Diet ulcerative colitis for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Diet ulcerative colitis

Diet ulcerative colitis for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Special diet for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In the case of Crohn’s disease, inflammation particularly attacks the lower part of the small intestine and the colon and causes many inconveniences: intense abdominal pain, transit disorders, malabsorption, etc. In the acute pain phase, the goal of the diet is to limit the irritation of the digestive tract and maintain optimal nutrient intake.

diet for crohn's disease
Diet ulcerative colitis for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

The essential points of the special diet of Crohn’s disease(Diet ulcerative colitis):

    Adopt a diet without residues

    Have a good hydration

    Pay attention to individual tolerance to certain irritating foods

    Reduce the consumption of sugars

    Limit fat intake

Benefits of the no-residue diet in case of Crohn’s disease

In the case of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, adopting a suitable diet has many benefits. This allows to :

    Decrease symptoms

    Promote optimal nutritional status

    Maintain a healthy weight

    Limit worsening of inflammation of the digestive system

    Facilitate the work of digestion

What is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease? (IBD)

The term inflammatory bowel disease refers to several different diseases: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and so on. These are diseases that evolve by pushing alternating between acute phases and phases of remission. They cause many symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea up to dehydration, bloating, bleeding, loss of appetite, etc.

In the case of Crohn’s disease, the inflammation mainly attacks the lower part of the small intestine and the colon which prevents the good absorption of nutrients. In the case of ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is mainly in the colon, rectum, and anus. Since one of the main functions of the colon is to reabsorb water from food to harden the stool, this pathology causes malabsorption of water and associated diarrhea.

Who is the special diet for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?

The following dietary recommendations apply in the event of an acute crisis. In times of remission, there is no need to avoid certain foods more than others. On the other hand, if certain foods are poorly tolerated, it will be necessary to limit their consumption whatever the stage of evolution of the disease. This may be the case for example foods rich in insoluble fiber, oilseeds or raw vegetables. So you have to do it according to your own tolerance first and foremost.

This sheet does not replace in any case the personalized advice that can give you a dietician following an individual consultation.

Crohn’s disease and diet: dietary recommendations

Diet adapted to Crohn’s disease can significantly improve the quality of life in the acute phase. It is very important, until the disappearance of symptoms, to favor a diet that puts the digestive system at rest by promoting foods that require little digestion work. On the contrary, it is better to avoid foods that are difficult to digest or that may further irritate the gut.

Read more about the Diet ulcerative colitis …

Diet advised for Crohn’s disease

In times of acute crisis, the special diet Crohn’s disease aims to suppress foods rich in dietary fiber. In other words, it will be necessary to adopt a more or less strict residue-free diet to relieve symptoms. Good hydration, a diet rich in nutrients and the intake of certain supplements and probiotics also help to better manage painful crises.

Dieting without residue

To improve intestinal comfort, a low-fiber, low-residue diet is highly recommended. This type of diet, however, does not accelerate healing in people who suffer from digestive discomfort or irritable bowel syndrome.

Here is a table that will help you adopt a diet without residue adapted to Crohn’s disease

Food groups To be preferred To avoid

Dairy products Skimmed milk

Lightened yogurt in fat

Cheese with less than 20% fat

Yogurt sorbet with fruit pieces, lemon or with cereals

Whole milk


Ice cream

Meat and substitutes Well-cooked meat

Soft pieces

Poultry without skin

Nature fish

Eggs prepared without fat

Tofu Breaded and fried products



Fatty and difficult to chew meat

Fried eggs, breaded, fried


Oilseeds and oleaginous purées (peanuts, almonds, etc.)

Grain Products White Bread

Starchy white flour

 Cereal bread or full


Starchy whole flour

Brown rice

All grain products containing nuts or seeds

Vegetables Well-cooked vegetables

Seedless and greaseless vegetables

Potato without skin

Vegetable juice Cabbage vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.



Beans and beans


Onions, garlic, peppers

Squash, spinach

Fruit Juices without pulp (except prunes)

Ripe banana


Apple without skin

Compotes without pieces (except prunes) All raw fruits except peeled apple, ripe banana, and melon

Canned fruit

Dried fruits

Prune juice

Juice with pulp

drinks Water

Decaf coffee, herbal teas

 Caffeine: coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks


Sweetened or sweetened beverages: syrups, cocktail, etc.

Other sugar alcohol (sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol)

Candy and chewing gum without sugar

Fatty products


For optimal hydration, it is recommended to drink 2 liters of water a day. Since IBD can cause water absorption problems, it is important to avoid dehydration at all costs. For this, do not drink large quantities of water at once. On the contrary, we should drink small glasses of water well distributed between meals (at least 45 minutes later). In fact, the ingestion of large amounts of water during the meal can lead to diarrhea.

Split feeding

In the acute phase, it is recommended to take small meals well distributed throughout the day in order to facilitate digestion and not over stimulate intestinal movements. Three small meals and 2 to 3 snacks represent a good structure. In addition, take your biggest meal at noon and not at night, you will improve your tolerance.


According to the results of some scientific studies, probiotics containing bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and streptococci appear promising to prevent the recurrence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In addition, Saccharomyces boulardii appears to be effective in reducing the prevalence of diarrhea in people with Crohn’s disease. However, consult a doctor or dietician before taking probiotics.

Read more about the Diet ulcerative colitis …

Vitamin and mineral supplements

People suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at greater risk of deficiencies in certain nutrients. Indeed, nutrient losses are increased due to episodes of diarrhea and bleeding. Malabsorption disorders, intestinal resections and loss of appetite further aggravate this phenomenon and can lead to dietary deficiencies that must be taken very seriously. A supplement of vitamins and minerals may sometimes be necessary, ask the advice of your doctor or dietician.

Here is a chart of the most common deficiencies in Crohn’s disease and food sources

Nutrients Food sources


    Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)

    Canned fish

    Vegetable milks enriched with calcium



    Green vegetables (spinach, watercress, broccoli, green beans).

    Fruits (blackcurrant, orange, red fruits, etc).

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)



    Vegetables: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, beets

    Enriched pasta

    Flaxseed and sunflower

    Walnuts, hazelnuts














    Liver of veal and beef


    Sesame seeds



    Shiitake mushrooms


    Pumpkin and squash seeds

Vitamin D

    Fat fish


    Soymilk and enriched rice

    Cow milk

    Liver of beef

Vitamin B12




    Crab and shrimp

    Fat fish

    Beef and lamb

    Egg yolk

Other recommended foods:


    Omega 3

pie-chart test | amCharts

Prohibited foods in case of Crohn’s disease

As part of the special diet, Crohn’s disease certain foods are prohibited, or at least strongly discouraged until regression of symptoms. This is the case of simple sugars, fats, lactose and gluten that can potentially aggravate the irritation of the intestine and make digestion even more difficult. The following recommendations are to be adapted according to your own tolerance.

Simple sugars

in the context of the specific diet for Crohn’s disease, it may be interesting to reduce the consumption of simple sugars and artificial sweeteners. Indeed, the digestive tract of a person with IBD absorbs them badly. This can result in many digestive discomforts such as diarrhea, flatulence or severe pain.

Artificial sweeteners are used in many industrial products known as “sugar-free”, “sugar-reduced” or “0%”. So be careful and check the list of ingredients before choosing a product. All products containing aspartame, sucralose, acesulfamate, saccharin or cyclamate can cause severe pain.

Foods rich in simple sugars to avoid as part of the diet are:

    White, red, brown or brown sugar

    Maple syrup, glucose-fructose

    Honey, jams, jellies, spreads

    Pastries, pastries, cookies, cakes

    Chocolate, caramel, confectionery

    Breakfast cereals, cereal bars

    Commercial sauces: ketchup, barbecue, marinades

    Flavored milk drinks, syrups, fruit juices

    Fruit yogurts, ice cream

    Flavored soy beverages

    Sweet fruit compotes, canned fruits

    Sodas, cocktail, liqueur-based aperitif

    Industrial dishes, fast food, ready meals


It seems that people who suffer from IBD have a lower tolerance to lactose. If the intolerance is not proven, there is no particular reason to suppress dairy products because they provide the body with essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D or good proteins. On the other hand, if the consumption of dairy products poses a problem, it will have to be reduced. Small amounts are generally very well tolerated, without causing symptoms. Once again, it’s your individual tolerance that really matters.

The main sources of lactose to avoid the special diet Crohn’s disease are:

    Cow’s milk and goat’s milk

    Milk powder or concentrate

    Milk drinks

    Butter, cream, ice cream, whipped cream


    Fresh cheese

    Milk soups

    Cream sauces

Lactose-free milk, vegetable milks, and hard cheeses will be preferred. There are now many dairy products made from plant milks and enriched with calcium and vitamin D. Finally, there is still the possibility of taking lactase (an enzyme that digests lactose) in supplement and before meals that contain lactose.


If Crohn’s disease affects the lower part of the small bowel (ileum) or if there has been bowel resection, there may be lipid malabsorption with greasy diarrhea. In this case, try to limit total fat intake by avoiding the following foods:

    Oils, butter, cream





    Red meats

    Pastries, pastries, biscuits

The addition of medium-chain triglycerides (TCM oil) may be useful in some cases. These lipids are indeed much better absorbed by the intestine.

Irritating food

Foods that stimulate peristalsis should be avoided during the active phase. Here are some of them:







    Dietary fiber

    Frozen food

    Soft drinks




There does not seem to be any link between gluten reduction and symptom improvement in everyone. On the other hand, some studies suggest that there may be a genetic association between inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. A special diet gluten-free Crohn’s disease might be beneficial in some cases, but eviction tests must be done before completely removing gluten from the diet.

Other foods not recommended:

    Industrial products

    Products already prepared

    Fibrous vegetables


    Sedentary lifestyle

Crohn’s disease: practical daily tips for following the diet

    Chew well and take the time to eat

    Split the diet and make 2 to 3 snacks, if necessary

    Cook the fruits and vegetables well before eating them

    Instead of spices and industrial sauces, use cottage cheese and herbs to add flavor to the dish

    Beware of low-fat, low-fat or sugar-free products: they may contain sweeteners

    Avoid products rich in dietary fiber

    Ensure that a source of good protein is incorporated into each meal

    Drink small amounts of water throughout the day

    Promote cooking without fat: oven, water, steam, etc.

To go further: how to eat during the remission phase?

When symptoms decrease, it is important to gradually reinstate the foods set aside. Once again this is individual tolerance, but a diet rich in fiber would be able to prolong the remission phases and prevent acute phases.

It is recommended to favor soluble fibers that form a gel in the digestive tract and that are gentler for the intestines.

Here is a table of the main sources of soluble fiber to be included in the special diet Crohn’s disease, in the phase of remission:

Food Groups Food Sources of Soluble Fiber

Oat Bread and Alternatives: Baked Flakes, Oat Bread, and Oat Bran Cereal





Cooked vegetable Turnip



Brussels sprouts

Green beans




Apricot fruit








The best foods to prevent and relieve ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis or ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes bleeding ulcers in the colon and rectum.

The crises alternate with periods of remission without symptoms. In mild cases, patients may have normal peristalsis, with the mucosal flow. This disease also often causes abdominal pain and diarrhea with blood in the stool. When the disease is acute, bloody, violent diarrhea is accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia.

Tips and Foods That Can Help You Better Prevent and Relieve Ulcerative Colitis:

    Keep a diary: This allows the patient to make a connection between his or her symptoms and specific foods. It is also important to consult a dietitian to ensure that you eat well. Vitamin and mineral supplements are often needed to compensate for a strict diet and possible absorption problems.

    Avoid insoluble fiber: Foods that irritate the intestine often contain insoluble fiber: bran, whole grains, nuts and dried nuts, dried fruits, fruits and vegetables are eaten raw and unpeeled (tomatoes, figs, pears in particular). Soluble fibers – pectin in particular – are less irritating: oats, poached and peeled fruits, cooked dark green leafy vegetables.

    Limit fat: Fatty foods are difficult to digest. Also, reduce fat, avoid fried foods, cold cuts, and cheeses, especially if they are very refined.

    Avoid caffeine: Depending on the reactions of the intestines, you will be careful with coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, seasonings (horseradish, mustard), pulses, cabbage and vegetables that can cause flatulence.

    Beware of milk: Many patients have poor support for milk during seizures; but yogurts, milk introduced in small quantities into the dishes, milk without lactose are generally tolerated.

    Protein and other nutrients: The diet should provide enough calories, protein, and other nutrients to offset the restrictions. Eggs, fish, poultry and lean meat provide high-quality protein. Red meat, especially the liver, is an important source of iron for those who suffer from occult bowel bleeding. We will eat a lot of vegetables and fruits mashed without skin or seeds.

    During a crisis, choose a very soft diet, containing little fiber, to avoid stimulating the intestines: broth and light tea, toasted white bread, soft-boiled eggs, desserts according to the tolerance.

    When healing takes place, we can move on to fish, poultry and lean, tender meat; baked or boiled potatoes, without the skin, then cooked fruits and vegetables with steam.

    In severe cases, to prevent malnutrition, give a liquid diet, intravenously or by nasogastric intubation. Liquid supplements provide the necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals during seizures.

Ulcerative colitis: the recommended drugs

The first-line drug in ulcerative colitis is mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid), often in combination with sulfasalazine, to decrease inflammation.

For a maximum beneficial effect, eat foods rich in folic acid: liver, dark green leafy vegetables. Patients who do not respond to these medications are treated with corticosteroids (usually prednisone or hydrocortisone), which can be given orally, in enema or as suppositories.

The risks of long-term treatment with cortisone are: weight gain, weakening of the bones, hypertension. Since corticosteroids promote fluid retention, patients must reduce salt; they also need to take more calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

If you think you have ulcerative colitis, see your doctor as soon as possible.

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