Is Honey Bad for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Honey is bad for IBS. Because it has fructose and it is a FODMAP, and they can trigger or worsen IBS symptoms.

IBS is a condition that affects your digestive system.

In IBS, your body has problems with the movement and sensitivity of your intestines, which can cause pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation.

This can lead to various health problems, such as malnutrition, dehydration, anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life.

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your gut bacteria, inflammation, and bowel function, 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, honey is a sweet and viscous substance made by bees from the nectar of flowers or the secretions of other insects.

People usually eat honey as a natural sweetener, spread it on bread, add it to tea, or use it as a remedy for coughs and sore throats.

Honey is bad for IBS because it contains fructose, a type of sugar that can trigger or worsen IBS symptoms.

Fructose is especially problematic for people with IBS who have fructose malabsorption, a condition where the body cannot absorb fructose properly, leading to gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

One tablespoon of honey can give you about 17 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, and 64 calories.

Of the 16 grams of sugar, about 7 grams are fructose.

Fructose can negatively affect IBS by increasing the osmotic pressure in the intestines, drawing more water into the bowel and causing diarrhea.

Fructose can also ferment in the colon, producing gas and bloating.

Fructose can also alter the gut bacteria, increasing inflammation and intestinal permeability.

Furthermore, honey is a FODMAP, a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and fermented in the gut, and FODMAPs are bad for IBS.

Because, they can trigger or worsen IBS symptoms in many people.

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

Stick to no more than one teaspoon of honey per day to minimize the risk of fructose malabsorption and FODMAP intolerance.

Also, you shouldn’t eat honey if you have or are suffering from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), a condition where there is an excessive amount of bacteria in the small intestine, to prevent worsening your symptoms.

Because, honey can feed the bacteria and increase gas production and inflammation.

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

Always choose raw, organic, and unfiltered honey, as it has more antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients than processed honey.

Because, processed honey may contain added sugars, preservatives, and chemicals that can harm your health.

You can store honey in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to two years or longer, as honey does not spoil easily.

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 symptoms, well-being, and quality of life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

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

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