Surprising Sources of Major IBS Triggers
Food sensitivities and IBS triggers are hard to avoid when problem ingredients hide out in places you never expect to find them. How can you eliminate something from your diet when you don’t even know that it’s in your food? Yelling Come out, come out, wherever you are! doesn’t work on food, so this appendix helps you uncover some of the secret hideaways of sugar, gluten, lactose, and casein.
Sussing out hidden sugar
If eliminating sugar from your diet is important for your individualized IBS treatment, you need to know where all the sugar is lurking. Manufacturers of packaged food have been known to use different types of sugar in their sweet concoctions to spread the sugary ingredients throughout the ingredient list.
The first ingredient on the label list is the most prominent single ingredient in the product. But if manufacturers include sugar through many different ingredients, they may be able to load the product with sugar without tipping off casual label readers who assume that if sugar was the main ingredient, it would be first on the list.
To hunt down all the sugar in your pantry, check your labels carefully for these other words:
Barley malt or barley malt syrup
Brown rice syrup
Cane juice or sugar
Concentrated fruit juice
Corn sweetener or syrup
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose, glucose polymers, or glucose syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Light or lite sugar
Ribose rice syrup
Rice sugar or sweeteners
Rice syrup solids
Sucanat or sucanet
Getting to the gluten
Avoiding gluten is a must for people with celiac disease, but it’s also a great guideline to follow if you have IBS symptoms that you’ve associated with anything on the following list.
Never fear if you discover your favorite product on this list. You can find gluten-free versions of many products at gluten-free stores and online.
Bread and breadcrumbs
Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, donuts, muffins, pastries, pie crusts, brownies, and baked goods
Gravies, sauces, and roux
Imitation seafood (for example, crab)
Marinades (especially teriyaki)
Digging for disguised lactose
You may have an IBS reaction to lactose and dairy products regardless of whether you’re officially lactose intolerant. Double check your food labels for signs of lactose, including milk, whey, cream, and milk solids, and watch out for the following foods:
Cake (especially cake containing cream filling)
Instant mashed potatoes
Some pharmaceutical pills
Catching up to casein
Casein is a protein found in all types of milk and used as a binder in many foods. It is also used in the production of plastics, nail polish, paint, glue and cosmetics. Some casein aliases you may find on your food labels include milk solids, sodium caseinate, caseinogen, and caseinate. In addition, you typically find casein in the following foods:
High-protein beverage powders