If you love your morning muesli or toast, but not so much the bloating that follows, here are five simple swaps that are just as tasty, minus the gut upset. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor, Melissa Fine.
Apart from being lower in sugar than dried fruit, many fresh fruits are easier to digest than dried. This is because they contain less fermentable carbohydrates (AKA ‘FODMAPs’), which attract water in the large intestine, leading to digestive discomfort like bloating, gas and diarrhoea.
It’s also easier to stop at one piece of fresh fruit than it is with dried. Take apricots; unlikely that you’d eat four fresh ones in one sitting (too filling and likely to give you a gut ache), but easy to down the equivalent in dried apricots in a few bites.
If you’re prone to bloating, skip the stone fruits and go for a small serve (a handful or half a cup’s worth) of the easier-to digest-fruits sliced on your muesli or porridge. These include:
Although honey is a natural sweetener, it’s also high in fructose – a fermentable carbohydrate. I prefer to add sweet-tasting, low sugar wholefood ingredients to my muesli to jazz it up – think a sprinkle of sweet, spicy and fragrant cinnamon and creamy shredded coconut, which also gives you some satisfying fibre and healthy fats.
There’s a reason commercial granola clusters are highly addictive – they’re stuck together with loads of sugar, and often in the form of fructose; AKA honey, high fructose corn syrup and agave, fructose lights up the brain’s reward centre, making it easy to overeat and cause a stomach upset in the process.
If you like granola clusters for the crunch factor, why not add a handful of raw nuts and seeds to a bowl of rolled oats or porridge? A much more nutritious and satiating option thanks to the protein and healthy fats. Or, for a ready-made alternative, go for ‘The Muesli Classic’ packed with premium raw ingredients, it contains 50% nuts and seeds (including my favourite, hazelnuts), along with the perfect balance of oats and coconut – that’s it.
While rye bread is one of the healthier bread options, it contains ‘fructo-oligosaccharides’; also found in wheat, this is another fermentable carbohydrate that can cause digestive upset.
If you’re like me and like some toast with your eggs (but not the bloating that follows) – switch your rye or wheat bread for sourdough spelt.
Available from health food stores, grocers and now even the supermarket, sourdough spelt tends to be gentle on the gut. The taste is similar to wholemeal bread, but with a greater depth of flavour thanks to the sourdough culture. NB: Spelt is not gluten free.
While both milk and yoghurt contain lactose (another fermentable carbohydrate which can cause diarrhoea in certain individuals), natural and unsweetened yoghurt can be easier to digest due to the probiotic content. Plus, a little bit goes a long way; just a couple dessertspoons on top of your muesli or oats are all you need.Goat’s milk or yoghurt is another good option to cow’s dairy, as they tend to have less lactose. You can also get good quality lactose free yoghurt or coconut yoghurt at health food stores. Do some experimenting and see which option your tummy likes best.
The Muesli: The Muesli Classic is 97% sugar free which means it passes The One Line Rule. It's premium raw ingredients are low in salt and will hold you through to lunch!