Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on March 16, 2020

Don’t: Fatty Breakfast Meats

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Beef, pork products, and other high-fat, fried, or cured meats could make your symptoms worse. Fatty, spicy foods often trigger diarrhea and gas. That’s because Crohn’s makes it harder for you to digest excess fat.

Do: Eggs

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They’re a quick, easy-to-digest breakfast choice. And they’re a good source of high-quality protein. If you like them fried or scrambled, go light on fats like butter or oil. Eggs are rich in B vitamins and low in sugar, too. Eggs are a good source of energy for your whole day.

Don’t: Dairy Foods

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Creamy yogurt with berries or a glass of cold milk could cause stomach pain, cramps, bloating, or gas. If you’re lactose intolerant along with your Crohn’s, try to avoid any foods made from cow’s milk.

Do: Almond Milk

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It’s a tasty addition to your cereal bowl that won’t upset your stomach like cow’s milk. It’s good for anytime you want a cold, creamy drink. Or whip up a smoothie with almond milk and sliced banana.

Don’t: Whole Grains

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Whole-grain breads or high-fiber cereals like bran flakes have many health benefits. But they can be hard to digest. Popcorn is another high-fiber grain snack you should try to avoid. These grains are high in fiber, so they trigger Crohn’s symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain.

Do: White Bread

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Toasted bread or a bagel made with refined white flour are good for breakfast or as a sandwich base. Look for brands with 2 grams of fiber or less per serving. Low-fiber grains are easier to digest when you have Crohn’s. Spread on smooth, creamy peanut or almond butter for extra protein. Or top your toast with slices of ripe avocado.

Don’t: Fresh Fruits

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They’re high in fiber, so they could be hard for you to digest. Another reason to avoid them: They can also make you poop more. Fruits with skins, like apples or plums, might make your symptoms worse. Dried fruits like raisins or prunes also cause diarrhea, so don’t add them to your salad or choose them for snacks.

Do: Canned Fruit

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If you’ve had a flare, soft, canned fruits are easier on your system than raw options. Keep a few cans on hand. Go for products packed in water, fruit juice, or light syrup. High-sugar syrup may make diarrhea worse. Applesauce, peeled fresh apple, and soft-fleshed, tropical fruits like banana, mango, and papaya are easy on your tummy, too.

Don’t: Beans

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Beans and other legumes are cheap sources of protein, but they’re high in insoluble fiber. They could make your Crohn’s flare or worsen your diarrhea. So pass on the bean dip or edamame snacks. Nuts and seeds are also high in fiber. They might trigger your symptoms. Watch out for nuts, seeds, and legumes like peanuts in snack foods and baked treats.

Do: Fish or Chicken

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Lean poultry products like white-meat chicken and fresh fish like salmon are good protein choices. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fats, which may calm inflammation. Prepare them without a lot of added butter or oil. Eat smaller meals more often to ease digestion. Slice off a small portion of chicken or fish at meals and save the rest for later.

Don’t: Raw Veggies

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Raw or unpeeled veggies aren’t a good choice. Whether you’re using them for dip or in a salad, these tough, fiber-rich plant foods can make you poop even more. They could make a Crohn’s flare feel worse. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage can also cause gas.

Do: Cooked or Roasted Veggies

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Roast peeled potatoes or asparagus in the oven for easy-to-digest side dishes. For veggies that are tender but still have nutrients, steam them instead of boiling. Use vegetable stock when you make soup, pasta, or rice.

Don’t: Fizzy Drinks and Booze

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Carbonated, fizzy drinks like soda pop may trigger gas and bloating. Alcohol can also make your symptoms worse. Avoid drinks with caffeine, like cola, coffee, and tea, as well as juices or sodas sweetened with corn syrup. They could trigger a bout of diarrhea.  

Do: Water

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Diarrhea during a Crohn’s flare can leave you dehydrated. This can lead to other problems, including kidney stones. Get plenty of liquids each day. Fresh, plain water is a great choice. Caffeine-free tea or coffees, or fresh fruit juices without a lot of added sugar, are other options. Water is also cheap and almost always on tap.

Do: Write It Down

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The best way to figure out what is or isn’t a good food for you is to keep a journal. Write down what works -- or doesn’t -- during a flare. Keep notes on how you react to different foods and cooking methods. A food journal can also help your doctor see how what you eat affects you.

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