Crohn's Disease Diet

Make simple, consistent improvements to your diet and nutrition to better manage your Crohn's Disease symptoms.

Let us help you build the perfect Crohn's Disease Diet

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Build a tailored nutrition plan to treat your Crohn's Disease

Alleviate your Crohn's symptoms with a meal plan customized to your individual needs.

Although there is no "cure" for Crohn's Disease, combining traditional medicine with the recommendations from our Registered Dietitians for Crohn's Disease can help you re-establish a normal routine and feel healthier

Our Registered Dietitians help you determine:

  • Which foods your digestive system handles well, across all food groups
  • Tips on how to plan your snacks and meals throughout the day
  • Foods to eat and foods to avoid
  • How to make these changes sustainable and set you up for long-term success.

A nutritionist for Crohn's Disease can be the perfect partner to your primary care doctor to help you manage your Crohn's Disease.  Our evidence-based process can help you implement proven strategies to feel better and improve your health.

 


Crohn's Disease: Let's Talk

Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn's are often used interchangeably - but in reality, they explain three different conditions. Colitis is the general inflammation of large intestine lining (colon). It is synonymous with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) and encompasses multiple conditions. Ulcerative Colitis: is a specific digestive issue, identified by ulcers on your large intestine. Crohn's is an inflammatory condition that can occur anywhere along the GI tract.

What is Crohn's Disease

  1. Crohn's Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that describes Inflammation of your large intestine (colon)
  2. Symptoms include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, malabsorption, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, blood in stool
  3. Like other GI conditions, researchers believe that Crohn's Disease is triggered by an auto-immune system attack- be either virus or bacteria
  4. Risk factors include: genetics, age, along with lifestyle choices (tobacco, smoking, etc.)
  5. Although there is no known cure, many treatment options are available. Long term remission is possible through dietary improvements and medication
  6. Crohn's can be degenerative- without proper treatment, your symptoms may get worse over time
  7. Complications can be life-threatening, including
    • Bowel obstruction, ulcers, fistulas, anal fissure
    • Increased risk of colon cancer
    • Some of the medications are immune suppressants

It can be challenging to differentiate between Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

  1. If you think that you may have a GI condition, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor
  2. Your doctor will evaluate your medical and family history
  3. Crohn's Disease includes any and all of the GI tract (mouth to anus), the entire thickness of bowel wall
  4. Ulcerative Colitis affects your colon and rectum, inner most lining of bowel wall
  5. Both are in the category of an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Our summary of the two conditions is below.  You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohn's Disease here.

  Ulcerative Colitis Crohn's Disease

What if Affects

Ulcerative Colitis specifically affects your large intestine, also known as the large bowel or colon.  The ulcers form on only the top layer of tissue in your colon

Anywhere along your GI tract, although it is commonly found in the small intestine and large intestine.  Crohn's impacts all tissue layers at its site

Crohn's can also cause issues with your skin, eyes, and joints

Symptoms

  • Urgency of bowel movement
  • Loose stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Occasional constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Skin conditions
  • Joint pain
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Fistulas

Treatment

  • Dietary Improvements
  • Medication
  • Surgery, as a last resort
  • Dietary Improvements
  • Medication

Diagnosis: performed by a gastroenterologist

  • Stool Test
  • Endoscopy of esophagus and stomach
  • Colonoscopy
  • Biopsy of colon tissue
  • CT Scan
  • Blood Test
  • Stool Test
  • Endoscopy of esophagus and stomach
  • Colonoscopy
  • CT Scan or MRI

 

Our summary of the two conditions is below.  You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohn's Disease here.


What foods should you eat with Crohn's Disease?

If you have Crohn's Disease, very minor changes to what you eat can make a BIG difference in your symptoms. Consider keeping food logs or adjusting foods that trigger your symptoms. You may also want to work with your doctor or dietitian to work through an elimination diet. Generally, you should try to:

  1. Take your time when you eat. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation recommends eating 4-6 smaller meals per day. Eating a bit more slowly also prevents you from ingesting too much air and becoming gassy
  2. Stay hydrated. Aim for 64 oz of water each today. Your urine should be a light yellow to clear color
  3. Relax! Exercise and relaxation techniques can help you relax and alleviate your Crohn's Disease symptoms
  4. Use simple cooking techniques. We recommend baking, grilling, or steaming to preserve most food's nutrient content

In terms of specific food recommendations, go with these:

Food Type Examples

Lean Protein

  • Fish: salmon, tilapia, flounder
  • Lean cuts of pork
  • White meat chicken
  • Eggs: offer several essential nutrients, including omega-3 supplementation. They are typically easy to digest
    And for plant-based diets:
  • Soy
  • Firm tofu

Low Fiber Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cooked fruits, which are especially relevant if you have recently had surgery
  • Avocados, which are rich in nutrients and healthy fats.

Veggies

Veggies can be hit or miss, so be be very specific:

Foods with Probiotics

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sourdough bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh

 

During a flare up, you many find it more comfortable to eat bland, soft food, otherwise limiting spicy foods.During periods of remission, you should eat all of your usual items with the omission of known offenders.

Struggling with Crohn's Disease or IBD? Download our full list of foods to eat!

Foods to avoid with Crohn's Disease

Most importantly, we highlight that each person's food sensitivities and triggers are different

Below is a list of common trigger foods; keep in mind that they vary for each person


  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products (if lactose intolerant)
  • Dried beans, peas, legumes, dried fruits or berries
  • Fruits with pulp or seeds
  • Foods containing sulfur or sulfate
  • Foods high in fiber (including whole-grained products)
  • Hot sauces and spicy foods
  • High fat meats
  • Nuts and crunchy nut butters
  • Popcorn
  • Products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
  • Raw vegetables
  • Refined sugar
  • Seeds

 

Struggling with Crohn's Disease or IBD? Download our full list of foods to avoid!

I have heard that fiber is good for Crohn's Disease.  What does OnPoint Say?  

  • We encourage you to eat a medium/high fiber diet when you are not experiencing a flare up.  A high fiber diet is almost always encouraged in all adults, part of maintaining a healthy gut as well

  • If you decide to increase your fiber intake, increase it gradually, even if you are not having GI or IBD issues presently

  • You may find a "Low Residue" approach helpful.  We have seen it work well for some people

  • Increase or be aware of hydration and fluid intake.  Try to drink at least 64 oz of water per day

  • Some studies show that a higher fiber diet can improve IBD conditions

 


Who to contact if you have questions about Crohn's Disease

  1. A dietitian with an expertise in GI and digestive issues, such as OnPoint!

  2. Always consult your primary care doctor. They can refer you to a local GI specialist if needed

  3. If diagnosed, you may want to seek a specialist for your specific disease in your area

 


Do you have recipes that are GI friendly?

  1. Yes! Anything from our member portal free of your trigger foods

  2. Some bloggers specialize in GI issues such as Crohn's Disease

  3. Anti inflammatory recipes cookbook

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Based upon your daily routine, we will build a custom plan to help alleviate your GI and IBD issues.

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Our dietitians and nutritionists build custom plans tailored to help you find relief from your GI issues. Our expertise includes: Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBS

“We have worked with hundreds of clients who live with GI issues such as Crohn's Disease. We know how hard it can be to live with the condition. We hope you will allow us to help you tackle your GI issue head-on."
Britney Kennedy Founder
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