Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

Font Size

Ulcerative Colitis: Find Your Trigger Foods

Which foods cause problems for your ulcerative colitis (UC)? The answer is different for everyone.

To figure out what makes you feel worse, do some detective work. For several weeks, keep a diary of what you eat and when you have flares. Then look for patterns. Avoid things that seem to cause cramps or a trip to the bathroom. See if your symptoms get better or go away.

Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

Going to College With Ulcerative Colitis

Making the transition to college with ulcerative colitis can feel overwhelming at times. You're dealing with new demands of schoolwork and social life. On top of that, you're adjusting to a new living environment while managing a chronic illness. If you’re living on campus, you may be sharing a dorm room and bathroom. And you’ll want to be careful about eating cafeteria food that triggers ulcerative colitis symptoms. Just because you have UC doesn't mean you can’t thrive in every facet of college...

Read the Going to College With Ulcerative Colitis article > >

Talk to your doctor about what you notice. Your goal should be to eat as many types of healthy food as you can, so your diet is as balanced as possible.

Problem Foods

Many people with UC have trouble with the same items. You may want to cut these out for a while and see if your symptoms ease up:

  • High-fiber fare like bran, nuts, seeds, and popcorn
  • Fatty, greasy items and sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Alcohol

Better Choices

Just because a food is on your problem list doesn't mean you have to give it up. You have choices.

Try a switch from full-fat to low-fat dairy. Or tweak your cooking method -- bake or broil meats instead of frying them. Bake or stew vegetables rather than eating them raw or lightly cooked.

You can also swap out items in the main food groups.


Common problem foods:

  • Whole-grain breads, bagels, rolls, crackers, cereals, and pasta
  • Brown or wild rice

Better choices:

  • Products made from white or refined flour
  • White rice

Vegetables and Fruits

Common problem foods:

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
  • Leafy greens, including mustard, turnip, and collard greens, and spinach
  • Most raw fruits
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Canned cherries and berries

Better choices:

  • Well-cooked vegetables without seeds
  • Ripe bananas, peeled apples, and melons
  • Soft, canned fruits without added sugar

Meat and Protein

Common problem foods:

  • Fried meats, such as sausage and bacon
  • Luncheon meats, like bologna and salami
  • Hot dogs
  • Dried beans, peas, and nuts

Better choices:

  • Tender, well-cooked meats and poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Milk Products

Common problem foods:

  • Whole milk
  • Half and half
  • Sour cream

Better choices:

  • Buttermilk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Low-fat or skim milk
  • Powdered milk

Today on WebMD

basket of vegetables
IBD Overview Slideshow
Ulcerative Colitis Managing Flares
what is ibs

Supplements UC
Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
Ulcerative Colitis Diet Yogurt

Ulcerative Colitis Surgery
Ulcerative Colitis Medications
Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
Picture Of The Intestines
Image Collection