Is Sushi Bad for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Sushi is good for IBS-C, but bad for IBS-D. Because it has rice and fish, which can help with constipation, and raw fish or seafood and soy sauce, which can worsen diarrhea.

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

In IBS, your body has abnormal muscle contractions and nerve signals in your intestine.

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

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your gut bacteria, which can impact your IBS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoid fat-rich foods like fried foods, cheese, and butter.

Now, sushi is a Japanese dish of vinegared rice with various toppings, usually raw fish or seafood.

People usually eat sushi with soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger.

Sushi is good for IBS with constipation (IBS-C) because it contains rice, which is a source of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber can help soften stools and ease bowel movements. Sushi also contains fish, which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve gut health.

However, sushi is bad for IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) because it contains raw fish or seafood, which can carry bacteria or parasites that can trigger infections and worsen diarrhea.

Sushi also contains soy sauce, which is high in sodium and can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

One piece of sushi can give you about 40 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.

It can also provide about 10% of your daily needs of omega-3 fatty acids and 5% of your daily needs of vitamin B12.

Rice can positively affect IBS-C by providing soluble fiber, which can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.

Fish can positively affect IBS-C by providing omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve gut health.

Raw fish or seafood can negatively affect IBS-D by carrying bacteria or parasites that can cause infections and worsen diarrhea.

Soy sauce can negatively affect IBS-D by providing sodium, which can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Furthermore, sushi is a low-FODMAP food and low-FODMAP foods are good for IBS. Because, FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some people with IBS.

You can eat sushi moderately if you have IBS-C, but avoid it if you have IBS-D.

More than two or three pieces of sushi per day can cause excess calories, fat, and sodium intake.

Also, you shouldn’t eat sushi if you have a weakened immune system or a history of food poisoning to prevent infections and complications.

Because, raw fish or seafood can be contaminated with harmful microorganisms.

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

Always choose sushi that is made with high-quality ingredients and prepared by trained chefs.

Because, this can ensure the safety and freshness of the sushi.

You can store sushi in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but it is best to eat it as soon as possible.

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 a low-FODMAP 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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