Eating small portions throughout the day is generally beneficial to people with IBD. Smaller portions will help to reduce the load on the digestive system, helping it to digest the food better.
If your IBD is well managed and this style of eating suits you then this is fine. However in general it's better to eat smaller portions regularly. Divide the daily intake into 5-6 smaller portions and eat every 2-3 hours. This is better than eating less frequent but larger portions. Smaller portions will help to reduce the load on the digestive system, helping it to digest the food better.
Liquidised or blended foods are really useful when you are having a flare-up. Discuss with your doctor or dietician how best to integrate a blended/liquidised diet if you haven't already.
Grains (wheat, rice, oats, rice, barley) found in bread, pasta and cereal are a great source of energy, fibre, vitamin B and some minerals (e.g. iron, magnesium). Wholegrain products are generally recommended for most people as they contain more fibre, vitamins and iron. However, wholegrain products can also contain insoluble fibre, which can be irritating for people with IBD, especially during a flare-up. Try refined products during this time instead, and slowly re-introduce whole-grains week by week. If you need advice, please speak to your doctor or dietician.
Although fruits and vegetables are good for you, they can aggravate symptoms (especially when the intestines are inflamed). Rather than eliminating these necessary foods from your diet, thoroughly cook fruits and vegetables, and avoid eating them raw.
Reduce or avoid intake of milk and dairy products. Milk and dairy products (milk, cream and processed cheeses, less in yogurts both full-fat or low-fat) can aggravate symptoms of IBD. They should be avoided during flare-ups and then gradually re-included in the diet according to your personal tolerance for dairy products.
Fish contains essential amino acids and are a good protein source. Protein can be useful during a flare-up and recovery. Try to eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna.
Meat products contain essential amino acids and are a good protein source. Protein is especially important during a flare-up and just afterwards. Always remove the visible fat and choose lean and low fat cuts.
Reduce intake of fat - fats can increase intestinal peristalsis and cause crampy pains. Reducing oils, butters, hardened fats and margarines, cream but also desserts and filled biscuits can help to reduce fat intake.
Try to eat more freshly made foods. Processed foods can aggravate symptoms of IBD.
Although high fibre foods are good for you, these can aggravate symptoms (especially when the intestines are inflamed). Cook high fibre foods before eating, rather than eliminating these necessary foods from your diet.
Reduce intake of simple sugars - these are found in honey, desserts, cakes and concentrated fruit juices. They may cause or increase the chance of diarrhoea.
Avoid artificial sweeteners – in particular sorbitol – that may cause or increase the chance of diarrhoea.
Caffeine can cause gas and aggravate symptoms of IBD, so is therefore best avoided.
Carbonated drinks can cause gas and aggravate symptoms of IBD, so are therefore best avoided.
Always speak to a qualified dietician/nutritionist if you are concerned about your diet.