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    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.

    Talk to your doctor about what you notice. Your goal should be to eat as many types of healthy foods 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 an item 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 so you bake or broil meats instead of frying them. You can also 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