Dietary Recommendations for Crohns Disease

Crohns Disease presents quite a few dietary challenges and there is no consensus on what’s the ideal diet for it. Below are some of the most “tried and true” steps proven to be helpful for Crohns Disease patients.

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Things to do

  • Have a small (about 4 ounces) serving of protein – such as meat, fish, or eggs -- daily.
  • The body needs fat for proper functioning. Choose healthy fats such as olive or canola oil, instead of butter or cream. Keep in mind that fats, in general, have to be used sparingly.
  • Supplementation with Vitamin B12 (which some Crohns patients don’t absorb sufficiently from food) and Calcium have been found helpful. In some cases, after consulting with Dr. Singh, supplementation with Iron might be advisable.
  • Some Crohns patients may be lactose intolerant. If you are, you should avoid all dairy products, except for yogurt. Yogurt contains potent probiotics, which make it the easiest-to-digest dairy product and provides an easily-absorbable form of Calcium.
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day may make you feel better than three large meals.
  • Drink water – not soft drinks or coffee – when you feel thirsty. Drinking up to 8 glasses of water per day is especially important for patients who suffer from diarrhea, as they might be at risk of dehydration.
  • Theoretically speaking, coffee stimulates digestion and more frequent bowel movements. Too much coffee, however (in excess of 3 cups per day), is not recommended.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid processed, refined carbohydrates such as white bread, soft drinks, potato chips, and foods that contain sugar and artificial sweeteners. Replace them with complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, vegetables and fruits. (Some patients respond better to water-soluble fiber – vegetables and fruit – than to insoluble fiber like whole grains. Try each approach to see which one makes you feel better.)
  • Avoid alcohol, as it has an irritating effect on the entire digestive system – including the small intestine, particularly in Crohns Disease patients.
  • Avoid junk food, whenever possible.
  • Avoid any food that makes you feel bad. You may be allergic to some food and not know it. Or, you may be less tolerant of some food without knowing it.

These dietary recommendations are specifically meant for the condition which it treats.
Learn more about this disease.