Diet and Nutrition

Everyone needs to have a well-balanced diet for good health, vigour and healing. People with Crohn’s and colitis in particular must eat well in order to avoid problems such as malnutrition and dehydration.

is there a special diet for crohn's and colitis?

There is no special diet for those with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  Because everyone is different, (different tolerances, different likes and dislikes, different locations for their disease in the GI tract), nutritional approaches must be customized to fit you.

There are some general tips that you might find helpful. When you are in remission, you can best help yourself by eating a well-balanced diet. There is no need to avoid any particular kind of food or to follow a restrictive diet. However, there are certain foods that people find harder to digest, such as foods containing insoluble fibre, seeds and nuts, and raw fruits and veggies. Tracking your diet with a daily food journal can help you identify what foods and beverages work well for you, and which ones don't. 

Nutritional therapies can help ensure you get adequate nutrients to avoid problems such as malnutrition. To learn more Nutritional Therapies page.

Probiotics and prebiotics may be beneficial to those living with Crohn's and colitis. Visit our Probiotics and Nutritional Supplements page to find out more.

how can diet be modified during a flare up?

During a flare-up, you may want to modify your diet to avoid aggravating an already sensitive gut. Here is a list of things that you can to do help you through an acute episode:

  • Identify trigger foods and eliminate them from your diet
  • Identify safe foods that cause the least irritation​
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Try lactose-free products, as many Crohn’s and colitis sufferers appear to be lactose intolerant
  • Reduce sugar and artificial sweeteners if they aggravate your gut
  • Avoid drinking a lot of fluid during a meal; try to wait until you are finished eating
  • Reduce fat intake as it might be hard to digest

learn more about diet and nutrition for crohn's and colitis

Click the video below to learn more about Diet and Nutrition for Crohn's and colitis from experts in the field. This presentation is from our Gutsy Learning Series


Click on the image below for a downloadble brochure to read about the role of diet and nutrition in Crohn’s and colitis.

Food For Thought: Diet and Nutrition for Adults living with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis brochure. Click to view in PDF Format

Watch our broadcast below featuring a Registered Dietitian and expert in the field discuss the impact of food and nutritional supplements on IBD, and answer frequently asked questions about diet and IBD. 

Click the video below to learn from experts in the field about the use of probiotics and nutritional supplements for Crohn's and colitis. To learn more visit our Probiotics and Prebiotics page. 

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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