Top 8 Foods to Avoid With Crohn’s Disease

When it comes to Crohn’s, what you don’t eat may be just as important as what you do eat. Find out how to meet your nutritional needs while avoiding foods that can aggravate Crohn’s symptoms.

For a person with Crohn’s disease, eating a healthy diet isn’t as simple as it may seem. If you’re experiencing chronic diarrhea, you may have nutritional deficiencies to overcome. On top of this, certain foods — even foods that are considered nutritious, such as raw fruits and vegetables — can trigger a Crohn’s flare or worsen symptoms. “Foods differ for each person, and people often choose to avoid them,” says Ryan S. Carvalho, MD, attending physician in the division of gastroenterology and nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “However, caution is necessary to prevent excessive calorie, protein, and nutrient deprivation.”

Even children notice when certain foods trigger their Crohn’s symptoms, says Dr. Carvalho. Because foods that may act as triggers vary so widely, experts suggest using a food diary to establish your diet for Crohn’s disease. “No two Crohn’s patients are the same,” says Abdullah Shatnawei, MD, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic. “Documenting what you eat in a food diary will allow you to see if there’s a correlation between symptoms and something you ate.”

Dr. Carvalho adds that keeping a diary “will also help you calculate your average calorie, protein, nutrient, and vitamin intake with the help of a dietitian.” The following foods are considered common triggers for a Crohn’s flare. Be particularly aware of your reaction when you eat them and jot down all the details in your food diary.

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