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What can I eat?

People with IBD can generally eat what they want.  Certain cases where you may have to modify your diet include – Crohn’s disease strictures, during times of flaring or acute inflammation, if you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as well, if you have intolerance to certain food products (e.g. milk lactose intolerance) or if you are allergic to certain foods.

Sometimes you may have to adjust your diet or limit certain foods.    However, this should be done under guidance by a dietician or physician.

Commonly recommended diets include the low fibre diet, progressive fibre diet, low FODMAP diet.

More information at the Zane Cohen Centre Nutrition page.

Check out the IBD Well Nutrition Booklet.

 

What is the low FODMAP diet?

FODMAP refers to carbohydrates, sugars, fibres that are not easily digested by your intestines, so the bacteria in your intestines break then down or ferment them, which can cause bloating and cramps and diarrhea.  A low FODMAP diet is a diet where you cut down on foods that have high FODMAP, and hopefully you will not have as much gas and bloating.   Since complete restriction of these foods may result in deficiencies in nutrients, it is not recommended to follow a low FODMAP diet forever.    Most people can pick and identify which foods bother them, and avoid those.

  1. Canadian Digestive Health Foundation CDHF low FODMAP diet handout
  2. Stanford University low FODMAP diet handout

 

What is a low fibre diet?

Fibre is healthy for the intestines and body health.  Fibre can be soluble (easily broken down) or insouble.  In certain cases, too much fibre or too much of the undigestible fibres, can cause problems of obstruction (blockage), or symptoms (bloating, gassiness).  Therefore, in certain times, you may be advised to follow a low fibre diet

  1. Alberta Fibre Facts handout
  2. Alberta Eating Well to lower risk of obstruction

What is a progressive fibre diet?

In some people, at the time of inflammation or complication, a low fibre diet is advised.  However as you get better, you can progress your diet and add in foods that have higher fibre.

  1. Alberta Progressive Fibre Diet handout