Beware of invisible ingredients. | 3 min read
It can be super frustrating to not be able to eat like everyone else. And it’s even more frustrating to order some bland, spice-less “safe” food only to experience those frustratingly familiar symptoms you always struggle with.
The way you experience IBD day-to-day has a lot to do with diet. But it’s difficult for experts to recommend one diet that will work for everyone. Why? Because the way a specific diet will affect you depends on things like your unique biology, symptoms, and the medications you’re taking.
But that doesn’t mean experts don’t know anything about diet and IBD.
In fact, in an article published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, the authors explain that certain diets are generally better than others during times when your IBD is flaring up (such as the SCD or FODMAP diets) or when your IBD is in remission (such as the SVD diet).1
And the clarity increases when we’re talking about specific nutrients instead of entire diets. For example, multiple studies have found that it’s almost unquestionably a good idea to limit your intake of fiber during IBD flare-ups. Just remember: this is only recommended for the short-term.2,3
And there are other foods that research suggests you should almost definitely not eat. The problem is… they might just be in that takeout food you were going to order tonight.
What are they?
Linoleic and arachidonic acids.
Linoleic acid — a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid — is all over the place, especially in kitchens that serve takeout food. It’s found in soybean oil, sesame oil, and canola oil. These super cheap oils are often used to cook the meals that we order — creating an invisible coating on the food that can disrupt our intestinal health.
But what is it about these oils that make them not so delicate on our digestion? One word: inflammation.
The same article from the World Journal of Gastroenterology explains: “Linoleic acid is a precursor of arachidonic acid (AA), the metabolites of which exhibit pro-inflammatory properties.”4
Our bodies are complicated. But this is clear: more inflammation will not lead to freedom from IBD. The I in IBD does stand for ‘inflammatory’, after all.
You’re probably ordering that takeout food because you’re tired and just want to relax. So nothing could be more frustrating than ending up in pain after eating it. Night ruined…
But you can increase your chances of feeling well by remembering the invisible ingredients—things like those cheap oils that no one puts on their menus. And don’t forget that those same oils could be in that dressing that’s coating your healthy salad!
While some nutrients can be inflammatory, others, like those found in olive oil or avocado, can protect against inflammation. And some research has shown that consuming unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (found in such fish as salmon and sardines) could potentially help you achieve remission faster.5
You probably already know that diet is important, but don’t forget those invisible ingredients that are so easy to miss. It might just make your next takeout order a little less frustrating and a little more enjoyable.
We’re all different, so to discover how your diet is affecting your health, download the Phyla app and begin your journey to intestinal peace of mind today.