Summer cookouts and barbecues are a time to savor delicious food and enjoy the company of loved ones. However, for individuals with gut health conditions, such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), navigating the menu at a cookout can feel daunting. In this article, we'll provide you with tips tailored specifically for those with SIBO or IBS to ensure your next summer get together is an enjoyable and gut-friendly experience.

1. Plan Ahead and Communicate: Before attending a summer cookout, it's essential to plan ahead and communicate with the host or hostess about your dietary restrictions. The benefit of the Low Fermentation Eating diet is that it allows for many more ingredients than overly restrictive diets (like Low FODMAP), so substitutions and accommodations should not be difficult at all. Offer to bring a dish that aligns with your dietary needs, ensuring there is a suitable option available for you. This proactive approach helps alleviate potential stress and ensures you have something safe to enjoy. As a plus, our delicious LFE approved recipes can also be enjoyed by those without SIBO or IBS, making them perfect options for potluck style get-togethers.

2. Focus on Fresh and Grilled Options: Summer cookouts often feature an array of grilled meats and fresh produce, which can be great options for those with SIBO or IBS. Ensure all produce is washed thoroughly to avoid any chances of food poisoning. Choose lean meats like chicken, fish, or turkey burgers, and marinate them with simple ingredients like herbs, lemon, and olive oil instead of heavy sauces or marinades which often contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Load up on grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or mushrooms, which are delicious and all Low Fermentation Eating approved. You can even enjoy onion and garlic on the LFE diet - we recommend infusing these in oil, so you get the flavor boost without the fructans that can cause digestive discomfort. These options provide a satisfying meal while minimizing the risk of triggering symptoms.

3. Mindful Salad Choices: Salads are a common staple at summer cookouts, but some ingredients may not be suitable for individuals with SIBO or IBS. Opt for salads with fresh greens, such as spinach or arugula, and choose low-fermentation eating approved toppings like cucumbers, carrots, or tomatoes. Avoid butter lettuce and romaine as these are often not tolerated as well. Dress your salad with simple dressings made from olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar instead of creamy or store-bought dressings that might contain hidden ingredients like High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) that can trigger unwanted symptoms.

4. Be Mindful of Beverages: While attending a summer cookout, it's important to be mindful of beverage choices as well. Opt for drinks like infused water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with fresh citrus slices. Avoid sugary sodas, fruit juices, or alcoholic beverages that may contain unapproved ingredients or artificial sweeteners. If you choose to consume alcohol, opt for distilled spirits like vodka or tequila, white wine, or lighter beers like lagers or pilsners.

WIth the right approach and planning ahead, it’s easy to have a delightful experience at your next summer cookout whether you have SIBO/IBS, or are hosting someone who does. With the Low Fermentation Eating diet you can make gut-friendly foods without sacrificing the flavors of summer.

The microbiome connection book for IBS, SIBO, microbiome health and gut health

The Microbiome Connection: Your Guide to IBS, SIBO and Low Fermentation Eating

A must-have resource for anyone who suffers from IBS or SIBO, or who wants to better understand their microbiome, this book will help you live a gut-happy and gut-healthy life.