Is Pesto Good for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Pesto is bad for IBS. Because it has garlic and cheese, which are high in FODMAPs and can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your large intestine.

In IBS, your body has abnormal muscle contractions, nerve signals, and gut bacteria in your digestive system.

This can lead to various health problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your bowel movements, which can impact your IBS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, carrots, and strawberries and avoid fat-rich foods like fried foods, cheese, and butter.

Now, pesto is a sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and cheese.

People usually use it as a topping for pasta, pizza, or bread.

Pesto is bad for IBS because it contains garlic and cheese, which are high in FODMAPs.

FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest for some people with IBS.

They can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Pesto is especially bad for IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) and IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M).

Garlic can irritate the gut and cause abdominal pain and cramps.

Cheese can trigger lactose intolerance and cause diarrhea and bloating.

Pine nuts and olive oil are high in fat, which can slow down digestion and cause constipation.

Basil is low in FODMAPs, but it may still cause some discomfort for some people with IBS.

Furthermore, pesto is a sauce and sauces are bad for IBS.

Because, they can add extra calories, fat, and salt to your meals, which can worsen your IBS symptoms.

That’s why I suggest you limit your pesto intake to avoid aggravating your IBS.

Stick to one tablespoon of pesto per serving to minimize the negative effects.

Also, you shouldn’t eat pesto if you have lactose intolerance or garlic allergy to prevent adverse reactions.

Because, they can cause severe digestive distress and allergic symptoms.

You can buy fresh pesto in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose pesto that is low in fat, salt, and FODMAPs.

Because, they can be better for your IBS.

You can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing IBS effectively.

I always recommend my IBS patients to follow an IBS-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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