9 Foods To Avoid If You Have Crohn's Disease

Any disruption to your body's processes can cause you discomfort. Crohn's disease is no exception. It’s an inflammatory bowel disorder that, when triggered, can make your life a little more complicated.

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Crohn’s affects the tissues in your digestive tract, causing it to swell, which can lead to severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and leave you malnourished. It can affect different parts of the digestive tract depending on the person,  but it mainly affects the small intestine. In today's post, we'll look at the 9 foods to avoid entirely if you have Crohn’s in to reduce the strain on your intestines.


Starting our list, consume fewer Raw fruits and vegetablesEven though fruits and vegetables are known to be healthy, some people with Crohn's disease may have trouble digesting them because they contain a lot of fiber. Some with Crohn's disease feel better when they eat cooked fruits and vegetables that have been peeled. High-fiber, stringy vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and celery can result in gas, bloating, and cramps because they are difficult to digest.

Canned or cooked fruits and vegetables are generally easier to consume than when raw. If these foods are properly prepared and cut into little bits, you might be able to tolerate them; otherwise, think about an alternative. Peel coverings are often tough, and removing them could mean losing out on essential nutrients, like insoluble fiber. But those with Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome should sacrifice that small loss of vitamins and minerals for their comfort. It’s also best to avoid fruit packed in heavy or light syrup since it is high in sugar; opt for fruit packed in natural juices. Fresh fruits and vegetables that haven't been processed or cooked are high in fiber and are known to cause gas.  They might need to be removed from your diet if you have Crohn's. Because you lose out on fiber from the peel of fruits and vegetables, those with irritable bowel syndrome due to Crohn’s need to consume more soluble fiber, you can do this by adding ground chia seeds, oatmeal, or supplements to your diet.

Must Read: Why is it Important to Eat Vegetables?


Seeds of vegetables or fruits may cause issues. When experiencing a Crohn's flare, symptoms like irritation and pain in your GI tract and nausea reappear; it's best to avoid foods containing seeds, like strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes. Also, avoid rye bread and other baked items, as they have many seeds. Seeds will wreak havoc on your stomach if you have Crohn's disease. It's like sandpaper on an open wound. As a result, it is best to avoid it as much as possible. Some seeds have rough edges, making them harsh. The lining of the GI tract may become irritated by those sharp edges. After consuming grains that irritate the gut wall, some people may feel pain. Try adding smooth peanut butter or sesame tahini in place of seeds in your diet.

Must Read: Top 10 High Vegetarian Protein Sources to Include in Your Diet


Fried Foods, though tempting, should be avoided. While fried food is best for everyone to avoid, Crohn's patients may experience specific difficulties due to its greasiness. Those with Crohn's frequently do not fully absorb the fat in foods like fried chicken, French fries, thick sauces, and creams in the small intestine, resulting in symptoms like cramps or loose stools. Instead of fried or oily foods, opt for baked, broiled, or steamed options for your Crohn's diet,  and consumption of fats should be restricted. If you have fatty stools,  you should be especially mindful and cautious about the fried foods you consume. It's also another good rule of thumb to avoid junk food altogether. Avoiding junk food applies to anyone wishing to follow a healthy lifestyle. Avoid processed meats, excessive sugar, fast meals, and preservatives. Consider eating a balanced diet and avoiding packaged foods at all costs.

Must Read: 40 Foods You Must Avoid If You Want To Lose Weight


Reducing your meat consumption may be beneficial. Many of us find it hard to say no to a juicy hamburger or a perfectly cooked steak. Even though meat is packed with nutrients, it also contains several naturally occurring chemical poisons, saturated fat, and other substances that are challenging for our bodies to digest. Overeating meat might have negative effects since it takes up a lot of space in our intestines. The gut wall may get irritated as a result of this. If you have Crohn’s, it's best to avoid red meat with high-fat content.

Red meat and pork may cause inflammation in the intestines, triggering flare-ups and worsening your condition. Despite not having an allergy to pork, beef, milk, eggs, or cheese, those with Crohn's disease are hypersensitive to these foods. If you consume meat, choosing leaner, lower-fat cuts may help you get the high protein content you want without all the inflammation. Red meat is more difficult to digest and break down. Instead,  you may choose meats like bison and elk, which have healthier lipids than inflammatory ones.

Must Read: 11 Foods That Can Give You 100G Of Protein In A Day


You may have to sacrifice popcorn as well. Everyone's digestive health benefits from eating whole grains, with the exception of those who have Crohn's disease and are going through a flare-up. Popcorn has a lot of dietary fiber, made up of complex carbohydrates that aren't well absorbed and don't change much when they get to the colon. Most of the fiber in popcorn comprises hemicellulose, cellulose, and a small amount of lignan.

This makes popcorn insoluble. Since it is not digested, insoluble fiber makes larger stool volumes and moves them through the digestive tract faster when it is eaten. Also, insoluble fiber encourages the production of gas, which can make bloating, distention, and flatulence worse in some people with IBS. If you suffer from such symptoms, avoid meals high in insoluble fiber and substitute them with sources of soluble fiber, like psyllium, oats, and citrus fruits.

Popcorn is an old favorite, often topped with a good dose of melted butter. Unfortunately, Crohn's symptoms can be brought on by both fiber and fat. Most people with Crohn's disease do better on a low-fat, low-residue diet or a diet without high-fiber or fatty foods.  While some people can have popcorn, especially in modest doses with little to no butter on top, during remissions, they discover that doing so during a flare-up makes their symptoms worse. Anything hard to digest could be bad for you, worsen your symptoms, or slow the healing process.

Must Raed: 14 Foods That Keep You Full And Help You Lose Weight


Dairy products may also be counter-productive. Crohn's disease can make it hard to digest the sugar in milk and other dairy products. This is called lactose intolerance, and it can happen because Crohn's disease can hurt the digestive system. Try soy or almond milk instead of cow's milk if dairy aggravates other symptoms, such as gas and bloating. Avoid soft cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta in favor of more challenging, older varieties like Parmesan, Romano, or cheddar. Lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products, might be too complex for some people with Crohn's disease to digest.  Your doctor can test you to determine whether you are lactose intolerant.

If you have lactose intolerance, seek alternative calcium and vitamin D sources, such as tofu, fortified cereals, orange juice, canned sardines, and greens like turnips, kale, and collard greens. If you don't eat lactose, yogurt, kefir, and hard cheese have very little lactose and good probiotic cultures. The goal is to nurture the patient while also appealing to their tastes.

Must Read: 5 Best Non-Dairy Substitutes For Milk You Should Try


Reduce your alcohol consumption for good. Drinking alcohol can be problematic for those with inflammatory bowel disease, so exercise caution when consuming it. Alcohol can irritate the GI tract, and those with stomach problems find it more painful and upsetting. Also, this is true for all alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, and liquor, which you shouldn't drink if you have Crohn's symptoms. When you drink alcohol, your Crohn's disease symptoms can worsen, especially if you have diarrhea. Sulfites, a dietary preservative that many people are sensitive to, is typically found in wine. The amount of alcohol a person can drink safely depends on how well their liver can process it. There is no universal guideline for handling alcohol because every person with Crohn's has a unique experience. One person may not have any signs of Crohn's disease, while another may experience severe reactions and require total withdrawal from alcohol.

Also, different types of alcohol may cause varied reactions in those with Crohn's disease. For example, beer is a strong trigger for symptoms, but hard liquor may be easier to deal with. People can learn more about how their body reacts by abstaining from alcohol for a while and gradually reintroducing it.

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Avoid carbonated beverages, cocoa, and coffee. You may need to limit your coffee consumption if you have Crohn's disease. Caffeine increases the wave-like motion in the gastrointestinal tract, which is responsible for moving waste through the system. Caffeine may not suit you if you have diarrhea, particularly when your Crohn's symptoms worsen. Caffeinated sodas may be problematic for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome; this also includes sparkling beverages, whether caffeinated or not, which can act as triggers.

If you experience fatigue without caffeine, try alternate strategies like aromatherapy or exercise. Avoid caffeinated beverages, including soda, coffee, tea, and energy drinks. Instead, go for non-caffeinated beverages like flavored water or diluted herbal teas. However, some Crohn's patients may consume coffee in modest doses, like a morning cup.



It's better to skip out on spicy food. If you have Crohn's disease symptoms, you probably won't be inclined to grab the hot sauce. Most people who have a flare aren't eating spicy chili or burritos. An already-flaming GI tract can be heated with spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper, and hot curries. Even though people have very different spice tolerances, most Crohn's patients probably find it hard to handle the heat in some dishes. During a Crohn's flare, you can replace certain spices that bother you with mild herbs and small amounts of citrus juices. Spicy foods may cause even more discomfort when your Crohn's symptoms are out of control. However, this varies from one individual to the next, so it's crucial to identify those meals causing discomfort.

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Crohn's disease is a long-term inflammatory bowel disease that can make you lose your appetite and feel pain in your stomach. It can also make it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food.

What foods are you avoiding? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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