Healthy Cooking with IBD

Having Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis makes dining difficult, but you can’t just give up eating after being diagnosed with IBD in Ft. Myers or Naples. On the contrary, a diagnosis of IBD generally means it is time to start paying more attention to your diet. While dietary problems aren’t the cause of IBD, they can cause significant flare ups. Learning how to cook healthy meals that are tailored to the needs of your gut can save you from hours of misery.

Trigger foods are everywhere. When you are first diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis it will take you some time to figure out what foods are safe and which ones are off limits altogether. What is perfectly tolerable for one person might lead to abdominal cramps and irregular bowel movements for another.

That being said, there are a few foods that are pretty common culprits for discomfort among those with IBD. These include:

  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Fatty foods

Beyond this list, it is up to you to use trial and error as you create a diet that will promote your digestive health.

Cooking with Crohn’s Disease

In addition to the issue of what to cook, how to cook is a question IBD patients need to take consider. Using a few of the wrong spices, frying something instead of baking it or throwing in a cream-based sauce can undo the benefits of the diet you’ve set out on.

Here are a few tips to bring into the kitchen when cooking with IBD:

  • Keep meals small.Research shows that eating smaller meals can reduce the risk of a Crohn’s disease flare up.
  • Cook veggies.The grilling and baking process breaks down the fiber in produce, making it easier on your body to digest.
  • Avoid oils.Cooking with oil adds fat to your meal, even if you’ve chosen to have a lean protein like fish or poultry. Bake, steam or grill your foods and avoid frying and cooking with oil as much as possible.
  • Try dairy substitutes.Even if you are not lactose intolerant, many people with IBD have trouble digesting dairy. There are many types of tasty dairy substitutes, including soy, almond and rice milk.

If you find yourself having a flare up, try switching over to a liquid diet until it passes. As hard as it may be, you need to remember to eat during flare ups so that you can maintain your nutrient levels. Avoid high-fiber smoothies and opt for savory soups instead.