Skip to content
Font Size

Make an Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan

If you have ulcerative colitis (UC), you probably know what foods aggravate your condition, and you try to avoid them. That's a great start. It also pays to know what foods you can turn to during a flare and which ones make you feel your best.

How to keep it all straight? Make a diet plan so you can manage your condition more easily.

How Can a Diet Plan Help?

Foods don’t cause UC, but some can trigger flares.As you avoid those, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Symptoms like diarrhea and bleeding can leave you dehydrated and make your body lose electrolytes and key nutrients. That leads to a host of problems, like fatigue, weakness, and anemia.

A proper diet can help bring your body back in balance.With more control over UC symptoms, you may have more energy for fun and exercise.

Track the Good and the Bad

There’s no single diet that will help everyone with UC. The condition also changes over time, so your plan will need to be flexible, too. The key is to find what works for you.

To stay organized, keep a food diary. Use a small notebook to write down what you eat and drink and how it makes you feel, both good and bad. It takes time and patience, but it will help you track your condition and fine-tune your diet plan.

Remember the basics of healthy eating: a well-balanced diet is high in protein, whole grains, and fresh produce. It can include meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products (if you’re not lactose intolerant), breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats like olive and canola oils.

You might not be able to eat everything in those groups, but get what you can. Note any prep tweaks that make it easier to eat some foods, like steaming veggies or switching to low-fat dairy. 

Some people follow a low-residue diet or low-fiber diet every so often, getting about 10-15 grams of fiber a day. That can help you go to the bathroom less often.

Some items are common troublemakers for people with UC, including:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • carbonated drinks
  • dairy products, if you’re lactose intolerant
  • dried beans, peas, and legumes
  • dried fruits
  • foods that have sulfur or sulfate
  • foods high in fiber
  • meat
  • nuts, crunchy nut butters
  • popcorn
  • products that have sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
  • raw fruits and vegetables
  • refined sugar
  • seeds
  • spicy foods
Next Article:

What do you rely on most to manage ulcerative colitis?