Hi! Welcome to Day 3 of Week 3: Nutrition.

Now that you already know the purpose of SIBO diets, let’s talk about the types of SIBO diet protocols.

There are several diets that can be followed by SIBO patients, but deciding whether to follow one or not should be a decision made between you and your practitioner. A SIBO diet can be beneficial if your symptoms are unbearable or even just uncomfortable. 

Diets specifically designed for SIBO

  • SIBO Specific Food Guide by Dr. Allison Siebecker

The SIBO Specific Food Guide was developed by leading SIBO practitioner Dr. Allison Siebecker after years of clinical experience treating thousands of SIBO patients. This diet restricts a broad range of fermentable carbohydrates and is more limiting that some of the other diets. It is great for people who are highly sensitive to foods or those with a more extreme case of SIBO. 

  • SIBO Bi Phasic Diet by Dr. Nirala Jacobi

Dr. Nirala Jacobi further developed the SIBO Specific Food Guide, breaking it into two phases, hence the name ‘Bi Phasic.’ This is the protocol that I followed and what my SIBO cookbooks are based on. It works well for people who prefer structure and rules to their treatment plan. It can be meat heavy, so may be difficult for vegetarians and vegans.

  • Vegetarian SIBO Bi Phasic Diet by Dr. Nirala Jacobi and Anne Criner 

Dr. Nirala Jacobi joined forces with nutritionist Anne Criner to develop a vegetarian version of the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet. Using soaked and sprouted grains and legumes, this diet also includes some soy products, such as tofu and tempeh, to provide non-animal protein sources for vegetarians and vegans. 

  • Histamine SIBO Bi Phasic Diet by Dr. Nirala Jacobi and Heidi Turner

For many people with SIBO, histamine intolerance is also part of their healthcare puzzle.  Dr. Nirala Jacobi and dietician Heidi Turner joined forces to create a low histamine version of the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet. This protocol is intended to be used short-term to help calm down a histamine flare.  

  • Low Fermentation Diet by Dr. Mark Pimentel

The low fermentation diet by Dr. Mark Pimentel from Cedars Sinai is a great diet for people who require flexibility and freedom with their foods. It is less structured than the previous diets and includes things like table sugar, white bread, potato, cereal, pasta, onions, garlic, grains and lactose-free dairy. It is more easily tolerated by those with a mild case of SIBO.

Other diets that can be used for SIBO

Aside from the five diet protocols that I mentioned above, there are other diets that can be used to manage your SIBO symptoms.

  • Low FODMAP Diet

The Low FODMAP Diet developed by Dr. Sue Shepherd and Dr. Gibson from Monash University is a dietary treatment for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It restricts certain types of carbohydrates: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols (FODMAPs). While not designed specifically for SIBO, it can be used successfully by SIBO patients who have mild symptoms, as it is less restrictive than the other SIBO diet plans.

  • Fast Tract Diet by Dr. Robillard  

This was developed by Dr. Robillard in response to his own experience with debilitating heartburn and acid reflux. He investigated the fermentation potential of food and realised that foods with a higher fermentation potential were more likely to cause heartburn and acid reflux. He developed a points system to help people eat a low fermentation diet by counting the number  of fermentation points they ate in a day to keep their symptoms under control. Dr. Robillard reports that he has seen SIBO symptoms improve in some people who follow his protocol. 

  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet  (SCD)

Originally developed for children with coeliac disease, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet was brought to the limelight in Elaine Gottschall’s book Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Some SIBO patients may find symptomatic relief when following it. It can be used by patients with mild SIBO, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Coeliac Disease or diarrhea disease.

  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

The GAPS Diet has been further modified from the SCD Diet and can be particularly helpful for autistic patients. It works in a phased approach, with the first stage restricting foods and having specific ways of cooking and eating foods. This is beneficial for people with mild SIBO symptoms.

  • Paleo Diet 

This diet is followed by people who believe in eating as our ancestors ate during the paleolithic stage of human evolution.  This dietary approach can be useful for someone at the start of their journey to health, as it removes common irritants, such as gluten and dairy, which may help alleviate SIBO symptoms. 

  • Ketogenic Diet 

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high-fat way of eating. By removing carbohydrates from the diet, it can provide relief from symptoms for people with a more mild case of SIBO. However, a high fat diet is not suitable for people with methane-dominant SIBO, as this provides fuel for the methanogens.

To help with your SIBO diet, I’m giving you free access to my SIBO Breakfast eCookbook. This has 20+ SIBO-friendly breakfast recipes based on the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet by Dr. Nirala Jacob.