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Recommended Foods to Eat During Flare-Ups

  • Decrease fiber intake. Low fiber foods are easier to digest and less irritating to the gut, especially with symptoms like abdominal pain or diarrhea.
    • Grains/starches: Choose white products, instead of wheat or whole grain, that have less than 2 grams of fiber per serving
    • Cooked vegetables: Well-cooked vegetables such as green beans, carrots, mashed potatoes without skin, steamed asparagus tips and pureed squash. You can use fresh or frozen.
    • Canned or soft fruits: Peeled apples, ripe bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and canned fruit in fruit juice or light syrup
  • Be sure to eat enough protein. Inflammation causes increased protein needs.
    • Tender well cooked meats: Poultry, salmon or other fish, lean beef and pork prepared without added fat
    • Deli meats: Low-sodium and low-fat varieties
    • Eggs: Well-cooked
    • Tofu
    • Smooth nut and seed butters: Peanut, almond, or sunflower seed
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for 8 cups per day, and consider using oral rehydration beverages as needed. Try to limit caffeinated, sugar drinks and beverages made with sugar substitutes.
  • Limit added fats and oils. Focus on oils versus solid fats, and limit intake to less than 8 teaspoons per day.
  • Consume adequate calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, and prebiotics.
    Sources include:
    • Evaporated, fat-free, 1% and 2% milk
    • Lactose-free milk
    • Fortified non-dairy milks: almond, cashew, coconut, or rice milks - be aware that these options do not contain much protein
    • Fortified pea milk and soymilk - be aware these may cause gas and bloating
    • Regular and lactose-free yogurt

Recommended Foods to Eat During Remission

  • Increase fiber and reintroduce whole grains. Slowly incorporate foods higher in fiber when GI symptoms lessen.
  • Consume omega-3 fatty acids. Consider eating more fresh or canned fatty fish or taking a fish or flaxseed oil supplement.
  • Focus on wholesome foods in their natural state. This includes foods with minimal processing and minimum ingredients.
  • Dairy and lactose products will be better tolerated. If you have a lactose intolerance, avoid dairy or eat low-lactose or lactose free products.
  • Added fats will be better tolerated. Continue to focus on using oils, such as olive oil or canola oil, instead of solid fats.
  • Continue to focus on protein foods. Consume beef, eggs, poultry and other lean meats or plant-based proteins, such as soy products.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water. Drink water and avoid fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol and caffeinated beverages including coffee or tea.

Resources for Inflammatory Bowel Disease