Nutrition and diet in inflammatory bowel disease | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 08, 2020


Nutrition and diet in inflammatory bowel disease

Which foods to eat and which to avoid is an important topic to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A working group of the IOIBD has examined the best available evidence and provided expert consensus recommendations.


Key recommendations:

In patients with ulcerative colitis:

Reduce consumption of red meat.

Reduce consumption of myristic acid (palm oil, coconut oil, dairy fats).

Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids but only from marine fish (not from supplements).

In patients with Crohn disease (CD):

Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. (However, in symptomatic or significant fibrostricturing CD, restrict insoluble fiber intake.)

Reduce consumption of saturated fats.

For both conditions:

Reduce the intake of emulsifiers and thickeners (e.g., carrageenan) and processed foods containing titanium dioxide and sulfites.

Avoid trans fats.

Limit intake of foods containing maltodextrin and artificial sweeteners.

Do not consume unpasteurised dairy products.


It seems the best overall dietary advice for patients with IBD is this: Eat a diet comprising all sources of calories that is freshly prepared without additives or preservatives, and consume it in modest quantities.  

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