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Can A Dietary Approach Withstand Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Can A Dietary Approach Withstand Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Without a single doubt, more and more patients are striving to avoid medical or pharmacological intervention to manage their health condition.

The patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not an exception. In order to overcome their struggle, the big part of them wonders exactly what diet is worth sticking to.

Background Research

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is a functional nutrition approach aimed to restrict a specific carbohydrates intake while increasing consumption of probiotic foods with dietary fatty acids. In order to confirm the viability of such an approach, a special study was intended to highlight the ability to manage the IBD individuals’ condition with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. For this experiment, forty patients with IBD were offered the Anti-Inflammatory Diet to manage their disease.

The subsequent tracking of the results have shown that thirteen patients (33%) refused to continue the diet after the end of the study, twenty-four (60%) remained adherents of such nutrition and gave a positive response about the program, other three patients (7%) noticed mixed results in their condition. In addition to this, all the participants of the experiment without any complications were able to refuse from at least one medical product that previously supported their gastrointestinal health. Therefore, the potential of dietary approach proved to stand on a par with medical intervention in controlling inflammatory bowel disease.

Click HERE to get advice from a functional nutritionist regarding the nonpharmacologic approach to managing inflammatory bowel disease.

Best-grounded Diets

Among the Anti-Inflammatory diets that were introduced during the research, the most effective are the Carbohydrate Diet, Paleolithic Diet, Low-Fermentable Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, Monosaccharide, and Polyol Diet.

The Carbohydrate Diet is based on the predisposition of undigested disaccharides and polysaccharides to cause bacterial and yeast overgrowth, which leads to intestinal injury. Therefore, this diet prohibits the intake of simple carbohydrates poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.

What to avoid:
● All cereal grains
● Potato, yam, corn
● Processed, canned, or smoked meats
● Most legumes (chickpea, soybean)
● Milk, instant tea, instant coffee, soybean milk, beer
● Chocolate, margarine, corn syrup

What to include:
● Fruits (all but canned or frozen)
● Vegetables (all but canned or frozen)
● Nuts, seeds, some legumes (lentil, split pea)
● Wine
● Saccharin, honey, butter

The Paleolithic Diet is based on the fact that the human digestive tract isn’t specifically adapted for the digestion of modern and highly processed food. The Paleo diet emphasizes the importance of lean and other plant-based foods and focuses on the well-balanced intake of calories rather on the exclusion of certain products.

What to avoid:
● Potato, corn, yucca, butternut squash, yam, beet
● Domesticated meats
● All legumes, peanut
● Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, fruit juice
● Refined sugar, artificial sweeteners

What to include:
● Cereal grains
● Lean-game meats, fish, shellfish
● All nuts and seeds (except peanut)
● Honey

The Low-Fermentable Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, Monosaccharide, and Polyol Diet is based on the research that indicates high intestinal permeability as a result of rapid fermentation and poor absorption of carbohydrates and polyols included in certain foods.

What to avoid:
● Wheat, barley, rye
● Apple, applesauce, apricot, blackberry, canned fruit, date, dried fruit, grapefruit, mango, nectarine, pear, peach, plum, prune, watermelon
● Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, leek, mushroom, onion, pea, shallot, snow pea, sweet corn, sweet potato
● Breaded meat or meat
● Bean, cashew, chickpea, lentil, pistachio, soybean
● Cow, goat, sheep, condensed and evaporated milk; buttermilk; soy milk (from soybean); soft cheese and cream
● Coconut water, green tea, rum, soft drinks, sports drinks, white tea
● Milk chocolate, sweeteners, honey
What to include
● Gluten-free foods, oat, rice, quinoa
● Banana, blueberry, cantaloupe, clementine, grape, kiwi, lemon, lime, mandarin, melons (variety), orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry
● Alfalfa, bean sprout, bell pepper, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprout, carrot, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green bean, kale, lettuce, potato, spinach, spring onion (only green top), squash, tomato, turnip, zucchini
● Almond, chia seed, nut butter, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pumpkin seed, walnut
● Lactose-free yoghurt and milk; almond, coconut, rice, or soy milk (from soy protein); hard and low-lactose cheese
● Fruit and vegetable juice made with allowed foods, wine, gin
● Brown sugar, dark chocolate, maple syrup, golden syrup, stevia
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Functional Diet Structure

As research shows, any of the above diets can constitute an integral part in overcoming IBD. In addition, it turns out that all non-clinical methods of IBD treatment, such as a healthy lifestyle, balancing the microbiome, and a qualitative approach to health, are largely based on the selection of the specific nutrition. Besides, in order to make dietary benefits really noticeable, every diet as a functional method should be separated on clearly defined phases. Here are the most proven sequence of phases that shapes the diet as a tool to overcome bowel diseases.

Phase One

On the first phase, you should use soft, well-cooked or cooked then pureed foods excluding internal seeds from fruits and vegetables.

Products to include:

● Butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, pureed vegetables
● Banana, papaya, avocado, unsweetened juices
● Olive, canola, flax, hemp, walnut, or coconut oil
● All fish without bones, turkey and ground beef, chicken, eggs
● Stevia, maple syrup, local honey
● Individual seeds (not from casual veggies and fruits): ground flax or chia seeds

Phase Two

The second phase includes the use of soft textures such as well-cooked or pureed foods, tender foods, no seeds also.

Products to include:
● Carrot, zucchini, eggplant, pea, snow pea, spaghetti, squash, green bean, arugula
● Seedless watermelon, mango, variety of melons, cooked peach, plum, pear
● Almond, peanut or soy flour, sesame, sunflower, walnut oil, pureed nuts
● Scallop
● Lemon and lime juice, unflavored gelatin
● Well-cooked oatmeal and steel-cut oats

Phase Three

The third phase depends on product tolerance and, if possible, allows to choose soft greens and may need to avoid stems.

Products to include:
● Butter lettuce, baby spinach, peeled cucumber, bok choy, collard green, sweet pepper, kale, a fennel bulb
● Variety of berries, apricot, coconut, lemon, lime, kiwi, pomegranate, passion fruit
● Whole nuts, soybean, bean flour, nut butter, well-cooked and pureed legumes
● Lean cuts of beef, lamb, duck
● Light mayonnaise, vinegar
● Well-cooked oatmeal and steel-cut oats

Phase Four

The fourth phase takes place in case of remission without limiting other products but by maintaining the use of specifically selected.

Products to include:
● Artichoke, asparagus, tomato, lettuce, brassica vegetables, beet, pickle, celery, hot pepper, reddish
● Grape, grapefruit, orange, fig, apple (better cooked), pineapple, prune
● Whole legumes
● Shrimps, prawn, lobster
● Sugar-free ketchup or hot sauce

All these phases have proved themselves among diversified focus groups. However, each human body has a different predisposition for the time frames of each phase, and therefore, any diet and timing should be selected individually by a certified nutritional specialist.

Click HERE to get individual assistance from a functional nutritionist regarding the best-suited diet exceptionally for you.

A lesson to Learn, Diet to Deal

Experts are beginning to be increasingly inclined to the importance of diet along with clinical methods of treatment. Long-life philosophy of “if it burns, don’t touch it”, for modern functional nutrition could be transcripted as “if it bloat, don’t eat it”. Most of the clinical symptoms are actually manageable. Lifestyle, quality of life, taking care of yourself, instant recognition and response to emerging health concerns all of these are common and quite realizable means of overcoming the Inflammatory Bowel Disease without pharmacological intervention.

Without a doubt, all these methods include a proper nutrition. After all, it is better to learn from the best practices proven by the latest research and to deal a diet, so that the treatment will seem just a lingering meal with serving of more and more newest garnishes and dishes.

An anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report. Accessed from:
Dietary Factors in the Modulation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity. Accessed from:
Diet and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Accessed from:

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