Ulcerative Colitis Diets: What to Eat to Ease Symptoms

Many people suffering from ulcerative collitis (UC) are dealing with a chronic IBD (IBD). Finding the right diet plan can be difficult for many. The first step is to eliminate or limit foods that may aggravate your symptoms and then you can see how it affects your feelings.

There is no one diet that works best for UC. Some people can manage their condition by having a plan.


Meal planning and food prep

While there is no cure, meal planning or prepping food ahead can help those with UC avoid trigger symptoms.

You can plan meals, snacks, or even your hydration needs in advance to have control over what you eat.

You can avoid making rash decisions that could lead to a flare up by being prepared.

While it may take some time at first to plan your meals and review nutrition labels, it can help you save a lot of time over the course of the week. These are some helpful steps:

  • Bulk purchase of ingredients
  • Cook in batches
  • Preportioning your meals makes it easier to heat and eat them.

You’ll be able to prepare your meals ahead of time and reduce food triggers. This will allow you to feel more productive and help you feel better. It’s a great way to avoid eating trigger foods by planning ahead and buying your snacks in advance.

You can also avoid dehydration by planning your water intake, as frequent diarrhea can result from UC.

Constipation may be a sign of a more serious condition. However, each person’s dietary needs might differ.

Keep a food diary

Everybody is unique, and it is possible for people with UC to have different trigger food preferences.

You and your doctor can narrow down food triggers by recording what you eat and when you have digestive problems.

If you are trying something new, a food journal is a great tool.

When you’re in a flare-up

It’s possible to have a flare up of your U symptoms, even if you do everything correctly.

  • frequent diarrhea
  • urgent bowel movements
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fatigue

It is important to know which foods to avoid when you are experiencing flare-ups. Also, which foods can help you get the nutrients that you need without making your symptoms worse.

Foods that are easier to digest than foods that can trigger symptoms are more beneficial.

Foods to eat Foods that can trigger symptoms
Low fiber fruits such as bananas, honeydew melons, and cooked fruits Fruits with seeds and skins
Cucumbers, potatoes, and asparagus are all good choices for cooking. Dairy products
White pasta, white rice, oatmeal and some breads are all examples of refined grains. Spicy foods
Lean protein sources such as eggs, chicken, pork, and eggs. caffeine
Omega-3 fatty acids include fish nuts
homemade protein shakes alcohol
Sugar-free and unsweetened applesauce Carbonated beverages such as soda and seltzer waters are not permitted.
Nut butters Raw vegetables
Fatty, fried, and greasy foods
Sugar excess or non-absorbable


When you are in remission

There is no cure for UC. However, there are periods of remission. During this period, your UC will not affect your daily life and you will be symptom-free.

While there is no way to prevent flare-ups for good, you can extend your remission periods by eating a varied and nutritious diet that doesn’t include trigger foods.

It may help to stick with the same diet that others with UC have found successful. Also, you can introduce new foods slowly so that you stay hydrated.

Before making any diet changes, consult your doctor.

You may find some foods that can help you feel good and hydrated while in remission .

  • Fiber-rich foods such as nuts, beans, and oats are all great options.
  • Healthy fats include olive oil, nut butter, and seed butter
  • Protein, which includes lean meats, fish and eggs
  • Whole fruits and vegetables
  • Whole wheat bread, pastas, brown rice, and pastas
  • Vitamin D supplements

Diet plans

Individuals with UC have discovered that sticking to a diet can prolong remission and reduce flare-ups.

These are the top UC diets that can reduce inflammation and help you stay symptom-free for longer.

Low fiber diet

It was previously known as the ” low residual diet.” This refers to foods that your body cannot digest well and end up in your stool. This diet was recently removed from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Care Manual.

Low fiber diets can still be beneficialTrusted source for individuals with UC. This diet is temporary and should not be used if there is a flare up.

Low-fiber foods are easier for the body to digest. These foods can slow down your bowel movements and reduce diarrhea. While you can still enjoy many of the same foods as usual, your fiber intake should be kept to approximately 10g per dayTrusted Source.

You will still receive enough nutrients, vitamins, fluids, salt, and protein. Your doctor might recommend that you add a multivitamin to your diet, as chronic diarrhea or rectal bleeding can cause nutrient and mineral deficiency.

What you can eat with a low-fiber diet

  • Milk, cottage cheese, pudding or yogurt
  • Refined white breads, pastas, crackers, and cereals with less than 1/2 gram of fiber per portion
  • Soft and tender cooked meats such as chicken, eggs, pork and fish
  • Smooth peanut butter and nut butter
  • Juices without pulp
  • Canned fruits and applesauce, but not pineapple
  • Raw and ripe bananas, cantaloupes, watermelons, melon and plums, as well as peaches and peaches.
  • Raw lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini.
  • Cooked spinach, pumpkin, seedless yellow squash and carrots. Also, potatoes and green and wax beans.
  • Butter, margarine and mayonnaise. Oils, butter, margarine, mayonnaise and oils. Smooth sauces, dressings, (not tomatoes), whipped cream and smooth condiments.
  • Plain cakes, cookies and pies.

What should you limit or avoid?

  • Deli meats
  • Dried fruits
  • Berries, figs and prunes.
  • Raw vegetables that are not included in the above list
  • Hot sauces, dressings and pickles with chunks
  • Nuts, seeds, and popcorn
  • Foods and beverages that are high in caffeine, cocoa, or alcohol

For more information on low-fiber diets, consult your doctor or nutritionist.

Paleo diet

The paleolithic diet or the paleo diet, as it is commonly called, claims to retrace human history back just a few thousand years.

The idea behind it is that our bodies were not designed to consume modern grains and that we would be healthier if our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate more.

The diet is rich in lean meats, which account for at least 30% of the daily calorie intake. The diet is high in fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, not grains.

What you can eat while on a paleo diet

  • fruits
  • most vegetables
  • Lean grass-fed beef
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Game meats
  • eggs
  • Fish
  • nuts
  • Honey

What should you limit or avoid?

  • potatoes
  • Legumes
  • cereal grains
  • dairy
  • Soda
  • Refined sugar

Some people claim that they feel better when eating paleo, but clinical trials have not shown it to help with IBD. This diet can lead to vitamin D deficiencies and other nutritional shortages.

A 2017 study of the autoimmune protocol dietTrustedSource found that 11 of 15 participants achieved remission by the sixth week of the study.

It is clear that more research is required due to the small number of participants in the study and the fact most patients were on medication to manage their symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you are interested in trying the paleo diet.

Specific carbohydrate diet

Although originally designed to treat celiac disorder, it has been promoted to other gastrointestinal issues (GI). It is based on the idea that certain sugars and grains are not well digested or used by the intestines.

These ingredients can cause bacteria to multiply too fast, leading to excess mucus production. This can lead to intestinal damage and UC symptoms.

What you can eat when following a specific carbohydrate diet

  • Most fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and nut flours
  • Low in sugar lactose milk and dairy products
  • Meat
  • eggs
  • Butter
  • Oils

What should you limit or avoid?

  • potatoes
  • Legumes
  • Processed meats
  • Grains
  • Soy
  • milk
  • Table sugar
  • chocolate
  • Corn syrup
  • margarine

This diet may need to be modified depending on your specific symptoms.

When you have a flare up, for example, fruits, vegetables, and eggs can make diarrhea worse.

You may also experience a decrease in certain nutrients due to this diet.

  • B vitamins
  • calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • vitamin E

Individuals with inflammatory diseases have been fondly consuming a specific carbohydrate diet. However, experts in public health often recommend other diet options due to their lack of health benefits.

Low FODMAP diet

FODMAP stands for fermentable, organic, di- and monosaccharides. This diet reduces sugars that are not well absorbed by the GI tract, even though it sounds complicated.

The low FODMAP diet is very similar to the particular carbohydrate diet.

Both diets are based on the idea that sugar and carbs in excess can cause UC symptoms and growth. However, the details of each one differ.

You can eat low FODMAP foods:

  • Honeydew, bananas, blueberries and grapefruit
  • Carrots, celery and corn, as well as eggplant, lettuce, and potatoes
  • All meats and all other protein sources
  • nuts
  • Oats and rice
  • hard cheese
  • Maple syrup

What should you limit or avoid?

  • Apples, apricots cherries, cherries, pears and watermelon
  • Brussels sprouts, cabbage and legumes, artichokes garlic, onions, artichokes, leeks, and other vegetables
  • Wheat and rye
  • Milk, yogurt, soft cheese and ice cream
  • Sweeteners
  • High fructose corn syrup

Studies show that IBD sufferers can have their symptoms less severe and get relief from their guts.

Low FODMAP diets may help with symptoms such as gas and bloating. However, they may not reduce inflammation or prevent damage to your digestive tract. It is intended to temporarily relieve symptoms.

Ask a dietitian if you are interested in trying this diet. They can help you determine which sugars cause your symptoms to worsen and which ones you can eat.

Gluten-free diet

Gluten is a protein found mainly in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. IBD sufferers may find that cutting gluten from their diet helps improve their symptoms. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this diet causes GI damage.

What you can eat gluten-free:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, legumes, and seeds
  • Eggs, poultry, eggs, and meat
  • Most low-fat dairy products
  • You can find grains such as quinoa, corn and flax in buckwheat and flax.

What should you limit or avoid?

  • Wheat, barley and rye are all available.
  • These grains are used to make processed foods such as beer, cakes, breads, pastas and gravies.

Although a gluten-free diet can help with your symptoms, there are many gluten-free products that lack essential nutrients and may be more sugary or fat.

To ensure that you are receiving all the nutrients you need, talk to your doctor before you start a gluten-free diet.

Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean food includes many nutritious foods such as fish, fruits, vegetables, and olive oils. Red meat is not allowed in large quantities. Red wine is also permitted, but only in small quantities.

While the effects of the Mediterranean diet on people with UC have not been thoroughly studied, they have been shown to reduce inflammation.

Both diets can be used to achieve remission when compared with the specific carbohydrate diet. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are often preferred by health professionals over the specific carbohydrate diet.

What you can eat with the Mediterranean diet

  • fruits
  • Vegetables and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • poultry
  • Dairy products
  • eggs
  • Olive oil and other healthy oils
  • Red wine

Although it doesn’t restrict food, this diet does not include red meat in large quantities.

Talk to your doctor if the Mediterranean diet sounds appealing.


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