Looking for a simple, delicious, homemade SIBO-safe salad dressing recipe? It’s here!
This 4-ingredient salad dressing is a favorite among my friends, family, and clients. It is delicious atop homemade green salads, but also cooked quinoa, rice, chicken, or fish.
It is an excellent way to use up fresh basil before it begins browning. The vinegar helps to preserve the basil a little longer than if it were sitting in your fridge.
I made a short video to show you just how easy this recipe really is:
Basil Health Benefits
According to medical literature, sweet basil is believed to have the following health benefits :
- Blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes
Basil is also rich in vitamin K and supplies smaller quantities of manganese, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acid precursors.
Is Honey Safe For SIBO?
Honey is one of the most confusing foods in the SIBO world. Is it safe? Is it not? The most accurate answer you will find is the one that your own body tells you. But I know sometimes it can be challenging to decipher the clues your body is giving. So let’s talk about it.
If you check the Monash University Low FODMAP App, you will find that honey is tested at 1 and 2 tablespoon serving sizes. At both of these serving sizes, honey has a “red light” in the fructose category. That means that the type of honey measured, at the quantities measured, has an excessive amount of fructose compared to glucose and therefore would likely be malabsorbed in individuals sensitive to the “monosaccharide” FODMAP category.
I had the privilege of observing the “Advanced Gastroenterology” course taught by “the SIBO queen” Dr. Allison Siebecker, alongside Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis and Dr. Lisa Shaver. In this course, Dr. Siebecker shared her reasoning for including honey in the green column of her “SIBO Specific Food Guide”, despite its “red light” on the Monash University App. Her reasoning was that certain types of honey (clover, alfalfa, cotton, raspberry) have a more favorable glucose-to-fructose ratio and therefore are better tolerated. Types of honey hypothesized to contain a less favorable ratio were blackberry, buckwheat, citrus/orange blossom, acacia, sage, and tupelo . Additionally, Dr. Siebecker had seen her patients have favorable responses to honey and was enthusiastic about its health benefits.
According to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), honey is permitted because it is a monosaccharide and monosaccharides are believed to be easily absorbed due to not requiring brush border enzymes for absorption.
The Fast Tract Diet, by Dr. Norm Robillard, has also been proposed as a possible diet for SIBO. This diet recommends that individuals remain under a certain “fermentation potential” total per day. Foods are numbered, with those less than or equal to 5 having a “low fermentation potential“. Honey comes in at 3, falling into the “low” category.
Here are my thoughts on the topic:
- Monash University used 1 tablespoon as its smallest measure. That is equal to 17 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 24 grams of added sugars daily and men to consume less than 36 grams. For women, 1 tablespoon of honey is equal to 70 percent of the recommended daily limit. For health conscious folks, I believe a single teaspoon is a more realistic serving size and likely better tolerated (this recipe supplies less than that per serving). Perhaps at a serving size smaller than 1 tablespoon, the fructose content of honey would be less likely to aggravate symptoms and feed overgrowth.
- A teaspoon of honey in your tea –> likely well tolerated
- Baking with honey –> probably too much- opt for pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or cane sugar instead
- During the initial elimination phase of a SIBO diet, added sugars should be limited as much as possible.
- Buy your honey locally from a farmer’s market to avoid fraudulent products and increase the medicinal benefit associated with consuming locally-produced honey (potential reduction of seasonal allergies)
Honey Health Benefits
If you search the medical literature for “honey and health benefits”, you may be surprised to see that the topic has received quite a bit of attention. Some of its reported health benefits include the following [3,4]:
- Promotes wound healing (applied topically)
- Protective effects on the gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems
- And much more!
- 2 sprigs fresh basil leaves, removed from stems
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 T clover honey (or pure maple syrup)
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Taste test and adjust seasonings, as needed- more honey if it is too tangy, more olive oil if it is overall too strong, more basil if it is bland, more vinegar if it is too oily.
 Esiyok D, Otles S, Akcicek E. Herbs as a food source in Turkey. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2004;5(3):334-9.
 Siebecker, Allison. SIBO Specific Food Guide. Available at: http://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_specific_diet_food_guide_sept_2014.pdf
 Samarghandian S, Farkhondeh T, Samini F. Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research. Pharmacognosy Res. 2017;9(2):121-127.
 Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011;1(2):154-60.