Better with IBD: Nutrition

Habit 36: IBD diets: More same than different

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ is predicated on the understanding that Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and gluten therapy resistant Celiac are the consequence of an overgrowth and imbalance of intestinal microbial flora. By altering the nutrition we take in, we can affect the constitution of our intestinal flora, and bring it back into balance, healing our digestive tracts and restoring proper absorption. More info and links found in Resource section [7]



A dietary approach to eat the way we did as cavemen and cavewomen. Acceptable foods on the Paleo diet are fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts & seeds, and healthy fats. Foods to avoid are dairy, grains, processed food & sugar, legumes, starches, and alcohol. More info and links found in Resource section [8]


Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Not a diet in the popular sense – it is not intended as a weight-loss program or to be followed for a limited time. Rather it is a way of selecting and preparing anti-inflammatory foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health. General tips include 1) aim for variety 2) include as much fresh food as possible 3) minimize consumption of processed and fast food 4) eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. More info and links found in Resource section [9]



The term FODMAP is an acronym from “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. FODMAPs are sugars that are found in certain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols. Although FODMAPs are naturally present in food and the human diet, FODMAP restriction has been found to improve symptom control in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID). More info and links found in Resource section [10]


Mediterranean Diet

This diet is traditional in Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts, beans, legumes, low fat dairy, herbs and spices.  Meats, sweets and wine are allowed but only in small amounts. It has been researched for its effectiveness of managing IBD symptoms. More info and links found in Resource section [11]

Find helpful recipes in the Resources section of this book.

Try this:

Review the above dietary approaches in greater depth with the focus on finding the principles and similarities they all share. Hint, each one promotes selecting the healthiest, least processed version of foods available.