Crohn’s Disease Diet: Foods to Eat, Avoid

Crohn’s disease is a kind of IBD-inflammatory bowel disease. It can surely lead to problems when it comes to selecting what you drink and eat. Not only does the condition led to digestive tract inflammation and discomforting symptoms, but long-term problems can even have malnutrition.

Your dietary habits may increase the worse symptoms of this disease more complicated. While there is no cure, practicing good habits and avoiding some foods may help to prevent symptoms from getting worse.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

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It is one of the two primary types of inflammatory bowel disease along with ulcerative colitis. Both have an immune reaction against the intestinal tract. Crohn’s often have inflammation in the small intestine, which can lead to belly pain and diarrhea. You may also have a low appetite, and the inflammation makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from the food you consume. In chronic conditions, some people need surgery on the intestine part that has Crohn’s absorption problem. It can be difficult to get sufficient nutrition and manage a healthy body weight with Crohn’s disease.



In Crohn’s disease, any large or small intestine part can be involved, and it may be helpful or may have multiple segments. In some people, the disease is confined to the colon, which is part of the bigger intestine.

Symptoms and signs of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe. They commonly increase slowly but sometimes will come on quickly, without warning.

When the disease is active symptoms and signs may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Abdominal pain
  • cramping
  • weight loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Pain or drainage around or near the anus because of inflammation from a tunnel into the skin (fistula)

Other signs and symptoms

People with severe Crohn’s disease may also feel:

Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts

Inflammation of skin, joints, and eyes

Iron deficiency (anemia)

Kidney stones

Delayed development or sexual growth, in children


When To See A Doctor

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See your physician if you have constant changes in your bowel patterns or if you get any of the signs of Crohn’s disease, like:

Blood in your stool

Abdominal pain

Nausea and vomiting

Unexplained fever lasting more than a day or two

Ongoing episodes of diarrhea that don’t react to over-the-counter (OTC) medications

weight loss without reason



The exact cause of Crohn’s ailment remains unknown.

Earlier, stress and diet were questioned, but now physicians know that these elements may decline but do not cause, Crohn’s disease. Many factors, such as malfunctioning immune system and heredity, are likely helpful for development.


Immune system

A bacterium or virus may induce Crohn’s disease; however, scientists have to know such a trigger. When your immune system attempts to prevent the occupying microorganism and an abnormal immune reaction leads to affect the cells in the digestive tract.


Crohn’s is very common in people who get family members with the disease, so genes are important for making people extra susceptible.

However, most people with Crohn’s disease do not get a family history of the ailment.


What Is a Crohn’s Disease Diet Plan?

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You have possibly read about several diets’ types for Crohn’s disease. But the fact is, there is no scientifically verified diet for inflammatory bowel disease. Most experts thought, though that some patients can identify specific foods that induce their gastrointestinal symptoms, specifically during disease flares. By skipping your trigger foods, you may find that your GI symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cramping are more manageable. At the same time, you will get inflamed intestines time to heal.

This is even more essential when you get a burst of your Crohn’s symptoms. Greasy foods or spicy foods, high-fiber, whole grain, fruit, vegetables, caffeine, nuts and seeds, alcohol, and caffeine can all be difficult on the body during a flare-up.

If you get problems absorbing nutrients because of Crohn’s disease, it is essential to follow a high protein diet, high calorie, even when you do not feel like consuming. In this setting, an impact Crohn’s disease diet plan, based on recommendations from experts, would concentrate on eating regular meals and 2-3 snacks every day. Additionally, you will require to take any physician-recommended mineral and vitamin supplements. By doing so, you will be able to refill the necessary nutrients in the body.

Foods to eat


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Grains are typical dietary staples. Whole grains are often praised areas offering the most dietary benefits because they are high in nutrients and fiber. The research recommended that a high fiber diet may lower the risk of getting IBD.

But once you get an Inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed and the disease is active, the fiber factor may issue, and depending on different symptoms, your doctor may suggest a low fiber diet.

It means you will get to reduce the number of whole grains you eat.

According to the Crohn’s-and-Colitis-Foundation-of-America (CCFA),

people with Crohn’s may help from less fiber, and low residue consuming plants to help control acute symptoms and small intestinal constriction. This type of diet lower fiber and scrap that can keep back and affect the bowels.

However, ongoing research questions the use of low fiber diets in Crohn’s ailment management. A small 2015 study using a plant-forward diet that has dairy, eggs, fiber, and fish showed a high rate of controlled remission over two years.

Overall, the researchers reviewed other studies also concluded that plant-based diets may help to lower intestinal inflammation and boost complete health.

Grains to eat:

  • potatoes
  • rice and rice pasta
  • cornmeal and polenta
  • gluten-free bread
  • oatmeal


Fruits And Vegetables

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Vegetables and fruits have several health benefits, but they may cause problems for a similar reason such as whole grains like insoluble fiber content.

Instead of skipping vegetables and fruits completely, you can still reap some of their help by processing them differently. For example, steaming and baking veggies and fruits can make them more easily digestible, although this process can also eliminate some of their essential nutrients, particularly enzymes, and water-soluble vitamins.

Speak with your doctor and dietitian about ways to stop any deficiencies.


Fruits and veggies to try:

  • steamed or well-cooked vegetables
  • applesauce
  • peeled cucumbers
  • bananas
  • bell peppers
  • squash
  • cantaloupe
  • pumpkin


Protein and Meat

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When it is about Crohn’s flare-ups, your protein choice should be based on fat content. Choosing proteins with low fat is a good choice.

Proteins to eat:

  • fish
  • eggs
  • pork tenderloin
  • peanut butter
  • tofu and other soy products
  • shellfish
  • white meat poultry

Dairy products

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While other individuals with Crohn’s may be able to drink one glass of milk here and there without problems, you may not manage dairy. Instead, try consuming dairy substitutes, which are widely found in food shops and mega marts.

Dairy or dairy options to try:

dairy replacements such as yogurt, milk, and cheese made from plants like almond, soy, coconut, flax, or hemp

low-fat fermented dairies like kefir or yogurt


Which Foods Should I Skip with a Crohn’s Disease Diet Plan?

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The foods that induce symptoms differ for every person with Crohn’s ailment. You will need to determine which foods trigger. Different people with Crohn’s ailment find that one or more of the foods on the following list disturb symptoms during disease flares. At least some of these given foods may induce your symptoms:

Alcohol (beer, mixed drinks, wine)

Butter, margarine, mayonnaise, oils

Coffee, tea, chocolate

Carbonated beverages

Fatty foods (fried foods)

Foods’s high in fiber


Dairy products (if lactose intolerant)

Gas-creating foods (beans, lentils, legumes, broccoli, cabbage, onions)

seeds and Nuts

Raw vegetables

Spicy foods

Raw fruits

Red meat and pork

Whole grains and bran


Once you know foods that lead to increased symptoms, you can select either to skip them or to know new ways of making them that will make them tolerable.

You will need to feel with different foods to check what works best for you. For example, if some raw vegetables induce a flare, you do not necessarily require to give up.

You may get that simmering them, boiling them, or stewing will make you consume them without raising GI symptoms. If red meat raises fat in the stools, you could try consuming ground sirloin or ground round to know if you can tolerate a leaner beef cut.


Low-Residue Diet related to Crohn’s Treatment Diet?

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A low residue diet is one of the low in particular foods that include residue to the stool. Several people with small bowel Crohn’s disease get a stricture or narrowing of the small intestine.

For them, a low fiber with less residue diet can help to lower abdominal pain, diarrhea, and cramping. While scientific proof is less, this diet may also help to reduce the frequency of bowel movements for similar people.

Foods to skip on a low residue diet may have:

  • Nuts
  • Corn hulls
  • Seeds
  • Raw fruits
  • Raw vegetables

What’s the Role of Fiber in Crohn’s?

Dietary fiber is essential for complete health. It can help you manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight at healthy levels. Getting around 23 gm of fiber every day can lower the risk of a Crohn’s flare by more than 40%. But while you are getting a flare, high fiber foods can manage symptoms.

The best fiber selection is when you get Crohn’s in foods that consist of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber soaks up more fluid in the gut. Foods’s rich in soluble fiber can help you slow down digestion and ease your diarrhea. The other type of fiber and insoluble fiber can promote the water in the gut.

You will digest food fast. That can cause watery diarrhea, gas, and stomach cramps. At worst, more insoluble fiber can lead to blockages. Foods that come from plants are a good source of fiber.

This includes vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, and nuts. Most plant-based foods consist of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Remove peels, seeds, and skin of fruits or vegetables to cut down on insoluble fiber. And check labels for more fiber in foods you would not expect, such as dairy products. During times when you do not active Crohn’s symptoms, select whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits.


Can You Able to Manage Crohn’s Disease with Help of a Daily Food Diary?

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Yes, keeping track of the foods you consume every day can help to identify the offenders – foods that may induce symptoms.

You can also utilize an everyday food diary to help you and your physician understand if you are having a properly balanced diet. It can tell whether you are having enough carbohydrates, protein, water, and fats. It can also show whether you are having enough calories to manage weight and energy.

To begin your diary, record the foods you consume every day and the serving sizes in a small notebook. Enter the date, food, and other symptoms you might feel after consuming this food in the notebook.

After one 1-to 2 months, set up a time to review your food diary with a registered dietitian.

The dietitian can understand if you are getting important nutrients in a well-balanced diet plan or if you might require supplements. Right nutrition helps the body to heal itself and manage you well. So, getting a nutrition discussion with an expert dietitian is necessary to complete the health and management of Crohn’s disease.

Important things about a Crohn’s Disease Diet Plan?

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Lowering some foods induce may help to manage symptoms during disease flares. But do not limit yourself more that you make malnutrition, which often has Crohn’s disease, worse. You will require to find a different source to change the protein, calories, fats, and carbohydrates that are present in the foods you remove. To do that, you will need to target including nutrient-dense foods in the diet plant.

While fast foods should generally be skipped in a healthy diet plan, sometimes they can give a boost to diet when used sparingly. Some fast foods can provide a necessary supply of important calories and nutrients.

For example, pizza provides calories, nutrients, and protein like vitamins A, B, C, D, and calcium. A milkshake has high calcium and calories. If you are lactose intolerant, you need to take the right medication before drinking any milk product.

Ask your physician or dietitian about mineral and vitamin supplementation.

For example, several individuals with Crohn’s disease cause vitamin D deficiency. Research issued in the American-Journal-of-Preventive-Medicine reported that more doses of vitamins may be best for you, especially in lowering the risk of colorectal cancer, which may be more in people with IBD.


Can You Follow Liquid Diet for Controlling Crohn’s Disease Symptoms?

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Some research recommends that liquid diets might help people with some health conditions, and there is proof that some people with Crohn’s disease may benefit from a liquid diet with high calories, especially during a flare.

By giving rest to the intestine, the liquid diet can help to suppress symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Additionally, the liquid diet or particularly high-calorie liquid diet can help the patient with Crohn’s who require more nutrition for less time or those whose intestines cannot absorb the right nutrition from whole foods.

Your physician may suggest one of two types of nutritional support:


Enteral nutrition:

You may consume liquid supplements like Boost Plus or Ensure Plus in either to regular food. Liquid supplements can also be added to a feeding tube. Enteral nutrition is often beneficial for children who may have late puberty or stalled growth because of Crohn’s.


Parenteral nutrition:

If you get a severe flare, are very malnourished, or get lost more of your small intestine to surgery, your physician may suggest bypassing the gut completely. Liquid nutrients pass from a tube, catheter, or directly into the bloodstream. It gives your intestines a break, which can help to relieve the symptoms. Your doctor might name it bowel rest.


Are There Benefits to Get Probiotics and Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

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Different research on flaxseed oil and fish oil recommends an essential role for good fats in the inflammation that occurs with IBD. The research though is inconsistent on whether or not omega-3 fatty acids get a particular anti-inflammatory effect with IBD. If you wish to include omega-3 fatty acid supplements in your diet, talk with your physician first.

Other research is only beginning to analyze whether good bacteria or probiotics may be helpful in ulcerative and Crohn’s disease. More research is required, though to understand if these supplements can help in healing the intestine in IBD.


Risk factors

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Risk factors of Crohn’s disease may have:



Crohn’s disease can happen at any age, but you are likely to grow the condition when you are at a young age. Most people who grow Crohn’s disease are diagnosed before they are near 30 years.



Although Crohn’s ailment can impact any ethnic group, whites get the highest risk, particularly people of Eastern-European-Jewish descent.

However, the occurrence of Crohn’s disease is growing among black people who stay in North-America-and-the UK.

Family history

You are at higher risk if you get a first-degree relative, such as a sibling, child, or parent with the disease. As many as one in five people with Crohn’s disease has a family member with the disease.


Cigarette smoking

Cigarette smoking is the most essential manageable threat factor for treating Crohn’s ailment. Smoking also causes more severe diseases and a higher risk of getting surgery. If you smoke, it is essential to stop.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines

These include naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, diclofenac sodium, and others. While they do not lead to Crohn’s disease, they can lead to inflammation in the bowel that causes Crohn’s disease worse.



Crohn’s disease may cause one or more of the following difficulties:

Bowel obstruction

Crohn’s disease can influence the thickness of the intestinal wall. Over time, parts of the bowel can scar and narrow, which may block the digestive content flow. You may require surgery to release the diseased portion of your bowel.


Chronic inflammation can lead to opens ulcers anywhere in your digestive tract, including the anus and mouth, and in the genital part.


Sometimes ulcers can grow out of the intestinal wall, creating a fistula-an abnormal connection between various body parts. Fistulas can increase develop between the intestine and skin or between the intestine and different organs. Fistulas near the anal part are the most common type.

When fistulas grow in the abdomen, food may bypass part of the bowel that is important for absorption. Fistulas may create between loops of the bowel, in the bladder or vagina, or from the skin, leading to continuous drainage of bowel ranges to your skin.

In some cases, a fistula may get infected and create an abscess, which can be life-risking if not treated.

Anal fissure

It is a small tear in the tissue that lines the anus or in the skin near the anus where infections can happen. It is often linked with painful bowel movements and may cause a perianal fistula.


Diarrhea, cramping, and abdominal pain may make it hard for you to consume for the intestine to absorb sufficient nutrients to keep you nourished. It is also common to grow anemia because low iron or vitamin B-12 leads to disease.

Colon cancer

Getting Crohn’s disease that impacts your colon grows your risk of colon cancer. General colon cancer screen procedures for people without Crohn’s disease call for a colonoscopy every ten years starting at age 50. Ask your physician whether you need to get this test done sooner and more instantly.


Other health problems

Crohn’s disease can lead to problems in other body parts. Among these problems are skin disorders, anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, liver disease, or gallbladder.

Medication risks

Some Crohn’s disease drugs that act by blocking functions of the immune system are linked with a small risk of growing cancers like skin cancer and lymphoma. They also have the risk of infection.

Corticosteroids can be linked with osteoporosis risk, cataracts, bone fractures, diabetes, glaucoma, and high blood pressure among other problems. Ask your doctor to understand the benefits and risks of medication.

Blood clots

Crohn’s disease raises the risk of blood clots in arteries and veins.

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