In the Spotlight

Healthy Foods to Eat When You Have Irritable Bowel or Crohn's Disease

If you have Irritable Bowel or Crohn's disease, what you choose to eat can make you feel better or worse. When you have symptoms (belly pain, diarrhea, a lot of gas), choose foods that are easy on your gut.

The trick to managing the disease is to choose foods from the left hand column when you have a "flare up" or an upset in the functioning of your gut. These foods are low in fiber, fats and are easier on you. When you begin to feel better, gradually begin adding an item or two from the right hand column. The foods in the right-hand column are higher in fiber and provide the roughage your body needs to keep you regular.


Foods to Eat

Foods to eat during bowel problems or "flare"
Foods to eat when your gut is functioning

Low fat meats

Low fat tender cooked meats


Low fat meats, cheeses

Canned Fruits

Canned fruits (except pineapple)


Beans, peas

Green beans

Green beans, cooked carrots, asparagus


All veggies, salads

White Bread

White or low fiber bread (less than 2 grams p/s)

Whole grain breads

Whole grain breads

Peeled Apple

Applesauce, bananas, peeled apples

Lots of fruits

All fruits

Low fat yogurt

Low fat yogurt without fruit added

Low fat milk

Low fat yogurt and milk


Eggs, egg substitute


Eggs, egg substitute

White rice

White rice, mashed potatoes

Brown rice

Brown rice, whole grains


Drink plenty of water


Drink plenty of water

Always include plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated. Remember, the choices you make about what to eat play a huge role in how you feel. Choose to take an active role in your health by making smart choices about what you eat.

A registered dietitian can help you create a meal plan that meets your lifestyle and health needs. For more information about eating healthy with Irritable Bowel or Crohn's disease, ask your health care provider to schedule an appointment for you to meet with a Registered Dietitian.

Updated/Reviewed: April 4, 2017