What Can I Eat With Colitis?

Updated April 17, 2017

A common question asked by anyone that is diagnosed with ulcerative colitis is "Is there a special diet that I can go on to lesson the severity of or completely remove my symptoms?" If you are wondering if there is a diet that will cure ulcerative colitis, the answer, unfortunately, is no. However, a healthy diet that is tailored to your personal needs can be beneficial in managing colitis symptoms.

Pay Attention to Your Heart

A good barometer to use to determine if something you're eating is good for your colon is asking yourself: "Is this good for my heart?" Foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fats have a negative impact on our hearts and overall health. The same is true when you are considering your dietary needs in regard to colitis. Add lean proteins to your diet, like fish and poultry, and remove fatty foods like pizza and crisps.

Alcohol Consumption

Anyone who has ulcerative colitis and goes out for a night of heavy drinking can tell you that the recovery process the following day is worse than any hangover you could have remembered prior to being diagnosed. Symptoms obviously vary, but as a general rule, consuming alcohol will have a negative effect on colitis. If you are currently in remission it can cause a flare up and if you are not in remission than it will worsen your current symptoms. Gauge how your body responds when you drink to determine which amount is right for you. A couple of glasses of wine shouldn't be an issue, a bottle of wine most likely will.


While lactose intolerance is not caused by ulcerative colitis, it is common to have issues with rich dairy products. Cheese pizza, that glass of whole milk, Philly cheese steak--these items can reek havoc on your colitis. Again, the best test patient for your case of colitis is you. If you find that you have a moderate to severe issue with dairy products, then you will have to limit your intake accordingly. Just remember that there are essential nutrients in dairy and if you are going to seriously limit the amount of dairy you consume, invest in some suppliants.

It's All About Texture

Colitis is essentially ulcers in the rectum and colon. Ulcers are open sores, so that handful of peanuts you are about to ingest might not be the best idea. Many individuals with colitis have difficulty digesting rough foods. These can include raw vegetables. Since vegetables are crucial to a well balanced diet, cook them to see if this alleviates any of the symptoms. Otherwise, find a good multivitamin that will replace any of the nutrients that you are at a risk of losing from consuming either a limited amount or no vegetables during the day.


If you are experiencing a flare-up related to a certain item of food or drink, cut that item out of your diet until you are able to get your ulcerative colitis back under control. Remember that due to your colitis you are at risk of malnutrition, anaemia, and dehydration. Keeping a careful eye on your food intake according to a well balanced diet is important to healthy living. Ask your physician what supplements you should take, if any, and if you should visit a dietary specialist to ensure that you are eating healthy and staying strong.

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About the Author

Evan Em is a freelance copywriter, creative nonfiction author and financial services communications specialist. Writing professionally since 1999, Em has provided print and online copy for Starbucks, Nolan Helmets, CalNational Bank and TCF Bank. He studied English at Columbia College Chicago.