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Diet

I'll Be Dedicated to making nutritious food choices.

Your Diet Journey

Start your Diet Journey to rethink how you're nourishing your body, explore your diet options, and understand the risks and benefits associated with certain foods and diets. Complete all five challenges along your journey to earn your Top Chef badge.

By the end of your journey, we hope you'll be dedicated to maintaining a nutritious meal plan — along with a treatment plan — that helps you better manage IBD.

start journey

Why Choose Nutritious Foods?

Maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet is something we all should strive for. But it's especially important if you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because you're more susceptible to malnourishment than people without IBD.

Benefits of good nutrition

Good nutritional status may lead to:

  • Improved IBD symptoms
  • Increased effectiveness of medications
  • Proper absorption of proteins, calories, water and other nutrients
  • Lower risk of iron and calcium deficiencies
  • Bone health
  • Normal growth patterns (children and teens)
  • A healthy body weight
  • Regular hormone levels and menstrual cycles (women and girls)
  • Good hydration

Risks of malnourishment

Poor nutritional status may lead to:

  • IBD flares
  • Decreased effectiveness of medications
  • Poor absorption of proteins, calories, water and other nutrients
  • Iron and calcium deficiencies
  • Bone loss
  • Possible growth retardation (children and teens)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and/or low energy
  • Irregular hormone levels and menstrual cycles (women and girls)
  • Dehydration

Challenge 1 of 5

Test Your Knowledge

Eating the right foods is all you need to do to effectively manage IBD.

True
False

Challenge 1 of 5

Test Your Knowledge: Results

Sorry, but the correct answer is False.

That's correct!

A healthy diet can help you maintain good nutritional status and manage symptoms, but medications are recommended to effectively treat IBD. Work with your doctor, nutritionist or other health care provider to create the meal plan and treatment plan that are right for you. Learn more

Virtual Refrigerator Game

If your IBD is active (causing symptoms), there are
certain foods that are more likely to cause discomfort,
and certain foods that can help easy discomfort. Can you tell the difference?

In our virtual refrigerator, you'll find some common "trigger" foods and "friendly" foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drag the trigger foods to the red plate, and drag the friendly foods to the green plate. At the end we'll let you know how you did!

Breakfast

Prunes
Creamy Peanut Butter
Banana
Toast
Apple
Raisins

Lunch

Tapioca
Grapes
Applesauce
Spice Chicken
Orange
Celery

Dinner

Rice
Water
Caffeine
Fish
Corn
Coleslaw

Virtual Refrigerator Results

You Got
0 out of 18
Correct

The trigger foods in your refrigerator may cause discomfort for many people with IBD, but it's important to know that not everyone with IBD is affected by the same foods. This Food Journal can help you track the foods you eat, as well as your symptoms, so you can recognize any problematic foods. Learn more about trigger foods and friendly foods, plus the importance of good nutrition when you have IBD.

CORRECT ANSWERS

  • Prunes
  • Apple
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Spicy Chicken
  • Orange
  • Celery
  • Caffeine
  • Corn
  • Coleslaw
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Banana
  • Toast
  • Tapioca
  • Applesauce
  • Rice
  • Water
  • Fish

Challenge 2 of 5

Trigger
Foods
Friendly
Foods
Need help?

Challenge 3 of 5

Tell Us About You

Which special diet(s) are you on (or have you been on)? (Check all that apply.)

Elimination diet Low-fiber with low-residue diet
The Colitis 5-Step Formula The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™
The Maker's Diet Total bowel rest
Elemental diet I've never tried one of the above special diets

Hear what nutritionist Sally Ritz has to say about special diets. Watch video

Challenge 3 of 5

Tell Us About You

It's important to remember that while many people have reported that certain diets have helped provide symptom relief, most have not been proven scientifically, and their benefits have not been shown in research studies. Always talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have questions about a particular diet or are considering trying one. Learn more about these diets.

Challenge 4 of 5

Get the Facts About Nutrition

Which of the following is true:

A. People with IBD are more prone to malnourishment due to loss of appetite, poor absorption of nutrients, and other factors.
B. Malnourishment can cause growth retardation in children and teens.
C. Good nutritional status can actually help medications work more effectively.
D. All of the above

Challenge 4 of 5

Get the Facts About Nutrition: Results

That's true!

That's correct!

And so are options B and C.

And so are options A and C.

And so are options A and B.

All of these are reasons why it's so important for people with IBD to maintain good nutritional status.

Learn more about the importance of good nutrition, and the relationship between food and IBD.

One more challenge to earn your Top Chef badge!

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Dedication

Starting today, I will: (Check all that apply.)

Ask myself if I could be doing more to manage my IBD
Work with my doctor, a dietitian or a nutritionist to help me develop a meal plan that meets my nutritional needs
Learn more about food, special diet, and complementary therapy options, including the risks and benefits of each
Keep a Food Journal to recognize potential problematic foods, and make sure I'm maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Dedication

We are so glad you're being proactive in managing your IBD!

Start your Food Journal today, and make an appointment to create your customized IBD meal plan with your doctor or dietitian.

Maintaining a nutritious diet, and knowing which foods to avoid and which to include in your diet, may help you better manage your IBD and ease your symptoms. You might want to start a Food Journal to help you and your doctor or dietitian see if there are problematic foods in your diet, and if you’re meeting your nutrition needs. Also, consider working with your doctor or dietitian to develop a customized IBD meal plan.

Get Top Chef Badge

Congratulations!

You finished the Diet Journey and earned your Top Chef badge. To save your badge in your profile, please log in or register.

Get involved in CCFA programs and advocacy opportunities.

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Nutritionist Insight

Sally Ritz discusses
the link between food and IBD.

Doctor Perspective

Dr. Jennifer Strople talks about the role of nutrition in managing IBD.

Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.