Getting the Right Fats With Crohn's Disease

By

Geoffrey Zakarian

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A healthy, balanced diet includes protein, carbohydrates and fats. But when you have Crohn's disease, your body sometimes has trouble absorbing fat.

That's all the more reason to prioritize your fats. You see, some fats are better for your health than others. Fats are necessary in your diet to help your body absorb certain nutrients, but some of them increase your risk of heart disease. When you step into the kitchen, it's a good idea to reach for the "good" fats first—and leave some of the others in the pantry (or better yet, on the supermarket shelf). Let's meet them all.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are better known as "good fats." You'll find them in fish like trout and salmon; in soybean, canola, olive, safflower and corn oils; and in nuts like walnuts, almonds and peanuts. Not only do these fats help your body absorb vital nutrients, they're also amazingly delicious.

Low fat doesn’t have to mean low flavor! Chef Geoffrey Zakarian shows us how to put together a turkey burger that’s Crohn’s-friendly and still full of flavor.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 15, 2016

2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

Get creative with them—for instance, broil or steam a salmon filet with chili powder and a squeeze of lime. Or spread smooth almond butter instead of peanut butter on your sandwich. Note that sometimes whole nuts and seeds can aggravate your symptoms, so experiment with different preparations and see what works best for you. It's what any good chef would do.

Saturated fats are found in animal products, including butter, cream, and fatty cuts of meat. When you're reducing fats in your diet, it makes sense to limit these, since they're linked to heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Trans fats raise your "bad" cholesterol and lower your "good" cholesterol. They're the worst fats of all for your health, and many health experts advise steering clear of them whenever possible. Some states have even gone so far as to ban them from restaurants.

You'll find these dietary villains in many fried foods, convenient snacks, packaged baked goods like cake and cookies, frozen pizza, and ready-to-use frosting. Notice something else about this list? These are things that taste much better homemade, anyway—yet another reason to try your hand at home cooking.

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Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Mar 11, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Diet, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/diet-nutrition-2013.pdf);
  2. Eating the Right Foods, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.ccfa.org/resources/eating-the-right-foods.html);
  3. Dietary Fat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/index.html);
  4. Saturated Fat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/saturatedfat.html);
  5. Trans Fat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/transfat.html);
  6. Polyunsaturated Fats and Monounsaturated Fats, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/unsaturatedfat.html);
  7. Eat seafood twice a week, United States Department of Agriculture, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet15EatSeafood.pdf);
  8. Crohn's Disease and Diet, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accessed March 10, 2014 (http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442478050);

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