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If you've been checking into trending diets, you may have heard of the SIBO diet. SIBO stands for "small intestinal bacterial overgrowth" and occurs when the balance of good and bad bacteria is out of whack in the digestive tract. When the bad bacteria begin to outnumber the good bacteria, SIBO can occur. Common symptoms of SIBO include stomach pains, diarrhea, and indigestion. To combat this build-up of bad bacteria, consider adopting the SIBO diet to reclaim your optimum digestive health.

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Hallmarks of the SIBO Diet

Good nutrition is essential for the SIBO diet; often, a poor diet is at the root of bad bacteria overgrowth. Also, eating a diet that's loaded with yeast-producing carbohydrates and fried and fatty foods can lead to digestive issues like SIBO. Knowing what foods to eat and which to avoid is the most important thing to remember when it comes to following this healthful diet.

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What's the Big Deal about Good Bacteria?

The digestive tract relies on good bacteria to function optimally. If you don't have healthy levels of good bacteria, your digestive tract finds it difficult to break down carbs and other foods. This can result in conditions such as SIBO. The SIBO diet helps ensure you're eating foods that support good bacteria -- foods that do not lead to spikes in bad bacteria levels.

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Drink Water -- Not Soda

One thing the SIBO diet has in common with most other diets is the instruction to drink more water and drop those soft drinks. Water helps flush the digestive tract. It keeps you hydrated and adds no calories to your intake. Soda, on the other hand, is calorie-rich. Moreover, its high sugar content promotes the growth of bad bacteria. Many types of bad bacteria feed on sugar, so by drinking soda, you're directly impeding your gut health.

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Eat Unsweetened Cereals

It would be a mistake to avoid carbohydrates just because they have more calories than some other foods. Your body needs healthy carbs with plenty of fiber to keep your digestive tract humming along. Fiber-rich cereal grains are ideal, so long as they don't contain excess sugar. You don't want to include any extra sugar in your diet or you'll just be feeding that bad bacteria.

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Eat Plain Yogurt

The yogurt section of the grocery store is filled these days with an amazing array of choices. If you have SIBO, do yourself a favor and purchase plain yogurt with live probiotic cultures (good bacteria). Flavored yogurts are often loaded with sugar. You can always add healthy ingredients to your yogurt at home, such as granola, almonds, or a few blueberries.

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Eat Some Fruit -- Avoid Others

Fruit is a tricky item on the SIBO diet. Many fruits are naturally high in sugar. Some fruits ok to eat in moderation on this diet include cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, honeydew, grapes, and pineapple. Fruits you should limit include dates, figs, guava, pomegranate, peaches, pears, mango, and watermelon.

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Eat Your Vegetables

The SIBO diet features a wide array of green-lighted vegetables you can eat with peace of mind. Fill your grocery cart with veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, squash, pumpkin, celery, kale, red peppers, okra, bok choy, brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, baby spinach, and collard greens. According to SIBO experts, you should limit or possibly eliminate vegetables that could trigger flare-ups, such as garlic, cauliflower, black beans, shallots, cassava, butter beans, and asparagus.

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Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

Fortunately, there aren't many limits when it comes to meat, poultry, and seafood. SIBO dieters can eat salmon, trout, tuna, beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. Even most cold cuts like ham and turkey are green-lighted on the diet (you should check the ingredients though). You can enjoy proscuitto, shrimp, and prawns. On the other hand, you'll want to avoid difficult-to-digest treats such as sausages.

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Know Your Grains

Grains can be tricky when it comes to the SIBO diet. According to diet experts, you should try to include bread made from oats, potato flour, and corn. Wheat bread is typically not favored on this diet as they could trigger digestive problems. Wheat bread, cereals, and pasta should be limited or even eliminated if they cause digestive woes.

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More Food Tips for the SIBO Diet

The list of foods you can eat and foods you should avoid on the SIBO diet is extensive, so it's a good idea to keep a list handy -- especially when you go grocery shopping. Although you should avoid foods like honey, jam, ice cream, and apples, you can enjoy pretzels, mustard, sorbet, lemonade, and butter. Because there are so many options on the diet, many people find the SIBO plan easy to maintain.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.