Tips for Your Ulcerative Colitis Diet

Living with Ulcerative Colitis can be a struggle. But taking control of your diet is probably the most effective way to help manage your condition. In fact, a healthy and balanced ulcerative colitis diet is essential for maintaining good health and getting more out of life while living with UC.

While no single dietary plan works best for everyone, following specific tips can help ensure you stay nourished while minimizing digestive flare-ups. With the best advice and guidance from health experts, you can get proper nutrition while living with UC.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is one of the two inflammatory bowel diseases which affects the colon or the large intestine. It starts from the rectum and spreads to the large intestines, causing bloody stools.

An ulcerative colitis flare-up is the return of the symptoms after remission. So you’ll experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and pain, fatigue, and urgent bowel movements. You will be given medications to induce remissions as quickly as possible. Certain diet changes can also shorten flares.

Tips for Your Ulcerative Colitis Diet

Although no specific diet plays a role in causing UC, some healthy changes to your diet can control the condition.

Dietary Advice for Ulcerative Colitis

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Frequent diarrhea means losing lots of water. Drink plenty of water and other fluids like fruit juice. It’s important to avoid alcohol, caffeine and added sugars since these can worsen symptoms. Additionally, avoid carbonated drinks because they cause flatulence.
  • Eat frequent small meals: Regular small meals can help regulate your digestion.
  • Take supplements: Supplements are one way to increase your vitamin and mineral intake. However, ask your doctor if you need them and what supplements are best for your condition.

Eat a Low-Residue or Low-Fiber Diet

A low fiber diet for ulcerative colitis can reduce the most stressful symptoms, such as abdominal cramping and pain. These diets are designed to reduce the amount and frequency of the stools you pass.

You can eat the following as a part of your diet for ulcerative colitis flare up:

  • Refined grains: Dry cereals and white bread are two common refined grains you can consume if they contain less than a gram per serving.
  • Dairy products: You can eat cottage cheese, yogurt, creamy soups, and milk. But limit it to two cups per day.
  • Very ripe fruits: Choose fruits that are low in fiber, such as honeydew, cantaloupes, peaches, plums, watermelons, etc.
  • Cooked vegetables: Yellow squash without seeds, eggplant, skinless potatoes, green beans, etc., are good as long as they’re thoroughly cooked or canned. You may also drink juices made from these vegetables.
  • Protein: Smooth peanut butter, bacon, eggs, and poultry must be cooked. Make sure they’re not chewy and are tender.

Keep a Food Diary

You might find you can tolerate certain foods, while others will worsen your symptoms. Keeping a record of the food you have eaten, along with any flareups, will allow you to identify the foods you can’t tolerate.

However, it’s best to consult with your dietician or doctor before eliminating a particular food from your diet, as you might need the vitamins and minerals that food provides.

Food to Eat with Ulcerative Colitis

It can be difficult for someone with ulcerative colitis to know what’s safe for them to eat because their diets may contain various unidentified triggers. And due to their inability to consume various foods, they may be at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies. Another potential problem is difficulty with nutrient absorption.

To ensure that you get enough nutrients, try the following recipes for an ulcerative colitis diet:

  • Breakfast smoothie: You can mix fruits and vegetables that are highly soluble dietary fibers, such as bananas, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, peeled apples, and citrus fruits.
  • Oatmeal: These are easy to digest and are considered highly resistant starches, which have potential as a prebiotic.
  • Salads: Add dark, leafy greens, vegetables, beets, carrots, and other salad greens. These can fight the disease at a molecular level, potentially benefiting UC symptoms. Try salads in small amounts if you have difficulty digesting them.
  • Veggie wraps: Veggie wraps are an excellent alternative to sandwiches. Cooked or baked vegetables are a good source of soluble fibers, which go perfectly in wraps.
  • Yogurt: You can add soluble fruits to yogurt, such as mangos and blueberries. But yogurt alone is a fantastic addition to your diet. Try some that contains probiotics, good bacteria that benefit the gut.

Trigger Foods

Trigger foods can cause the unpleasant symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However, they don’t cause harm to your body. Keep in mind that trigger foods are not the same for everyone, but below are the most common:

  • High-fiber foods
  • Foods high in insoluble fiber
  • Added sugars
  • Caffeinated tea, energy drinks, coffee, or other caffeinated beverages
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Foods high in fat
  • High-lactose containing foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Spicy foods

There are also foods associated with increased inflammation, such as red meat, processed meat, coconut oil, palm oil, and dairy fat.

Get the Right Nutrition to Help Manage Your UC Symptoms

Successfully manage your ulcerative colitis by eating a healthy diet and following the tips above. These will help reduce flare-ups while still giving you the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

This diet advice applies doubly if your symptoms have resulted in a life-saving ostomy surgery. If you need quality supplies, like a two-piece drainable pouch, barrier strips, or wipes for your stoma, Medical Monks has a wide range of brands you can choose from. 

The MEDICAL MONKS STAFF brings to the table decades of combined knowledge and experience in the medical products industry.

Edited for content by ADAM PAGE.

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