Smart Food Swaps for IBD

Some simple diet changes can help minimize the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Health Monitor Staff

Diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis) and wondering, So what exactly can I eat? While you may need to eliminate some go-to eats, there’s still plenty to sample. Read on for ideas. Not all these foods may trigger symptoms—to determine which might, keep a food diary.

Instead of…
Milk, other dairy

IBD can bring on lactose intolerance because it decreases the production of lactase, an enzyme that helps you digest dairy, in the small intestine.

Almond milk, soy milk

Available in the dairy section, these are made from soybeans or ground-up almonds and can be fortified to contain as much calcium as regular milk.

Instead of…
Red meat and pork

These high-fat meats are more difficult to digest.

Lean meats and fish (chicken, turkey, salmon, tilapia, flounder)

They’re rich in protein and omega-3s, and easily digestible. Skip the deep fryer—steam, broil or grill.

Instead of…
Fruits with seeds (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)

You’ll have a hard time digesting the seeds.

Tropical fruits (bananas, mango, papaya, cantaloupe)

Rich in nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium, these fruits are easier to digest.

Instead of…
Beans, lentils

Unfortunately, these legumes can cause intestinal gas in their whole form.

Hummus (puréed chickpeas and puréed lentils)

When puréed, these tasty sources of lean protein are less likely to trigger symptoms.

January 2014