How To Make Your Favorite Recipes More IBS-Friendly

We’ve probably all been there: you see a recipe that looks delicious. You get excited, decide to test it out. And then you see the list of ingredients and realize that it would never work for your IBS.

I’m not a great cook (at all), but I have become quite good at taking almost any recipe and making it a bit more IBS-friendly with a couple of tricks.

Remove onions and garlic

The major enemies of my IBS that are included in almost all recipes are onions and garlic. Both make me feel bloated, both trigger pain and discomfort. So, I suggest just cutting them out.

To replace the flavor, I tend to add a bit more seasoning like pepper or herbs that might go with the recipe.

Choose your cheese wisely

Tons of recipes include cheese. However, my digestive system is pretty bad at digesting lactose, so that it can quickly become a problem. Depending on the quantity, it can cause anything from bloating to diarrhea.

Thankfully, it’s not necessary to cut cheese out of every recipe you make. Just check what kind of cheese is required and replace it with something safer where needed.

For example, goat cheese is much more difficult to digest than camembert which barely contains any lactose. I suggest checking online which cheeses are safe for lactose-intolerant people to give you an idea!

By switching out the cheese in a recipe, you give it a slightly different taste, but it’s not any less delicious.

Choose vegan options

Another way to replace cheese, milk, or cream in a recipe is to opt for a vegan alternative. I’ve tried vegan cheese a couple of times and was able to digest it okay.

However, my favorite replacements are soy milk instead of cream and almond milk instead of milk (to get a similar consistency). I love both of them much more than milk, so this only enhances recipes in my opinion!

Soy milk and almond milk are both okay with my IBS and don’t cause any harsh symptoms.

Paprika instead of chili

Spicy foods are terrible for my IBS. So, whenever I see that a recipe requires chili powder, I simply replace it with mild paprika. Not only is the color similar, but I also find that the taste works quite well.

If you love spicy foods, this might be an issue for you. But I always find that it’s worth it in order to reduce the risk of an IBS flare!

On that note, I also tend to avoid curry and replace it with any other spice that doesn’t trigger my IBS.

Not all fruits are equal

If you’re making dessert and are require to put fruit in it, think twice before doing so. Not that fruit is generally bad (it’s not), but not all fruits are equal! Kiwis, plums, and similar fruits may lead to diarrhea, while berries work perfectly well for my specific IBS.

Whenever I need to use fruit for a recipe, I’ll usually go for berries, no matter what it originally says. Or bananas, which are also fine.

It all depends on the fruits that work for you! Just pick safe ones to make your dessert much more IBS-friendly.

Reduce the amount of tomato sauce

One of my biggest trigger foods must be tomato sauce. So, whenever I see that a recipe requires it, I tend to replace at least half of the tomato sauce with soy milk.

Sure, it’s not the same color or consistency. But it allows me to keep the illusion of tomato sauce while cutting the flare-up risk in half. Maybe you have a better replacement idea? I’d love to hear it!

By making all these adjustments to my recipes, I am usually able to eat “normal” food and not get sick afterward. I’ve been doing that for so long that I actually genuinely prefer my own versions of the recipes now!

I hope that you found these tips helpful, or that they at least gave you a couple of replacement ideas for your next meals. :)

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