Foods to Avoid If You Have Crohn’s Disease

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Crohn’s disease is quite possibly one of the most excruciating diseases to endure. The condition inflames the bowels, producing stomach pains, gas and diarrhea. Patients often have difficulty absorbing all the nutrients from their food, leaving them hungry and unable to eat several foods without terrible cramping. Perhaps the worst part of Crohn’s disease is that there’s no definitive cure, and every Crohn’s patient is different with the foods they can and cannot tolerate.

However, some foods are more likely than others to cause flare ups. If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s, you may want to try an elimination diet and make note of each food that causes you discomfort. See our list of foods to try and others to avoid in your Crohn’s disease diet if they cause a flare up.

Crohn’s Trigger Foods

Foods High in Fiber

Foods high in fiber, such as broccoli, cauliflower, corn and the skins on any fruit or veggies like apples and cucumbers should be avoided on a Crohn’s disease diet. Instead, try cooked vegetables and fruits. Applesauce and green juices can help you get the nutrients you need without the fibrous content that can linger in your colon and irritate your Crohn’s. Still want the occasional salad? Try butter lettuce. It’s more easily digestible.

High Fat Foods

Fried foods, butter, oils, and red meat are probably crossed off on your Crohn’s disease diet. Supplement your diet with low-fat foods and dairy alternatives.

  • Eggs
  • Fish, lean ground beef, ground turkey
  • Tofu
  • Creamy peanut and nut butters
  • Almond milk, low-fat yogurt, and cheese substitutes

One of the best fatty things you can eat? Avocados. They’re full of vitamins and healthy fats, and have soluble fiber, which is more friendly on your digestive tract.

Food and Drink That Produces Gas Or Diarrhea

Sodas or other carbonated drinks increase gas, as do foods like beans (and most other legumes), cabbage and onions. Other things cause diarrhea like coffee, tea and chocolate because they contain caffeine. Alcohol will likely have the same outcome, so avoid beers, liquors and wine.

It’s best to stick to plain water, though you could try flavoring it with essential oils or fruits like lemon, lime, cucumber or other fruit.

Whole Grains

Grains give us carbs and energy, and while whole grains are always recommended as the healthier option, high fiber foods aren’t a great choice for Crohn’s disease diets. Instead, supplement with white bread, white rice and pasta. These choices have “low-residue” meaning there’s less “scrap” to irritate the bowels. Many people also do well with oatmeal, which soaks up water and passes through your colon slowly, minimizing diarrhea. These carb solutions can boost your calorie intake when you’re in need of a calming food to fill you up. But, make sure you’re still getting in your proteins and cooked veggies for nutritional value.

Your doctor will most likely recommend vitamins and supplements to help you combat malnutrition and make up for what your body can’t absorb from food. Calcium, multivitamins with minerals, B12 and D are all great choices for Crohn’s disease diets.

The colon health and Crohn’s disease experts at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care dedicate themselves to helping patients experience the best quality of life possible. See how we can help you get to remission.


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