Let’s face it, having problems with your bowel movement isn’t the most pleasant thing to experience and if you’re one of those who suffers from ulcerative colitis then it’s particularly taxing for you. Not only are the symptoms unbearable, keeping track of what triggers it (as it is different from person to person) harder to manage.
And although doctors have ruled out that food is not what causes the disease, it can trigger it. The list of food that’s safe for you to eat can be a bit hard to pinpoint but there are some that are generally known to trigger symptoms. Adjusting your diet with the foods that are “safe” to eat while making sure you get your recommended daily intake is one of the surest ways you can prevent symptoms from occurring.
But where to start? What’s safe to eat and what isn’t? How can I keep track of what’s triggering me or not? Here are some tips to help you get started on your diet plan.
The Low-Residue Diet
When you suffer from ulcerative colitis, certain types of food may trigger and worsen your symptoms. Finding out what works and what doesn’t for you will certainly go a long way when it comes to managing your symptoms.
A diet that may help you out on that department may be the low-fiber diet or the low-residue diet is generally based around foods that are easy to digest and low in fiber which may aid in slowing down bowel movement and prevent diarrhea from happening. The diet generally allows you to eat normally aside from limiting your consumption of fiber which is about 10 to 15 grams a day.
Other diets you can try are:
- High-calorie diet
- Gluten-free diet
- Lactose-free diet
What to Eat
Whatever food you might want to include in your diet plan is entirely up to you but make sure to consult with your dietician first. But if in case, you may not have an idea where to start here are a few options that are considered to be good when you are starting out your meal plan.
- Eggs – are one of the easiest foods to digest. They also provide loads of nutrients including omega-3.
- Fermented food – loaded with a ton of probiotics and prebiotics which is good for gut health, fermented food make great additions to your meal plan.
- Avocados – are one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. They give you high nutritional value and are easy to digest which makes them perfect for people who suffer from ulcerative colitis.
- Instant oatmeal – is the perfect option if you’re missing out on grains (since they are trigger foods) since they’re more easy to digest then their rolled or traditional counterparts.
- Squash – are great sources for vitamin C and beta-carotene. They are well-tolerated among those who have ulcerative colitis. Just make sure they’re cooked to make them easier to digest.
- Plantains – are great aids to digestion and a perfect addition to your diet.
- Juice and smoothies – could trigger some people but are generally tolerated by patients of ulcerative colitis. Just make sure there are no added flavors or pulp to yours and you’re good.
What Not to Eat
As you probably know, foods that could trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms vary from person to person, however, there are some foods that are generally known to trigger flare-ups for some people. Below are some that you might need to steer clear of.
- Alcohol – may be triggering for some people as it stimulates the intestine which may cause diarrhea.
- Carbonated Drinks – contain carbonation which may aggravate the intestine and cause gas.
- Caffeine – is a no-no because it is a stimulant which speeds up digestion which may lead to frequent bathroom trips.
- Spicy food – can cause diarrhea and may worsen symptoms in people who have ulcerative colitis.
- Fatty meat – may not be absorbed by the body properly which can worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
- Nuts and seeds – can worsen symptoms such as bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhea when eaten. beware.
If you are on your way to managing your ulcerative colitis with a diet plan, here are a few tips we recommend you trying to help you out further.
- Eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours
- Stay hydrated
- Limit your oil intake to 8 teaspoons a day.
- Make a food journal
Ulcerative colitis isn’t easy to deal with but with the proper diet plan and some guidance you can properly manage your symptoms. Just make sure to consult your dietician before making changes to your diet.