Fat, Fibre, and Protein!
Fats are an essential part of our diet, and choosing the right types of fats can be beneficial for increasing calories when your appetite is low during a flare of IBD. Avoiding fats is not necessary and often fat free foods contain emulsifiers that can actually be worse for inflammation than the fats themselves. Good choices for fat intake could include olive oil and avocados since they are excellent sources of monounsaturated fats.
Salmon, sardines, and anchovies are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease inflammation in the body. Ground flaxseed is another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can try adding it to smoothies, yogurt, or cereals to boost nutrition!
Although there are 10 or more subtypes of fibre, insoluble and soluble fibre are the two main types of fibre found in food, and they work differently in our bodies. Most Canadians do not consume enough fibre. In fact, many people with IBD choose not to consume any fibre because of fear it may aggravate symptoms such as loose stool, bloating, abdominal pain and gas.
Diet is a very individual experience, but recent and emerging research is pointing more towards the benefits of fibre for people with IBD.
Insoluble fibre adds bulk to your stool and increases the volume and amount of bowel movements that you may experience. Insoluble fibre is found in the seeds and skins of some fruit and vegetables and in whole grains.
Soluble fibre, in contrast, dissolves in water to form a gel that helps to slow and solidify bowel movements. Soluble fibre comes from the flesh of some fruits and vegetables and legumes. It can also help lower cholesterol and decrease blood sugars if you have diabetes. There is strong evidence that soluble fibre supports the beneficial effects of the gut microbiome.
The recipes in this cookbook contain ingredients which are generally well tolerated in a flare. They include sources of soluble fibre, such as applesauce, avocado, banana, cooked beets, cooked carrot, cooked and peeled red bell pepper, hummus, mandarin oranges, mango, oatmeal, and peeled and cooked potato and sweet potato.
Protein is an important part of our diet as it helps us stay healthy, fight off infections, and maintain muscle mass. Try to include a source of protein with every meal.
Go back to the IBD Kitchen overview
You can find protein in animal sources (red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products) as well as plant sources (legumes – chick peas, kidney beans, lentils, tofu, peanut butter, and hummus). Each of these recipes contain different sources of protein (or two), so you can explore what options work best for you!
During a flare-up, it can be difficult to get enough protein due to decreased appetite, GI symptoms, or malabsorption. You may find that you can tolerate certain sources of protein better than others. Lean protein choices, such as fish, lean cuts of red meat, white poultry meat, eggs, tofu and certain dairy products, may be better tolerated.