What Foods Should be Avoided with SIBO

Our body is the ecosystem of good and bad bacteria which are essential in a desired number of quantities. However, consequences occur when these bacteria overgrow! When bacterial overgrowth takes place in Small Intestine, the condition is known as SIBO. It disturbs the whole microbial balance in the body and comes with various irritable symptoms. 

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Foods that Worsen SIBO

When a person suffers from SIBO, keeping a close check on the food that one eats becomes crucial. Incorporating a SIBO diet with proper nutrition can reduce the growth of these bacteria in the small intestine. It will help you to recover and overcome the uncomfortable symptoms too. On the other hand, some food items can trigger the growth of bacteria which can make the situation worse. SIBO patients should be aware of such foods and avoid taking that. 


Foods to avoid with SIBO


These food items that should be avoided mainly include the carbs that cause inflammation in your gut and bacterial overgrowth in Small Intestine. These carbs are resistant to digestion. They don’t get absorbed into the bloodstream easily, rather they sit in your gut and get fermented by the gut bacteria. These carbs are then used as fuel by Gut Bacteria and produce hydrogen gas that causes various digestive symptoms.

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Low FODMAP Categories

Experts suggest that a low FODMAP diet has been clinically proven to treat SIBO and reduce its related symptoms. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyol. Main categories of FODMAP’s include: 

  • Fructose, simple sugars commonly found in fruits and some vegetables, honey, and agave nectar
  • Lactose, a sugar molecule in dairy products
  • Fructans, sugar compound found in gluten products, fruits, some vegetables, and Prebiotic
  • Galactans, a compound found in some legumes
  • Polyols, a sugar alcohol often used as a sweetener

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Foods that come under the main categories of FODMAP

These categories should be kept in mind while deciding on the Diet. Food items that generally contain these constituents are: 

Plant Protein Foods

* Dried beans such as black, pinto, kidney, refried, Lima, lentils, etc.

* Nuts and seeds in servings bigger than 1oz (a small handful)

* Sweetened nut butter like Jiffy, etc.

Foods to avoid with SIBO



* High fiber cereals (any that contain 2 or more grams of fiber per serving): All-Bran, oatmeal, granola, any whole-grain cereal

* Cereals with dried fruits, coconut, nuts or seeds

* Sweetened cereals and kids’ cereals such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, etc.

* Bran, farro, barley, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa

* Bran muffins, granola bars, fiber bars

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* All dried or candied fruits (raisins, dates, Craisins, figs, banana chips, mango, pineapple, prunes)

* All fruit juices and fruit drinks

* Blended smoothies with fruit such as

* Odwalla, Naked, or freshly prepared smoothies

* All canned fruit in its juice or syrup



* High fiber or sugar vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, fennel, garlic, green peppers, leeks, okra, onions, peas, shallots, sweet potato, tomato paste

Foods to avoid with SIBO



*  Sweetened milk drinks: chocolate milk, strawberry milk, Yoo-hoo, Ovaltine

* Carnation Instant Breakfast or store brand equivalent

* Hot cocoa such as Swiss Miss

* Flavored yogurts such as Yoplait or similar, sweetened kefir

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*  All fruit juices and fruit drinks like Kool-Aid or Gatorade (including G2)

* Regular soda, sweet tea made with sugar

* Blended smoothies with fruit such as Odwalla, Naked, or freshly prepared smoothies

* Ensure, Boost, or store brand equivalents

* Flavored (such as vanilla) soy or other cow’s milk alternatives

* Sweetened coffee drinks such as vanilla lattes or Starbucks Frappuccinos, etc.

* Hot cocoa such as Swiss Miss


* Cakes, cookies, candies, pies, donuts, pastries, chocolate

* Ice cream, sherbet, popsicles, Italian ice, frozen yogurt

* Jell-O or gelatin desserts (regular and sugar-free), Cool Whip

* Trail mix (dried fruit, seeds, nuts, coconut, granola, chocolate, etc.)

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Condiments and Sweeteners

*  Jams and jellies (regular and sugar-free)

* Honey, agave, Karo syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, granulated (white) sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, pancake syrup (including sugar-free and fruit-flavored)

* Ketchup made with high fructose corn syrup

* Tomato paste

Foods to avoid with SIBO

Other Food Ingredients which are present in Processed and Packaged Foods

* High fructose corn syrup

* Crystalline fructose

* Granulated sugar

* Agave nectar

* Brown sugar

* Brown rice syrup

* Pure maple syrup

* Corn syrup

* Honey

* Evaporated cane juice


Excluding the above-mentioned food items will give relief to your gut and help you reduce the growth of bacteria with SIBO Diet. Also, elimination of these inflammable food items will give space for proper nutrients to work upon controlling the bad bacteria and ease the symptoms.

Hence, having the right diet is very important to treat SIBO and create a microbial balance in your body. So, if you are suffering from SIBO, take note of the food items that you should avoid and take a step closer towards recovery from SIBO and its related symptoms.


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