People who suffer from Crohn’s disease have probably discovered that some foods aggravate the symptoms they have in their intestines, especially when the disease in full flares up. If they are able to learn to keep these foods out of their diet and avoid the triggers with a Crohn’s Disease Diet plan, they may be able to manage their Crohn’s disease more effectively. This will lower their symptoms pertaining to their gastrointestinal tract and allow their intestines to heal.
Crohn’s Disease Diet
How the Crohn’s Disease Diet Works
When you suffer from Crohn’s disease, it is vital that any diet plan you have be high in protein and calories. Even when you do not feel well enough to eat, it is important that you do. If a Crohn’s Disease Diet plan is to be effective, it must be based on solid medical advice that says to eat meals on a regular basis. It is best to eat several small meals a day, including a couple snacks.
This way you are getting all the protein, nutrients and calories you need to keep your intestines and body as healthy as possible. Also, you may want to discuss with your doctor about adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet plan. These are so that you are more likely to replenish the vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy.
The foods that trigger Crohn’s disease flare ups and symptoms are going to differ from person to person. To be able to personalize your Crohn’s Disease Diet plan to your specific triggers, you need to first figure out what they are. Many people keep a food diary. They record all the food they eat and how their symptoms are that day. Eventually you will begin to be able to see a connection between the foods you ate and how you felt that day.
Once you have figured out which foods you need to avoid, you can do so or at least find new ways to make them so that your body can tolerate digesting them. This will require some experimentation on your part with not only the different foods you eat, but how you make them.
While restricting foods can help, be sure you do not make the list so large that your nutrition is affected. If you are in a state of malnutrition, you will only make your Crohn’s disease worse. For everything that is eliminated, you need to find an alternate source for the nutrients they provided.
What Experts Say about the Crohn’s Disease Diet
While there are many Crohn’s Disease Diet plans floating around, none have been scientifically tested and proven. It is largely believed by experts that if you are able to identify your triggers foods, you can reduce your flare ups and make your Crohn’s disease much more manageable.
However, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, David T. Rubin M.D., a leading authority in Crohn’s disease, found that while it makes sense to limit foods that cause irritation during a flare up, there has been no scientific evidence that doing so all the time controls or prevents flare ups.
Rubin does believe that by knowing what foods you can tolerate, and if you can handle dairy products, is important because you will be healthier overall if you avoid them. He believes this is just a simple rule that all people should follow for healthy living.
Dieticians also stress the importance of mineral and vitamin supplements. Most people who have Crohn’s disease are seriously lacking in Vitamin D. One study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that high doses of Vitamin D can help to reduce the risk of colon cancer, something that those with Crohn’s disease are at a greater risk of developing. They believe it should be as high as 2000 IU a day, a level that The National Academy of Sciences has concluded is a safe dose. Of course, you should always speak to you doctor about your individual needs.
Sample Crohn’s Disease Diet Meal Plan
- High fiber cereal with skim or soy milk
- Slice of wholegrain bread with olive oil spread and/or smooth peanut butter
- Fruit Juice
- Sandwich of wholegrain bread, chicken, ham, or tuna
- Mixed salad
- Low fat yogurt
- Chicken breast, white fish or other lean meat
- Brown rice or whole wheat pasta or sweet potato
- Large salad or steamed vegetable
- Fruit Salad
- Tea or water
- Rice cakes with smooth peanut butter
- Low fat yogurt