Food Restrictions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/2/2008 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
My MIL swears up and down that my husband has to stop eating red meat because it is SO bad for Crohn's.  My understanding is that every Crohn's patient has to discover for themselves what is bad for them.  We've found that my husband is fine eating red meat in moderation and to be careful around the stringy forms (roast beef, etc.).  Everything I've read says that there is no Crohn's diet and that his doctor's advice of eating a heart healthy diet is decent advice.  I'm just asking for some consensis.
Wife to 25 y/o diagnosed with Crohn's in August 2006
Possible perianal fistula presence for 2 or more years 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 2/2/2008 10:46 PM (GMT -7)   
While people with CD may have different food intolerances, there are some guildelines all people with CD would do well to follow:

- Abstaining from sugar (use honey or stevia instead), processed food, and preservatives will help symptoms of CD.

- When obstructed or partially obstructed, a liquid diet or pureeing/mashing foods will help.

- Eating a more natural diet overall with plenty of fruits and veggies, even if the person has to mash or puree them or avoid the acidic or gassy fruits and veggies temporarily is a must for us crohnies. Eating fruits and veggies is alot harder for people who have crohn's in the stomach or duodenum because the acidity hurts so bad. I had this problem for years, but they are still so important for us to consume.

- Implementing a daily probiotic is also beneficial with symptoms of CD.

Red meat is iffy for alot of us, but it should be chewed extremely well.

There are two very popular diets that alot of ppl with crohn's tend to follow:

The Maker's Diet - eating natural preferably organic foods that detoxify, reduce inflammation, and provide higher nutrition for healing. This includes eating whole grain breads made with sourdough that can be soaked/sprouted (this makes grains much easier on the tummy).

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet - I believe this one is about eating foods that are generally easier to digest.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 2/3/2008 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   
There are a lot of people with stricturing crohn's who absolutely should not eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Even when the fibre matrix is broken down by pureeing, the fibre content is still the same and it will cause problems. If you think about it, all you are doing when you mash or puree fresh vegetables and fruits is hasten the digestive process. If the body is properly digesting food, by the time it reaches the strictures many crohns patients have -- in the TI -- the food should all be liquid anyway. But a liquid food that began as fibre and roughage is still going to contain the fibre and roughage. Some people with less severe strictures can get away with eating pureed vegetables and fruits, in that they don't get obstructed. They do often, however, experience a significant increase in pain. That's an individual choice, but not to be recommended.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/3/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I kept having obstructive epispodes last year about this time. They can't locate any strictures, so I had to do my own research. I quit eating red meat and haven't had any more problems. Also, on the news lately, they having been talking alot about red meat. They say that even a healthy person should not eat red meat more than once or twice a week at the most. Red meat is very hard for anyone to digest. It has to literally rot in your intestines to break down and digest. So I agree more with your MIL in your husbands case. We already have problems, why add to it. JMHO!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 2/3/2008 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with your doctor about just trying to eat a heart-healthy diet. No controlled clinical studies have found that any one diet (low-sugar, low-fiber, etc.) is any more effective than another for Crohn's, barring the therapeutic use of special liquid diets (enteral nutrition), which have been found effective in inducing remission in randomized, prospective, controlled studies. Some people find that some foods make them feel better than other foods, and it's fine to give up or limit certain foods if that helps you feel better, but there is no medically proven reason to do so.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 2/3/2008 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I'll modify that comment by adding that in people with narrow strictures, there is some evidence that very fibrous foods (e.g. celery) and nuts can get stuck and cause problems.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1256
   Posted 2/3/2008 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I stopped eating red meat 2 years ago it was killing me. I felt awful when I ate it and my gut hurt till it all came out. I have just started eating no gluten its only my 3rd day. Even though I tested negative for Celiac.
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)

Post Edited (Sugarmarie) : 2/3/2008 2:00:45 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 2/3/2008 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm fine with red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, so long as it is lean not fatty. 4 weeks after my resection I had an 8 oz ribeye at our favorite steakhouse. Pure heaven, it was the most I had eaten. The donut I ate this morning at church, fried of course, just about killed me though. To each his own! I think your MIL needs to realize he has a wife, he doesn't need a mommy!! Good luck!
diagnosed 11/06, solving the mystery of years of on/off abdominal pain. No more "it's just a virus". 33f with 2 boys, a lovable dog, and a wonderful husband. 150 mg Imuran, bowel resection 9/07, healing well and feeling well. Entocort 9mg.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 2/3/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Belleenstein brings up a good point about strictures and fresh fruits and veggies.

However, if they are cooked or stewed and then pureed/mashed, they are considered a low residue diet suitable for ppl with partial obstructions.
The first website has a pretty good (but not perfect) list of do's and don'ts for fibre foods for crohn's flares
(although I've found I tolerate soaked/sprouted whole grains very well):

I have had at least a couple dozen partial obstructions in the last few years and that is when I cook and puree my veggies and fruit and I am able to eat them just fine. If the are raw and I eat skins, then I have problems.

Of course, there are always exceptions when it comes to food and diet, but it is very important to try and eat healthy when you have an illness like CD that robs us of nutrients in the first place.

Post Edited (Roni) : 2/3/2008 3:54:51 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 2/3/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Both the Maker's Diet and SCD, which I suppose are as close to a "Crohn's diet" as currently exist, allow red meat.

I recently read the book "Eating Right for a Bad Gut," and it suggested IBD sufferers eat red meat no more than once a month. The reasoning has to do with the type of fatty acids present in animal fat. The book suggests that they promote inflammation.

Personally I don't eat red meat more than once a month, if that, and this has been my habit for years--well before the Crohn's diagnosis. I made that decision after my grandmother had colon cancer about ten years ago. Honestly once I stopped eating beef and pork often, I pretty much had no desire for them at all. My husband still likes them so we do buy it occasionally.

I agree that every IBD patient needs to find out what works for them--it's an individual journey. Remember, just like you, your MIL only wants what is best for your husband :)


Post Edited (Illini) : 2/3/2008 4:44:07 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 2/3/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Greetings to all,

I just popped in from the Colitis

For the past four weeks, I have undergone procedures to remove old fecal matter from my colon. Each therapist has warned me of the danger of eating red meat, they say it can stay in the colon for up to two years! Yikes!! If there's anyone that knows about this, it's them because they can see what comes out of you, right there and then. And this is for people in general, not just Chrons, IBS or Colitis sufferers. They do however, encourage the consumption of veggies because it acts like abrasives to remove waste from the colon wall.

Be well,


Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Remicade, Primal Defense Ultra, Multi-vitamins (also iron, B12, Magnesium and Zinc), Flaxseed/Natures Bounty Fish Oil
Swanson Ultra Caprylic Acid (natural anti-fungal) 600mg x2 daily
Carrot & Garlic supplements (natural anti-fungal) x2 daily
Currently taking herbal meds in the search to regain full health.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/5/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all!
We're lucky in that my husband has had no obstruction issues at all. As it is, we eat primarily chicken. about once a week beef is part of our meal, but it is usually just ground meat. My husband usually only has problems with really fatty things.
Wife to 25 y/o diagnosed with Crohn's in August 2006
Possible perianal fistula presence for 2 or more years 

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