SIBO Specific Diet

SIBO—or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth—is an overgrowth of bacteria normally present in the gut, but in an area that does not normally contain high levels of organisms. Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines can lead to nutrient deficiencies, a damaged gut lining, leaky gut, chronic inflammation throughout the body, chronic fatigue, and food sensitivities. SIBO is a symptom resulting from imbalances in the body. It is important to understand the root causes and seek to balance these. Different diets can be used in combination with specific SIBO treatments to help calm down symptoms during the healing process.

SIBO Specific Diet Safe with Modifications

What is the SIBO Specific Diet?

The SIBO Specific Diet is a very strict diet combining the Low-FODMAP Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It should be used only in severe cases of SIBO to help manage and calm down symptoms, alongside other treatments. The SCD Diet is a diet free of grains, lactose, and complex starches, while the Low-FODMAP diet is a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates. Combining the two diets into the SIBO Specific Diet can quickly starve out an overgrowth of organisms in the gut, due to the lack of fermentable carbohydrates (food for bacteria). Since this diet is very restrictive, it is best to work with other less restrictive diets before attempting this diet. Download this SIBO Specific Food Guide to have a good visual of what foods are allowed and not allowed on this diet.

Foods Excluded on the SIBO Specific Diet:

  • All grains and grain flours
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Tapioca flour
  • Corn
  • Plantains
  • Soy products
  • Most legumes (except for small amounts of lentils and lima beans)
  • Chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds (in larger amounts)
  • Lactose (milk, cream, cream cheese, kefir, lightly fermented dairy)
  • All sweeteners (except for small amounts of raw honey and stevia)
  • Some herbs (licorice root, dandelion root, chicory root)
  • High FODMAP fruits and fruit juices
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • All forms of chocolate

Foods Included on the SIBO Specific Diet:

  • Low-FODMAP vegetables
  • Low-FODMAP fruits
  • All meats (except bacon made with sugar and processed deli meats)
  • All fats (except soybean oil)
  • Fermented dairy (hard cheeses, 24-hour yogurt or sour cream)
  • Coconut products (canned milk w/o thickeners)
  • Most nuts and seeds (macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, small amounts of almonds)
  • Small amounts of lentils and lima beans
  • Small amounts of raw honey and stevia

What are the Benefits of the SIBO Specific Diet?

The SIBO Specific diet can allow time for a damaged gut lining to heal by helping to break the vicious cycle of constantly feeding the overgrowth of organisms in the gut with fermentable starches. When these fermentable starches are removed, the organisms can die off, and the gut lining has an opportunity to heal. This is the time to increase anti-inflammatory foods like freshly made green juices, broths, lightly cooked vegetables, anti-inflammatory fats, easy to digest proteins, and an abundance of fresh herbs. SIBO can cause nutrient deficiencies, particularly iron, B-12, and fat-soluble nutrients like A, D, and K, so it is important to keep the diet as nutrient-dense as possible and add in digestion support like enzymes and bitter herbs, as well as nutritional supplements, to help restore missing nutrients.

SIBO Symptoms & Physiology:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Slow gastric motility (impaired migrating motor complex)
  • Low or high gastric acid secretion
  • Fat malabsorption
  • Fat soluble vitamin deficiencies due to bacterial deconjugation of bile
  • Carbohydrate malabsorption
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • B-12 and/or Iron deficiencies

Benefits of the SIBO Specific Diet:

  • Reduce SIBO symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain
  • Calm down the gut micro-environment
  • Help restore missing nutrients
  • Allow time for the gut lining to heal
  • Reduce substrates that the immune system may react to
  • Decrease toxic burden on the liver

How do I Start the SIBO Specific Diet?

  1. If you are not yet a Nourishing Meals® member, you can join now.
  2. Begin by stocking your kitchen with low-FODMAP fruits and vegetables. Use this PDF to help you. Stock up on pastured meats, frozen wild seafood, allowed nuts and seeds, and healthy fats and oils.
  3. Add some of our sample SIBO Specific meal plans to your user profile or create your own!
  4. Schedule your meal plans onto your meal plan calendar and create shopping lists.
  5. Get inspired with new SIBO Specific recipes added to this site weekly! Join our Nourishing Meals Community Facebook Group to get notified with new recipes and more! Everyone is welcome. 
Plan Length Actions

SIBO Specific Diet Snacks

1 day

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SIBO-Specific Diet Breakfasts

5 days

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SIBO-Specific Diet Dinners

5 days

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