has eating enough fat. Also check out Sean Croxtons you tube video Poopin 2.0! Good luck and Happy Pooping

        • Paleo is not one size fits all. Each person needs to learn how to read his/her own body. What fuels it and what fails it. Eliminating bad seed oils, processed foods and grains, does not make a person ill. That’s the basis of paleo. Get rid of the junk food. Then learn what nourishes your own body. Doctors are not going to know. Take ownership of your own health.

          • You are spot on, Diana. That has been my exact experience and I had IBS for over 40 years before discovering this. The other thing I did was start taking magnesium supplements–huge help.

      • You don’t get a prolapsed rectum because of your diet. It amazes me that people post something as fact when they repeat something “they heard.” I also like how people become self proclaimed medical experts because they read something on web md or got their graduate degree on wikihow.

    • I did paleo for a long time and couldn’t figure out why I had 24/7 distension, but I figured it out: meats, cheeses, fats, nuts and the other non carb staples of the diet are high density. It is taxing on the system to break all that mass down. What’s not digesting is rotting, a disgusting thought, but there you go. #Iwasthebloatmonster.

    • Try cutting out onions in all it’s forms (spanish onion, brown onion, shallots, leak and the dreaded “onion powder”) If I a package lists “spices” this is an indication that the product includes onion powder – which is the Number 1 problem for people with Fructose malabsorption – a common reason for digestive issues. Also stay off the wheat, that also has a big impact.

      • You are so right Joey. Onion in all its forms turned out to be a huge problem for me, and the fact that it is ‘hidden’ under the ingredient called ‘spices’ is so annoying. It isn’t a spice, after all!

    • please consider having the non-invasive blood test for CA-125 to aid in early detection of ovarian cancer, just in case, as nothing else has eased your bloating. if that is negative, consider going to a gastro-enterologist to rule out chronic diseases, or to treat them while still in the early stages.

    • Try the GAPS diet by Dr Natasha Campbride!! Would work God willing. It cures so many diseases!!

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