Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Diet

Happy Kumari   by Happy Kumari, M.S., Biotechnology    Last updated on April 19, 2021,

foods to avoid with ulcerative colitis


Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon and rectum. If a person has ulcerative colitis, sores develop inside the colon. These are called ulcers.

It is not known what exactly causes ulcerative colitis, but researchers believe that it may be caused by a problem with the immune system. There are several things that may trigger a flare and worsen the condition. Foods are one of them. Certain foods may not be suitable for some people.

Read about causes of ulcerative colitis.

Researchers are learning about the role of diet and gut bacteria in causing the disease ulcerative colitis. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America accept that fiber is helpful for your colon. Fiber should only be reduced if you experience acute problems such as flare-ups.

When you experience flare-ups, a low-fiber diet may be considered to help you recover quickly. But if your doctor has not recommended a low-fiber diet to manage the disease symptoms, you should follow a high-fiber diet only.

Have Ulcerative Colitis? Cut these Foods from Your Diet

Foods that contain a lot of fiber: Whole grain breads and cereals

Foods that contain a lot of fiber are generally difficult for people with UC to digest. Whole grain flour is rich in fiber.

Avoid these foods made from whole grain during flare ups particularly:

  • breads
  • noodles
  • macaroni
  • cereals
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • oats
  • wild rice
  • pastas

Nuts and seeds

The fiber in nuts and seeds can be difficult to digest. They can aggravate the symptoms. You should avoid eating them:

  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • pecans
  • cashews
  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • millet
  • pine nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • wild rice
  • almonds
  • macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • pistachios

Peas, beans, and lentils

Beans, peas, and lentils, etc are high in protein and fiber. They can also cause gas related problems. If you are experiencing flare-ups, it is better to avoid these items:

  • all types of beans
  • lentils
  • peas
  • soy nuts
  • soyabeans
  • edamame
  • adzuki beans
  • chickpeas

Certain types of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber should be avoided particularly when the symptoms are aggravated. Fruits and vegetables that you may want to remove from the list are:

  • raw fruits
  • dried fruits
  • vegetables that have seeds
  • raw or uncooked vegetables
  • vegetables and fruits without peeling

Dairy products

If you suspect dairy products are causing problems, it may be a symptom trigger for you. It is better to avoid all types of dairy products for a few weeks when symptoms are flared up. Some foods to avoid are such as:

  • butter
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese

Gluten-containing foods

Gluten is a type of protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is present in common foods such as breads and pasta. It is also added separately to prepare certain types of foods such as sauces, soups etc.

If you suspect that gluten triggers your symptoms, you should avoid it and all foods that contain gluten for at least one month.

Other foods that trigger ulcerative colitis

Check out for other items that can be problematic if you have UC. These may include:

  • alcohol: this may trigger diarrhea in some people
  • carbonated beverages
  • caffeine
  • dried fruits
  • foods that have sulfur or sulfate: this mineral can cause excess gas production. Some of the foods that include sulfar or sulfate are beer, wine, almonds, soy, wheat pasta, breads, peanuts, and raisins.
  • meat
  • popcorn
  • spicy foods
  • seeds
  • refined sugar
  • raw fruits and vegetables
  • products that have sorbitol (such as sugar-free gum and candies)
  • dried beans and legumes

Happy Kumari

Happy Kumari is a biotechnologist with Masters degree in Biotechnology. She has pursued her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Amity University, Noida. She aspires to contribute in the field of healthcare and research. Happy has worked at Effectual Knowledge Services as a Patent Associate.


Currently she is associated with Maxinov Solutions Private LTD as Research Analyst and a medical content writer at Diseasefix.


Happy's area of interest includes research in the field of Cancer Biology.

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