Skip to content

    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

    Vitamins and Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis

    If you have ulcerative colitis (UC), a type of inflammatory bowel disease, you may need vitamins or supplements to help maintain good nutrition. That's in addition to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Here is an overview of the supplements you may need to take if you have ulcerative colitis. Keep in mind that the best source for nutrients is the food you eat, and that actual deficiencies vary from person to person. So before taking supplements, discuss your nutritional status with your doct...

    Read the Vitamins and Supplements for 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