Snacks For Ibd: Ideas For Quick And Easy Bites
Figuring out what to eat when you have inflammatory bowel disease can feel like trying to solve a riddle. Since theres no one-size-fits-all diet for Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis , what works well for one person can cause flare-ups in another. Many people with Crohns disease or UC carefully read ingredient lists and cautiously experiment with different foods. But what about when you just want a quick bite to eat?
Members of MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam have expressed confusion and frustration about what to grab for a snack.
One member stated: I have a very difficult time finding any safe foods a meal or a snack, it doesnt matter. Its all just a big headache for me. Something may be OK with my body one day, and then the next time I eat that same food, it can totally disagree with my body. This happens a lot. I have figured out that if something doesnt sound good and I eat it anyway, then I will always get a bad stomachache for sure.
Taking the time to figure out your trigger foods and find safe, go-to foods can take the guesswork and frustration out of snacking with IBD. Here are some suggestions to help you build a list of enjoyable snack foods to add to your meal plan.
Can I Eat Ice Cream If I Have Colitis
Diet does not seem to cause ulcerative colitis in any scientific studies. You may experience more severe symptoms and signs when you consume certain foods and beverages. There is a possibility that dairy foods are to blame. You can limit or eliminate dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and others.
Find Your Fiber Tolerance
A plant-based diet can be a struggle for those with UC because often a low residue diet is highly recommended. Since most plant-based foods are rich in fiber, it can be a challenge to find a happy level of fiber that keeps you healthy without causing a flare. Some doable tips are to peel all your fruits and vegetables, cook veggies before eating them, eat more soup, and consume lower fiber grains like wild rice, rolled oats and quinoa flakes in place of wheat, bran cereals, steel cut oats and whole quinoa seeds. Citrus fruits, and starchy, soft foods like sweet potatoes and bananas are also very easy to digest and healing to the gut since they lower inflammation. You can also try pureed sources of fats in place of nuts and seeds that your body has to work harder to break down since they are richer in fiber per serving. Eating smaller meals throughout the day in place of large ones can also help prevent too much strain on your system at once.
Its also recommended that a person with UC gets enough sleep, regular activity each day and try to maintain a healthy social life as much as possible. This will improve spirits, overall health and help one cope with the disorder over the long haul too. The same diet and lifestyle wont work for every UC patient, but these five tips above are all great places to start if you have UC and want to eat a plant-based diet.
Lead Image Source: Rolhan/Flickr
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Breakfast To Control Diarrhea And Cramping
A low-fiber and low-residue diet eases bouts of diarrhea and abdominal cramping associated with ulcerative colitis. Follow this type of diet for the short term and after physician consultation, because it restricts your nutrition intake. Breakfast may include 1/2 cup of apple juice, one scrambled egg with one slice of toasted white bread and a side of plain grits. Plain hot or cold cereal can replace grits, and you may add one slice of cheese to the eggs if you can tolerate dairy. Choose cranberry juice or strained and pulp-free orange juice as an alternative to apple juice. Top the toast with margarine or low-sugar jelly.
Limit foods high in saturated fats because these increase the amount of waste passing through your colon. Choose well-cooked or tender cuts of meat and nonfat or low-fat dairy as tolerated. Lunch may include a tuna sandwich with an iceberg lettuce slice on white bread, 1/2 cup of cooked carrots on the side and a medium banana. Add a cup of low-fat milk or fruit juice to complete the meal. Instead of bread, wrap the tuna in a white grain pita or tortilla and opt for steamed salmon or flounder as a fish alternative. Use herbs, pepper or plain gravy instead of salt to flavor foods.
Snack Ideas From Mycrohnsandcolitisteam Members
Fortunately, MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam members have shared their top foods to fuel their bodies and beat cravings. Some of their tips include:
- Since I have a lot of abdominal scar tissue, all of my meals have to be snack-sized. So, I snack all throughout the day. I used to snack on raw veggies, but I cant anymore. Instead, I drink green drinks. I like tomato juice, as well as peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, Airheads, and Rice Krispies Treats.
- My favorite snack is creamy peanut butter, rice cakes, and carrots.
- Ensure Plus and hard and soft cheeses can be hard on us, a registered dietitian told me. I cook an apple and put plain yogurt on it.
- Gluten-free cookies and crackers, organic apples, and organic almond butter work well for me.
- I like saltines , Carrs Entertainment Cracker Collection crackers with some slices of Jarlsberg cheese, and Social Tea biscuits. Also, peeled pears when perfectly ripe are delicious!
- Right now, my favorite snack foods are rice cakes, applesauce, and vanilla yogurt.
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Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Uc
When you experience a UC flare-up, you should avoid foods that may worsen symptoms such as frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, bloody stools, and stomach pain, as well as fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Limiting sugar is especially important during a time of active diarrhea, as sugar can make this worse, says Kennedy. Id recommend avoiding added sugars at all costs and switching to unsweetened applesauce instead.
If youre thinking about using artificial sweeteners, that may not be such a wise choice, either.
Artificial sweeteners are controversial, with some people feeling that they could possibly be a trigger food for those with IBD, Kennedy explains. It would be a personal choice to include them in a colitis-friendly diet.
Although the evidence is thin, a review published in September 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, suggest that artificial sweeteners might trigger inflammation-causing changes to the gut bacteria, which could be problematic for people with conditions like IBD.
There isnt an ideal frequency for indulging in sweets, but moderation is key. When youre not dealing with a flare, Kennedy says you may be able to indulge a little, but the main goal is to try to limit the chances of triggering UC symptoms.
Hummus With Pita Chips
This chickpea-based dip packs in a lot of plant-based protein, iron, and folate. Chickpeas are usually well tolerated during ulcerative colitis flares, even though theyre a good source of fiber.
Hummus is also high in healthy unsaturated fat. The right types of dietary fat can help you gain back any weight you might have lost during an ulcerative colitis flare.
You should also avoid high fiber whole-wheat chips if youre in the middle of a flare. Use pretzels or pita chips for dipping instead.
These versatile legumes are loaded with protein, folate, iron, and a type of soluble fiber called raffinose. Bacteria produce the fatty acid butyrate in your digestive tract when they break down this fiber.
Butyrate helps bring down inflammation in the colon. Research suggests that people with inflammatory bowel diseases , like ulcerative colitis, may not produce as much of this gut-healthy fatty acid.
To make this crunchy treat, toss one can of chickpeas in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Dust with a little bit of garlic powder.
Place the coated chickpeas on an oiled cookie sheet. Brown them in the oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes.
rich in potassium . People with irritable bowel disorders, like ulcerative colitis, are often deficient in this mineral.
Blend one cup of low fat milk with one cup of yogurt, a ripe banana, and ice. Choose a dairy-free alternative if youre sensitive to lactose. Youll get a filling and nutritious snack that you can take with you on the go.
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Energy And General Health
If youre following a restricted or relatively bland diet to help cope with a flare of ulcerative colitis symptoms, or youre on a liquid-only diet as your body heals from surgery, you may be getting fewer calories and nutrition. As a result, you might not have as much energy as you typically do.
Its important that you try your best to eat enough each day to meet your bodys nutrition and energy needs. Not only to help manage ulcerative colitis but to maintain your overall health.
Complications from IBD, such as infections, may be more likely if your body is weakened from malnourishment, vitamin deficiencies, and dehydration.
Preventing nutritional deficiencies may help prevent flares: In 2017, research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center indicated that people with ulcerative colitis who are in remission may be more likely to experience a relapse of symptoms if they are deficient in vitamin D.
Herbal Remedies And Supplements
There are lots of supplements that claim to treat Crohns and Colitis. But there isnt enough evidence to recommend any herbal remedies or supplements. This is because its difficult to know whether the supplement is directly affecting a persons Crohns or Colitis or whether something else is causing a change in symptoms. Also, everyone is different so what helps one person may not help another.Some people find that some herbal remedies, such as aloe vera or curcumin , help them manage their symptoms when they use them together with their prescribed medicines. There have been reports of cannabidiol , an ingredient in cannabis, helping with symptoms like diarrhoea, pain and loss of appetite. But we dont know enough about how it works or how much is a safe amount to take. It isnt currently recommended and isnt available on prescription for people with Crohns or Colitis.There have been claims in the media about the benefits of kefir a fermented milk drink that contains probiotics. But there isnt any medical evidence to show that it helps people with Crohns or Colitis.If you want to take herbal remedies, its important to speak to your IBD team or dietitian first. Dont stop taking your prescribed medicine without talking to your IBD team, even if your symptoms improve.
I think it is so important to remember that the relationship with food and IBD is so different for everyone!
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Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chip Muffins
Anyone who is a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup fan will rejoice with this recipeproof that you can have your cake and eat it, too. I like this recipe of peanut butter muffins with dark chocolate chips for UC symptoms, because it includes oat flour, which is a great fiber-rich whole grain that provides gut health benefits by feeding probiotic microbes, and it has lactose-free milk and adds a dose of magnesium to boot, says Scarlata. Semi-sweet chocolate chips dont add much of a nutritional anything, but we wont tell!
How To Make Them
Making these flourless peanut butter blondies couldnt be easier. Simply stir together the peanut butter, honey, egg, salt, and baking soda, and pour it into a pan to bake.
Just 20 minutes later, its like a rich deep-dish cookie!
I like to add some dark chocolate chips to these for extra decadence, but thats totally optional.
Its important that you let these blondies cool completely before slicing and serving them. They are very tender when they are warm, and will be difficult to hold without them breaking.
I recommend placing them in the fridge to cool down faster, and I even keep mine stored in the fridge because they last longer that way.
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What To Eat During An Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up
When youre in a flare, the most important thing to do is follow your doctors advice and avoid high fibre, irritating foods. For my clients who are already plant-based, this can take some work to lessen fibre while maintaining your nutrient intake. You may need doctor-supervised bowel rest, where nutrition is provided via other means. Or, you may need a low residue diet until the flare subsides.
However, you may also be advised to simply eat whatever you can if this is the case, I find is that so often, the foods chosen are not very healthy and may further the inflammatory response. So here, I recommend juicing small amounts of fruits and vegetables, and enjoying a lot of blended foods like smoothies, blended soups and easy to digest foods like noodles, nut butters, plant-based yogurts and rice.
Foods To Eat With Ulcerative Colitis
My long-term nutrition goal for my clients with ulcerative colitis is always to move towards an anti-inflammatory diet where they eat as many whole plant foods as possible. It is thought that a more Mediterranean or anti-inflammatory diet pattern contributes to an healthier community of gut bacteria, a stronger gut barrier and a better immune balance between tolerance and inflammation. In one clinical trial, a plant-based diet improved relapse rates in ulcerative colitis. Other lab research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet decreases risk of colitis. However, because of the nature of inflammation and irritation, it can often take very slow and sustained change over time to increase intake of plant-based foods comfortably.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have been associated with a decreased risk of ulcerative colitis. They are high in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and fibre, which is critical for production of short chain fatty acids by our gut bacteria that help to ease inflammation and support gut barrier function.
- Omega 3 rich seeds
We all need omega 3 rich foods in our daily diet ulcerative colitis is no exception. Data suggests that increased intake of omega 3 rich foods decreases risk of ulcerative colitis but clinical trials on fish oils have not offered conclusive benefits to disease outcomes.
- Calcium- and magnesium-rich foods
- High Fibre Foods, as tolerated
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Ulcerative Colitis Diet: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
Here in Canada, we have one of the highest rates of ulcerative colitis in the world it is thought that our environment + lifestyle weigh heavily on our risk for the disease.
Most people with ulcerative colitis report that food impacts their symptoms, so its important that nutrition is not overlooked in the management of the disease. Recent evidence suggests that intake of certain foods is associated with a higher risk of ulcerative colitis, including:
- Meat, particularly red meat
- Sugar, and sugar sweetened beverages
- Omega 6 fatty acids
We also know that the inflammation and increased bowel movements in ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease can lead to malabsorption, low food intake and nutrient deficiencies along with osteoporosis. So everyone with ulcerative colitis should be receiving adequate nutrition therapy.
But First Here’s What To Avoid
Before we get into the sweet stuff you can enjoy, lets point out what to skip: Fake sugar. Sugar substitutes are a problem, explains Dr. Sonpal. You cant digest them, so they actually ferment in your gut and create gas which leads to cramping, bloating, and discomfort. Worried about calories? Just remember, less is more. Its better to lower that amount of real sugar you eat and avoid fake sugars than to avoid real sugar, he adds.
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Think Outside The Sweet Box
Desserts dont always have to be sugarysavory concoctions highlighted with sweet notes can make for UC-friendly desserts as well. Dr. Sonpals favorite after-dinner indulgence: Roasted chickpeas with honey, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar. It tastes like a healthier version of Moose Munch, and its great for those with UC because chickpeas contain soluble fiber, he says. Eat them as finger food straight from a bowl or sprinkle them on vanilla yogurt.
Carrot Cake W/ Cream Cheese Frosting
MAKES A DOUBLE LAYER 8 ROUND CAKE.
- 3 pastured or organic eggs
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 34 grated carrots or 1 3/4 2 cups grated carrot
For the frosting:
- 18 oz package of pastured/organic full fat cream cheese
- 1 stick of pastured/organic butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 TBS real maple syrup
- 1 cup tapioca flour
For dairy free frosting substitute:
- 1 package of Kite Hill almond cream cheese
- 8 oz. Spectrum non-hydrogenated palm shortening
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Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
This easy-to-make dip will help you sneak in your daily veggie servings. Artichokes are a low fiber food thats generally safe for people with ulcerative colitis. Theyre also a prebiotic. That means they feed the good bacteria in the gut and may support colonic health.
Combine one can of artichoke hearts and a package of chopped spinach with low fat yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Then bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with sliced carrots and cucumbers for dipping.