Off Limit Foods

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/15/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm still very new to this board and am just trying to get an understanding of the conditions. With Crohn's Disease, what kinds of foods are off limits? I know little of the topic, but am curious as to the specifics. Let me know, thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 5/15/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
StayFit2007, I think anyone here will tell you that it differs by each person.  Foods that don't bother some people may cause enough pain to send others to the ER.  And, some foods may be tolerable when you're not in a flare but untolerable when you are.  Unfortunately, it's one of those things that you have to learn over time, by trial and error.  I suggest keeping a food diary until you learn what foods bother you.  I can tell you what bothers me: spicy foods, sugar, nuts, things with little seeds like berries, high fat foods (that could be due to no gallbladder, though), chocolate, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce (the most awful experience!) and anything I don't normally eat.  I've eaten the same thing for lunch almost every day for 2 years, since I know that I'm okay with it.  I'm sure others will tell you their problem foods and maybe you can make a list of foods that will possibly be offenders and really watch when you eat something on it.  Good luck.    

...rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence, character; and character, hope.   Romans 5:3-4

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 5/15/2008 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Since this is an inflammatory disease, a good startig rule of thumb is to avoid food items that would further irritate the already inflamed lining fo the GI tract -- spices like peper, hit sauce, etc. Beyond that, hard or buklky items (nuts, popcorn, roughage) cause problems for those who experience narrowing from inflammation or scarring. Some follks have trouble with daity products, others with other things. It's very individual, as other posters have noted, but it helps to realize that if something feels hot on your tongue it will also feel the same inside -- and if someting takes a lot of chewing to swallow, it may well take more to move it through an inflamed and swollen and possibly narrowed GI tract.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2673
   Posted 5/15/2008 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
That really varies from person to person. Even then, sometimes I can eat something and it makes me sick. The next time I'm fine. For the most part foods that are spicey, fatty I try to stay away from. Also I can't eat salads. Digesting the lettuce has always been a problem. I LOVE them too, but they never agree.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Predisone 40mg, and Asacol.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 5/15/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a very personal thing, you pretty much have to discover for yourself. I bought a daily planner and have kept a food/symptom/BM diary since I was diagnosed in January. I ate nacho chips once and hurt for several weeks. I think I might have had a bad reaction to cranberry pills but I'm not sure if that was really the cause. I have not identified any other triggers, but I've avoided problematic foods--popcorn, raw vegetables, spicy/fatty foods, etc.--since the diagnosis. 

July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying...
Enteral Nutrition, Omega-3 (Flax Oil and Fish Oil), VSL#3, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Psyllium

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/15/2008 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Why does it seem that most people with Crohn's have a deep love for salad?

Anyway, when I was first diagnosed I also kept a food journal. I have been slacking off here lately. But because of that journal I discovered that some foods I never thought would an issue, were causing severe problems. Too many raw veggies, sports drinks, and some fruit type drinks, and a certain spice that I have found to be in certain pizzas and sauces. Weird, but true.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 5/15/2008 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   

Like everyone else has said, it is very specific to the individual. But of course some things are common, like roughage and raw fruit and veggies, most of us can't do those.  But I would suggest that you find a few things that are safe, stick to those on weekdays and then try your favorite foods that might not be so good on Fridays and Saturday.  That way if they do cause an issue, you might ruin a weekend, but you will still be able to function for work/school (sorry don't know your age) and you will either be able to add or delete it to your list of safe foods.


CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/15/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
When I am in remission I can eat most things, although I do tend to cook my veggies until they are mush and I don't eat as much fiber as recommended. When I start to flare I usually have to cut out certain foods and beverages like: alcohol, fried foods, nuts, popcorn. When I am really flaring I go to a low fiber/residue diet that I call my "white diet". White bread, chicken, lean sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, white rice and chicken broth. I have the low residue diet that I go on @


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 5/15/2008 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Well in general I think nuts are a no no for most, including seeds. They can get stuck. I'm lactose intollerant when diagnosed with Crohn's, s no milk. When i'm flaring there's many things I can't eat, when I'm better I can eat some of those things. I don't eat sugar and red meat. I agree food journal. You will learn what hurts and what doesn't.

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/15/2008 11:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I love nuts, especially almonds! If I'm not in a flare I eat them almost daily because they're good for me. I have to try to take good nutritional care of myself even with Crohn's.

Do keep a food diary, but keep in mind that something that triggers pain one day may not the next. It's the insanity of the disease.

Before I was dx'd with Crohn's in 92 I was sure I was lactose intolerant because I would have severe pain, vomiting, etc. everytime I had a milk product and chocolate. Once I had my first resectioning in 92 I could drink milk without a problem and I could have chocolate again - thank the man upstairs! When I got sick again in the late 90's milk never bothered me, it was a totally different set of foods that caused me pain. I had three more surgeries the end of 99 beginning of 2000 and again, I could eat everything.

This time around for me - no fried foods, if it's touched oil (except olive oil) it needs to stay out of my mouth. Back in 1991 french fries were a "comfort food" for me when I was sick.

It's crazy. Keep a diary and try things in moderation and don't try too many different foods at one time.

Good luck,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 5/17/2008 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi I follow a low roughage diet .Easy to chew easy to gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4055
   Posted 5/17/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Sugar doesn't seem to bother me, but fat, especially fried foods are a nightmare. I can eat fresh fruit in moderation, but not fresh veggies. Then there's the stuff that bothers me one day and not another, like dairy. I drink Lactaid milk in my cereal, but I can eat cottage cheese most of the time. Sometimes I think I'm nuts, because my diet doesn't seem to make logical sense!!!!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 8 250mg pills per day, Cipro 1 week/month, Metamucil, probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 5/17/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a quick note. When we say food diary, we mean everything that goes into your face. Absolutely anything can be a trigger for you. If you have a PDA, it is handier (smaller) than a day planner. Good luck with the whole process.
I feel a whole lot more the way I do now than I did a little while ago.

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/23/2008 4:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Love reading what everyone has added here!
I think it's important to find out what foods increase inflammation, and avoid those. Sugar is definitely one of those foods! (Even if you don't get obvious symptoms from eating it). I am trying to cut out all sugar at the moment (except vegetable sugar), and it is VERY difficult! But I have done it in the past, and after a few weeks, your body doesn't even crave it anymore. Seriously!

A diet that REALLY helped me in the past - I was able to stay in remission without drugs - (and I conducted much research before choosing it) was:
* vegetable soup (and see Ingrid's post above about keeping nutrients in)
made of all organic - carrots, onion, celery and celery leaves, yellow or red potatoes, a bay leaf, sea salt, and possibly cabbage or leeks (if they don't irritate you... cabbage can cause gas in some people).

* Fish: Fresh Alaskan halibut or salmon (salmon does increase histimine, but it has been shown to be helpful for crohn's patients). I also supplement with fish oil. There are probably other types of fish that would work well for people with crohn's, but these are the two kinds I have stuck with.

*organic basmati white rice (My N.D. told me rice is a no-no for crohn's, but that has never been my experience. One thing he may not be aware of that may irritate people is the cornstarch they often coat rice with, like CalRose brand rice). I suggest making sure it's just plain, organic rice. It's my staple!!!
Unfortunately, there is a a world-wide shortage or rice, but you should still be able to find organic long grain or short grain rice at the health-food store.

*water and pure herbal tea (note, some teas can be harsh too. I like licorice tea and marshmallow tea-- yes, this is a "mucilage" herb, and it soothes the intestinal lining)!

I stuck to those foods (and mashed potatoes with carrots and yams) for a few months, then gradually added more foods on. As your body heals, it can tolerate more. BUT, I highly recommend that foods with gluten (wheat/spelt/rye, even oats) and any foods you are very allergic to be avoided, forever! Remember, you don't want to eat anything that can cause an inflammatory response in your body, or irritate the intestinal lining. Dairy is a big issue for me, but there are many w/Crohn's who can tolerate it. Red meat bothers many w/Crohn's (it's under the inflammatory category), but I eat it, especially lamb, on occasion to get some iron. An even better suggestion is making soup with meat or poultry bones. I definitely advocate organic, because it means a lot less junk in your already overwhelmed system. The idea is to eat basic/ simplify your diet!

And, research foods (and herbs and supplements) that have an anti-inflammatory effect! Changing your diet is a lot of work, and it can be especially difficult when trying to eat with friends/family/co-workers, but even so, I find that it is SOOOO worth it! It's about taking care of yourself, and on a deeper level, about taking things in your hands (not just relying on some miracle drug(s) or supplements- that doesn't exist yet)! For me at least, I feel that the diet is a small price to pay, for better healthier living!
Hope this helps, and that you heal soon!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/23/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
no fast foods
No nuts

Basically am a few times a dy small meal eater of healty foods that ill not bother me nor my DD

IMHO whatever works for you

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/23/2008 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was first diagnosed, I read Eating Right For a Bad Gut, and it really helped me understand some foods to avoid (especially in a flare up).
For me-
Things to pretty much always avoid:
Red meat
Anything fried
Anything with a high fat content
Nuts, seeds, chips, and other hard food items
And large amounts of lactose

Things I can always eat:
Baked potato, no skin, plain
Plain steamed white rice

Most everything else is fine for me. Just depends on the amount of flare up. If I'm not bad, spices don't hurt. If I'm not feeling so hot, I'll get pretty sick from spice.

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 5/23/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I was stupid today. I have diabetes (thanks Prednisone) and noticed that my Blood Sugar was getting pretty high. I think it was from the OTC allergy medicine I had been taking for a few days, so I decided to really watch what I put in my body for the next few days to see if I can get control of it. I'm not on insulin and when I went out for lunch to only thing on the menu I could eat was salad. NOOOOOOO!!!! Was in the bathroom 4 times this afternoon.

I'm in remission and can usually tolerate almost anything gut wise but because of my diabetes I have to limit things like potatoes, rice, bread, fruit and so many other things. Finally can eat foods since my resection and then get stuck with diabetes. I have a very hard time balancing all the different diets I have to be on.
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

ski bum
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 451
   Posted 5/23/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Since my resection last month, I've been trying foods that I've had to avoid for a year or so. But one thing I will NEVER eat again is popcorn. That was the first food that caused me grief, a year or two before I was diagnosed with Crohn's.
50 y/o F. CD dx'd Aug 05. Initially on Pentasa, then Imuran 125 mg. Started Humira (very reluctantly) on 10/24/07. Ileocolectomy 4/08.

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