‘Nicer Foods’ To Make First Ever Protein Bars for People with IBS

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Food start-up launching Kickstarter campaign to make bars free of corn, wheat, dairy, soy, and low in FODMAPs. FODMAPs are carbohydrates found in common foods, shown to trigger GI symptoms for many people with IBS.

“Love Your Guts.” That’s the slogan of Nicer Foods, a new company that creates food products for people with sensitive digestive systems. Founded by Kate and Jesse Watson, the company’s first product is a unique protein bar designed especially for people with food sensitivities and IBS.

Kate Watson, a registered dietitian, struggled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for nearly 20 years, and tried many diet changes and treatments with limited success. She finally found relief through the unusually named “low FODMAPs” diet, but the rather restrictive diet posed a new problem: finding easy-to-prepare, healthy food choices.

“We all have those days where we’re too tired to cook, when we need to grab something quick on the go. It’s just not practical to cook from scratch all the time. I was really frustrated by the lack of options on the market for people with food sensitivities, especially for those of us on the low FODMAPs diet.”

What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides, and Polyols – hence the need for an acronym.

In layman’s terms, FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates and fibers that aren’t well absorbed in the intestines of people with IBS. The result is symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. According to research published by Monash University, reducing the intake of FODMAPs can significantly reduce these symptoms in 75% of people with IBS.

Kate explains that “even many healthy foods like wheat, certain fruits and vegetables, beans, and lactose-containing foods are restricted during the elimination phase of the diet, because they contain FODMAPs and can be triggers for people with IBS. Many pre-packaged food products contain FODMAPs, which can make it very challenging to adhere to the diet.”

Because of how prevalent FODMAPs are in common foods, Kate and Jesse saw a need for low FODMAP food products for people with sensitive digestive systems, as Jesse explains.

“I saw this diet change Kate’s life, and I wanted to support her and others like her however I could. Given the number of people suffering from these digestive issues, and the emergence of the low FODMAPs diet, we decided it was time to do something to make these people’s lives easier.”

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, between 10% to 15% of Americans are afflicted with IBS, and worldwide rates are estimated to between 9% and 23%.

Kate and Jesse Watson started their business with just one protein bar recipe and say the market feedback on their sample bars was excellent.

“People say they’ve been waiting for a product like this, and when they taste it, they smile,” Kate says. “We’ve been told it tastes like cookie dough.”

Their first bar is labeled all natural, vegan, and free of dairy, corn, soy, and gluten. It’s also low in FODMAPs, Kate explains, and is appropriate for anyone with sensitive digestive systems, not just people with IBS.

Nicer Foods plans to introduce additional bar flavors and eventually other food products in the near future. It will be the first FODMAP Friendly food company in the United States, according to Jesse and Kate, as similar food companies have already started in Australia, where the diet originated.

To cover the cost of development, testing, and marketing, Kate and Jesse aim to raise $12,000 through Kickstarter.com by November 21. Kickstarter is an online crowdsourcing website with an all or nothing model, which means that if Kate and Jesse don’t reach their goal by the end of their campaign, they receive none of the money.

To learn more or donate to their campaign, visit http://nicerfoods.com/kickstarter. Kate and Jesse can be reached at questions(at)nicerfoods(dot)com.

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Kate Watson
Nicer Foods
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