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milk, cheese, chips, and wheat

Foods I DON’T Eat Ever Since My Crohn’s Diagnosis

Ah yes, the dreaded topic of food and IBD. It is so complicated to chat about this since everyone is so drastically different when it comes to diet and how it affects their symptoms.

But! I also think it is vital to share what does work for you with other IBD sufferers, as you may be able to help someone out there that has similar symptomatic tendencies.

So, here it goes!

The foods I don’t eat to lessen IBD symptoms

Here are the foods I DON’T eat, in order to help keep my symptoms at bay:

1. Dairy

Dairy and I used to be the best of friends. When I was growing up, I literally had a glass of milk every single day in addition to always having cereal and milk for breakfast. I loved milk! Same went with cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and all other dairy goodness. Today, this is all a no go. I stay clear from dairy and I must say, it has made a huge difference.

And don’t be discouraged. There are many alternatives out there. Ice cream is now made with coconut milk or almond milk! And it tastes amazing. Just research online and you’ll be presently surprised with your options.

2. Grains

Yup, zero grains in my diet. This one was way harder for me to execute than dairy. Dairy, in my opinion, is pretty easy to get rid of. Grains, however, is a toughie. I’m still getting used to this one.

Yes, when I say grains, I mean ALL grains. No wheat, no oats, no nothing! This means, no bread, pasta, pizza, cakes, croissants, sandwich bread, spaghetti. Gah! I yelp when I say these magnificent food items out loud. These items used to be my dear, dear savory and delicious friends.

But! There is hope. Today there are a million and one alternatives out there that make this swap not so dreadful. Pasta is now made with chickpeas. Bread can now be made with arrowroot flour, almond flour, and coconut flour. There are chips and crackers that are grain free. Pizzas that have cauliflower crusts and beyond. It is possible to still enjoy your favorite foods. Just do a little digging online and you’ll see the amazing alternatives.

3. Processed sugars

Yikes! Another lip-smacking staple. Sugar! But unfortunately, processed sugar is so bad for our already inflamed gut, so I stay clear of it. I stick with products that have cane sugar only. And if I need to sweeten things up, I use honey or sometimes maple syrup. And of course, I get my sugar fix from a yummy bowl of fruit if I need to tame a craving. But overall, my sugar intake is minimal.

4. Processed foods

I eat foods as fresh as possible. If it’s in a bag, I usually don’t go for it. So the typical snack foods you would find in a vending machine will not be going in my belly. GMO’s, Corn syrup, food colorings, weird chemicals are all things I pay attention to in the ingredients label. If I see some scary words I don’t know how to pronounce, I’m out of there!

What do I eat for IBD management?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: So what DO you eat!? Sounds like I’m just munching on cardboard at this point, huh?

Well, rest assured, I will write another post to follow up with the foods I DO eat! And they are delicious! Lip-smacking good, I tell you.

Until then, comment below and tell us the foods you stay away from to help keep your symptoms in check. Sharing is caring!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • LoriOz
    5 months ago

    Some years ago, I read that people with IBD had some things beyond the obvious in common. One was high sugar consumption in their diets before developing the disease. This is certainly true for me. I was an absolute sugar addict as a kid. My brother used to tease me and say all I liked was lollipops and ice cream! And that brings me to dairy. I was also a voracious consumer of dairy as a kid. My guess is I had about a quart a day. I think it’s no coincidence that in non-dairy consuming cultures there is virtually no incidence of IBD. It’s also no coincidence that some cows have a disease that’s uber-similar to Crohn’s and Colitis called Johne’s disease. The symptoms are more or less identical. Personally I have little doubt that high sugar and dairy consumption were direct contributors to the development of colitis for me. I stay away from them both now and feel much happier and healthier after living with this illness for 34 years now.

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this!

    What you have pointed out is definitely interesting and I can see the correlation between the two.

    I certainly can say from personal experience that the moment dairy and sugar was out of my diet I never felt better.

    I’m so happy to hear that you are doing better these days. 34 years is definitely a long fight with this illness. Keep pressing on, warrior. And thank you for commenting!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • 3mcE
    5 months ago

    I’m a vegetarian who more or less follows the low fodmap diet, and the food items that I avoid the most strictly and at all costs are onions and garlic. They trigger some of my worst pain and symptoms, which is really unfortunate because not only are they both delicious, they’re both in almost every food/recipe/ingredient list/cultural cuisine!!

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    5 months ago

    I had a moment too where onions really triggered some nasty flares. I have no idea what happened but it went away and now I can tolerate them.

    I know the feeling when some of the best/most delicious foods are the ones you can’t tolerate. It’s the worst and it makes eating hard. But! You have to train yourself to find other foods to fall in love with. It certainly is easier said than done but possible.

    I hope you are doing well these days! Thanks for commenting.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    5 months ago

    Thank you for writing this, Elizabeth! I feel like we share a similar diet, however, it took me 4 years after being diagnosed to finally give up gluten and 95% of dairy which I wish I had done sooner!

    Processed foods are definitely at a minimum, and I avoid spicy foods at all costs!

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    5 months ago

    How nice to hear I’m not alone in my diet. It is definitely hard to adjust, and it also took me about 4-5 years to figure this out but it works for me.

    So happy you have found success through making these changes. It is so important to share.

    I miss spicy foods too! I used to love Kimchi for example, which is actually wonderful for your gut because of the probiotics. But I cant take the heat anymore 🙁

    Thanks for commenting.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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