Colitis Home > Crohn's Disease Diet
Foods to AvoidSome people with Crohn's disease find that there are certain foods that seem to make their symptoms worse.
- Dairy products
- Spicy foods
- Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, some teas, and some soft drinks
- Alcoholic beverages
- Certain raw fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage, apples, and carrots.
If raw fruits and vegetables cause you problems, you may want to try them cooked. Or, you can try to find other fruits and vegetables that don't make your symptoms worse.
Other foods that make the symptoms worse in some people include:
- Fruit juices
- Artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol or mannitol
- High-fat foods such as butter, red meat, avocados, nuts, and fried foods.
If Crohn's disease is affecting your small intestine, it may be harder for your body to digest and absorb fats. This can make diarrhea worse, so you may find that eating a low-fat diet helps improve your symptoms. Eating smaller, more frequent meals may also help you feel better.
What should you do if you think certain foods are making your Crohn's disease symptoms worse? The first thing you should do is to keep a food diary. After a month, you may have some idea about which food could be provoking symptoms. You could then try eliminating that food from your diet for two weeks to see what happens. Don't cut out a whole food category, and make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that this food provides from other sources. It is also important to let your healthcare provider know that you are doing this.
You may be wondering, "Why not just cut out the food and see if my symptoms get better?" It may be tempting to conclude that Crohn's disease symptoms get better or worse because of what was added or eliminated from the diet the day or week before. However, the unpredictable ups and downs of Crohn's disease make it hard to establish a relationship between diet and disease.