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Crohn's Disease Diet Plan: Things You Should Eat and Avoid

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 30 December 2022, Updated on - 02 February 2023

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In Crohn's disease, the body's immune system acts against the intestinal cells. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with ulcerative colitis. This means the colon develops ulcers and leads to inflammation of the intestinal walls.

Major health problems like vitamin deficiency, weight loss, and malnutrition start occurring if you don't get enough nutrients to fight the inflammation. In addition to affecting your IBD problems, nutrition significantly impacts your well-being.

Signs and Symptoms of Crohn's Disease

Let's have a look at some common signs and symptoms that patients suffering from Crohn's disease generally present with:

  • Irritation in the small intestine
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Inflammation

Crohn's Diet Plan

Various diet plans exist as no single meal plan suits all. Certain types of foods may trigger Crohn's symptoms for some people and are best to be avoided.

Foods to Eat and Avoid in Crohn's Disease

1. Grains

  • Rice, rice pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, and gluten-free grains can be consumed safely.
  • To be avoided - all kinds of wheat, rye, and barley products

2. Fruits and Veggies

  • Boiled fruits and veggies can be consumed as they are easy to digest. Fruits like bananas and peeled cucumbers can be safely consumed.
  • To be avoided - berries, broccoli, cabbage, peaches, and plums.

3. Proteins and Meats

  • Lean proteins like eggs, white-fleshed fish, chicken, Greek yoghurt, tofu, peanut butter and low-fat cottage cheese can be consumed.
  • To be avoided - red meat and sausages

4. Dairy Products

  • Not all individuals with Crohn's can tolerate dairy products. They can opt for plant-based milk alternatives like soy, almond, hemp, and oat milk.
  • To be avoided - high-fat products, butter, and cream

5. Beverages

  • It is best to drink plenty of water if you are diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Other beverages that can be safely consumed are sparkling water and non-caffeinated herbal tea.
  • To be avoided - black coffee (caffeinated drinks increase diarrhoea), soda (soda can cause gastritis), and alcohol.

6. Spices

  • Chives, lemon peel, mustard, and turmeric are the few herbs that patients with Crohn's disease can consume without being worried.
  • To be avoided - Pepper, cloves, chilly powder, garlic, and mustard

Tips to Formulate a Healthy Crohn's Diet Plan

Following are a few tips that will help you work around your diet plan towards having a healthy lifestyle:

  • Take 4-6 meals daily
  • Drink enough water
  • Refrain from using a straw
  • Focus more on boiled, grilled, steamed, or poached foods
  • Maintain a food journal to record the items that trigger symptoms

The Bottom Line

Diet plays a crucial role in individuals with Crohn's disease. It is important to recognise the foods that cause flare-ups. Eliminating one form of food at a time helps in identifying the exact food items which are not tolerated by your body and may trigger symptoms.

Avoiding all types of food only makes things more difficult to pinpoint. Moreover, as diet is limited it is essential to meet the vitamin and mineral supplements. Continue to seek professional help while being regular with follow-ups.


Consult a Gastroenterologist Now


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Crohn's disease the same as IBS?

No, Crohn's is a type of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Crohn's is an auto-immune condition. IBS is mainly caused due to increased gut sensitivity.

2. What are the common symptoms of Crohn's?

Crohn's causes swelling of tissues inside the stomach and causes pain, irritation, and bloating.

3. Is it a serious disease?

It is not a fatal condition but it can be dangerous without lifestyle modifications.

4. Can it be treated?

Yes. Treatment mainly constitutes of steroids and immunosuppressants that can control, reduce and stop Crohn's from recurring. If medications fail to provide relief, the patient may undergo surgery.

5. Can medications be taken for Crohn's disease?

Yes. Steroids and immunosuppressants can help reduce the symptoms. They begin to work in a few days or a week.


Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dhanunjay Reddy B


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