6 Tips for Limiting Fiber With Crohn's Disease

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Geoffrey Zakarian

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geoffrey zakarian

Fiber plays an important role in your good health. With Crohn's disease, though, it's easy to have too much of a good thing.

One type of fiber—called soluble fiber because it dissolves in water—can actually help reduce symptoms. But the other type, called insoluble fiber, can worsen intestinal problems when your Crohn's is active.

Good news: A few simple steps in the kitchen can help you eat a diet lower in insoluble fiber. Here's how to cut back, especially during a flare.

1. Skip the seeds.

Seeds can be particularly difficult to digest. Remove seeds from fruits and vegetables before cooking and eating them. And steer clear of seeds as snacks—that includes popcorn.

Many people with Crohn’s disease find it hard to get their veggies. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has the solution: cucumber gazpacho that’s easy on your gut, chock-full of nutrients, and totally delicious.

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

2017 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.

2. Switch out your grains.

Normally, health experts recommend eating more whole grains. That's because they contain the entire grain kernel, and therefore more nutrients. But when you're in the middle of a flare, eating refined grains eases digestion. Choose white, sourdough, or potato bread instead of whole wheat or rye.

3. Take your nuts buttered.

Like seeds, whole nuts can trigger problems. Instead, choose smooth nut butters, such as almond, cashew, or peanut butter. Paired with simple crackers or toast, they make a tasty snack.

4. Dig out the peeler.

The tough skin of some fruits and vegetables is made of insoluble fiber. Peel fruits like apples and vegetables like cucumbers and potatoes.

5. Get cooking.

Raw vegetables—especially green, leafy ones—contain more insoluble fiber. Instead of eating salads, get your veggies in cooked form. Try a flavorful soup made with vegetable stock. Or steam potatoes or asparagus until they're very soft. This cooking method preserves more nutrients than boiling, while still breaking down insoluble fiber.

6. Avoid eating beans.

Choose other lean sources of protein instead. Think fish, poultry, or red meat with the fat trimmed.

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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

Diet, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/diet-nutrition-2013.pdf.
Crohn's Disease and Diet. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 
http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/digestive-health/crohns-disease-and-diet.

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