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Diet Tips for Crohn’s Disease

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❝Doctors are great at saving lives like mine. I’m a two time survivor of colon cancer and have recently been diagnosed with Chron’s disease at 62. No one is the health system can or is prepared to tell me an appropriate diet to follow or what to avoid. Can you?❞

Congratulations on the survivorship!

As to Crohn’s, that’s indeed quite a pain, isn’t it? In some ways, a good diet for Crohn’s is the same as a good diet for most other people, with one major exception: fiber

…and unfortunately, that changes everything, in terms of a whole-foods majority plant-based diet.

What stays the same:

  • You still ideally want to eat a lot of plants
  • You definitely want to avoid meat and dairy in general
  • Eating fish is still usually* fine, same with eggs
  • Get plenty of water

What needs to change:

  • Consider swapping grains for potatoes or pasta (at least: avoid grains)
  • Peel vegetables that are peelable; discard the peel or use it to make stock
  • Consider steaming fruit and veg for easier digestion
  • Skip spicy foods (moderate spices, like ginger, turmeric, and black pepper, are usually fine in moderation)

Much of this latter list is opposite to the advice for people without Crohn’s Disease.

*A good practice, by the way, is to keep a food journal. There are apps that you can get for free, or you can do it the old-fashioned way on paper if prefer.

But the important part is: make a note not just of what you ate, but also of how you felt afterwards. That way, you can start to get a picture of patterns, and what’s working (or not) for you, and build up a more personalized set of guidelines than anyone else could give to you.

We hope the above pointers at least help you get going on the right foot, though!

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