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Constipation Daily Meal Plan Tracking Fiber

Whether you are newly diagnosed with IBS-C or have struggled with it for a long time, you have likely thought about changing your diet. Do you ever wonder if your daily avocado toast or buddha bowl is an ideal meal for someone living with chronic constipation? Diet plays a critical role in our bodily functions, and can greatly influence our bathroom routine.

As someone with IBS-C, you likely heard about the importance of low FODMAP foods and fiber. Fiber is derived from plant foods and cannot easily be broken down by the human body. It is arguably one of the most essential components along with water in IBS-C because it is believed to increase stool bulk, making it easier to pass.

You may think a low FODMAP diet will fall short of the daily fiber recommendation. But in fact, when you choose the right low FODMAP foods, you can meet your fiber needs. While it is true that a low FODMAP diet excludes foods that are relatively high in fiber (certain legumes, fruits, vegetables, and grains), it is still possible to consume the recommended intake of fiber every day. Options for low FODMAP foods that provide good sources of fiber include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes with skin, nuts and nut butters, seeds, lentils (in smaller amounts), and low FODMAP approved fruits and vegetables. Here is the recommended fiber intake in grams based on age and gender:1

Women

  • Age: 14-18
    Fiber: 25g
  • Age: 19-30
    Fiber: 28g
  • Age: 31-50
    Fiber: 25g
  • Age: 50+
    Fiber: 28g

Men

  • Age: 14-18
    Fiber: 31g
  • Age: 19-30
    Fiber: 34g
  • Age: 31-50
    Fiber: 31g
  • Age: 50+
    Fiber: 28g

Alternatives to high FODMAP meals

Below are examples of high FODMAP meals and similar alternatives that transform them into low FODMAP meals.2 The comparison of fiber between the two diets is provided. The total fiber consumed daily for the low FODMAP diet has a little over 30 grams in a day.

Breakfast

High FODMAP diet

  • 1 slice of 100 percent whole-wheat bread, 1.2g
  • 1/3 an avocado, 4.5g
  • 2 slices tomato, 0.6g
  • 1 Tbsp cream cheese, 0g
  • 1 cup coffee (regular or decaf) with skim milk, 0g
  • 1 cup orange juice, 0g

Low FODMAP diet

  • 1 slice 100 percent spelt bread, 1g
  • 2 eggs cooked any style, 0g
  • ½ cup cooked spinach, 2.2g
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese, 0g
  • ½ cup kiwi, 2.7g
  • 1 cup coffee (regular or decaf) w/ almond milk or lactose-free milk, 0g

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 6.3g; Low FODMAP diet, 5.9g
Tip: Cow’s milk contains high amounts of lactose, making them high FODMAP foods. Non-dairy milk like almond milk is a low FODMAP. Aim to consume non-dairy milk that is fortified with about 120mg or more of calcium per 100g of milk.

Mid-morning snack

High FODMAP diet

  • 1 Apple (red or green), 3.7g
  • 1 energy bar, peanut butter flavored, 0.8g

Low FODMAP diet

  • 1 small, firm banana, 2.6g
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter or almond butter, 1.9g

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 4.5g; Low FODMAP diet, 4.5g

Tip: By midmorning snack, one should have consumed about 3 cups of water. Water in combination with adequate fiber intake is particularly important for constipation because it softens the stool. Also, it’s essential for IBS-C to move more! By midmorning, set a standing goal of at least 15 minutes for every hour you sit.

Lunch

High FODMAP diet

  • 1/3 cup beans (baked, boiled, or canned), 3.5g
  • 1 cup snow peas, 1.6g
  • 5 shitake mushrooms, 2.4g
  • 1/4 cup onions (red or white), 0.7g
  • 6 falafel balls, 2.9g

Low FODMAP diet

  • ½ cup quinoa (red or white) or 1/4 cup canned lentils, 6.7g
  • ½ cup firm tofu or 4 oz grilled chicken cooked with favorite herbs mixed with soy sauce, maple syrup ginger mixture, 0g
  • 2/3 cup broccoli head only, 2.6g
  • 1/2 cup kale (cooked to a soft texture), 1.3g
  • Sautee vegetables in olive oil 2 tbs of salad dressing of choice

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 11.1g; Low FODMAP diet, 10.6g

Tip: Those with IBS-C should be cautious when consuming galactans. Galactans are another type of carbohydrate that is found in chickpeas (falafel) and beans and are known to cause abdominal pain and discomfort.3 You can have chickpeas, but keep the amount to one-quarter cup.

Afternoon snack

High FODMAP diet

  • 2/3 cup carrots, 2.4g
  • 3 tbsp hummus, 1.8g

Low FODMAP diet

  • 2/3 cup carrots, 2.4g
  • 3 Tbsp eggplant dip, 1.5g

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 4.2g; Low FODMAP diet, 3.9g

Tip: By the afternoon snack, aim to have consumed about 6 cups of water. Don’t forget to meet your standing goal too! Take a walk during a work break, or do some planks or sun salutations.

Dinner

High FODMAP diet

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta, 3.9g
  • 4 or 5 ounces grilled chicken or shrimp, 0g
  • 2 cloves garlic, 0.1g
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, 1.7g
  • 5 Brussel sprouts, 2.7g

Low FODMAP diet

  • 2 corn taco tortillas, 1.5g
  • 4- or 5-ounces grilled chicken or shrimp, 0g
  • ½ cup of brown rice, 1.8g
  • ½ cup lettuce, 0.3g
  • 1 tomato chopped, 2.2g
  • ¼ cup grated mozzarella, 0g

Tip: Garlic is full of flavor but also a high FODMAP food. Try using other flavors instead like fresh herbs, ginger, lemon or lime juice, or even one tablespoon of garlic-infused oil. Oil and healthy fats are essential for lubrication through your gastrointestinal tract. Add in fruit salad as a side, to boost your fiber intake more! Plus, including fruit at meals decreases craving for highly refined foods, which offer no fiber. Don’t forget your water.

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 8.4g; Low FODMAP diet, 5.8g

Dessert or evening snack

High FODMAP diet

1 serving or 5 squares of milk or white chocolate, 1g

Low FODMAP diet

1 serving or 2 large squares of dark chocolate, 85% cacao, 3.1g

Fiber info: High FODMAP diet, 1g; Low FODMAP diet, 3.11g

Tip: Preliminary research showed that dark chocolate may actually be good for your heart due to anti-inflammatory byproducts produced when gut microbes ferment the chocolate.4

Now that you know how important fiber is, make sure you’re getting enough! Track both fiber and water for a week and see if your constipation improves! If not, you may need to increase your exercise too.

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