Many foods that trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are referred to as trigger foods. These include most red meats, dairy products, and fried foods. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages should also be avoided.
For many people, one of the worst trigger foods for IBS is anything from the red meat family. This includes steaks, ground beef, and pork products. Scientists believe it is the high animal protein content in these foods that tends to cause an IBS flareup. While it may be hard for many people to eliminate red meat from their diets completely, the first step should be to start cutting back on the frequency of red meat consumption while also reducing portion sizes.
The next on the list of worst trigger foods for IBS is dairy products. Products such as milk and cheese may seem healthy enough, but they contain high levels of whey and casein proteins. Dairy products also tend to be very high in fat, another quality to avoid when trying to manage IBS. For many people, eliminating or reducing dairy products has already been done before a diagnosis of IBS is made. People suffering from IBS typically have had a lactose intolerance since much earlier on in life and have already taken the steps to cut as much dairy as possible.
Since IBS is particularly irritated when foods high in fat are consumed, fried foods are also considered some of the worst items for IBS. Regardless of what it is that is being fried, the cooking process itself is what increases the overall fat and calorie content of the food. Fried foods may also be greasy in nature, which can easily trigger an IBS flareup as well. Foods should be baked, or at least pan-fried, whenever possible to not only avoid an onset of IBS symptoms, but also improve the overall levels of fat and calories being consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Aside from the many foods for IBS that should be avoided, there are also beverages to cut out as well. Both coffee and caffeinated beverages can have a serious impact on those suffering from IBS. These types of drinks can cause intestinal contractions, and consumption of them is one of the easiest ways to trigger a bout of IBS. Even decaffeinated coffee contains certain enzymes which may irritate the intestines. Caffeine-free herbal teas, on the other hand, are a safe alternative to both coffees and sodas.