What to Eat with IBD: A Comprehensive Nutrition and Recipe Guide for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Tracie Dalessandro, MS RD CDN
CMG Publishing, ©2006
To say I struggle with nutrition is an understatement. I have had Crohn's disease for 16 years, and I've had an ileostomy for 13. Either alone makes eating challenging; both together can make it overwhelmingly frustrating. When you finally find things you can eat without getting sick, those things usually aren't the most nutritious foods.
Dalessandro, a registered dietitian, understands my frustration. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis then Crohn's disease, she began researching foods that, as they're labeled in the book, hurt and heal. She also researched nutritional problems often associated with IBD and how they could be addressed.
"I realized the power of using diet in conjunction with traditional medicine to control my illness, rather than allowing it to control me. Nutrition became the link between feeling sick and feeling well."
In the chapter on healing and hurting foods, not only does she list foods in each category, she explains the rationale behind it. Soluble fiber good, insoluble fiber not good. Asparagus good, green beans (well, all beans) not good. Lean, complete proteins good, hot dogs bad (still crying about that one). In another chapter, she outlines the typical nutritional deficiencies faced by those with IBD and suggests supplementation to address them. She even recommends her favorite vitamins.
The best part of the book? Over half the book is comprised of IBD-friendly recipes. I can personally recommend the Roasted Asparagus on page 127, and the Pumpkin Spice Muffins on page 66 are on my list to try. Each recipe includes notes on its nutritional pluses.
After eating little more than chicken and mashed potatoes for two months, I've found this book to be a life saver. I've successfully added some of the recommended foods to my diet (soft oatmeal bread, asparagus, and spinach) and began avoiding foods I thought were okay (green beans, sadly). Not only is my tummy happier, but so am I. I've also learned new things about how Crohn's affects my nutrition, and I'm planning to add more supplements to my daily routine.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with IBD or anyone who plans meals for someone with IBD. It's hard to be a foodie with IBD, but the things I've learned from Dalessandro's book makes me think there's hope for me yet :)
Update 8/26: One thing I forgot to mention. In her chapter on supplements, Dalessandro mentions omega 3 fatty acids. Since the publication of this book, a study has shown that omega 3 fatty acids have no benefit in Crohn's disease.