Top 5 Foods to Avoid for your Ulcerative Colitis Diet

Based on my experience with colitis, I've found some foods that have worked and others that just don't sit well. Here's a run down of the foods that I removed from my diet because I believe they slowed my healing process. Maybe this list of foods to avoid can guide you too. 

Top 5 Foods to Avoid for Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Avoid heavy masalas/spices in your diet to reduce that burn feeling

    I always noticed that after we had foods with heavy spicing/seasoning, my stomach would be fiercely upset the next day. Coming from an Indian background, my diet was heavy in masalas. In our everyday cuisine, you could find heavy use of such spices as chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, to name a few. Something in these spices creates a lot of heat energy that just doesn’t sit well in us ulcerative colitis sufferers.

    Of those spices, I would recommend that you look in to turmeric for its beneficial properties. In fact, India and the United States have fought over a patent to using turmeric for its healing powers. The spice is said to have inflammation reducing properties that can be used in a variety of diseases. Lo and behold, ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, so turmeric might be a perfect match.

  2. Eliminate nuts in your diet

    I always loved peanuts. They just taste so good. But I noticed that every time I ate nuts, I felt sicker the next day. I can imagine the nuts, even in their digested form, would not be gentle on the colon.

  3. Reduce milk to curb bloating and gas

    This was one that took me a while to figure out. As a kid, I used to drink milk all the time. When I developed colitis, I could no longer drink milk without having to battle a major bloating session afterwards. I no longer wished to drink milk because of the gassy aftermath I knew was to follow.

    That’s when I tried lactose free milk. For me, drinking lactose-free milk tastes the exact same as regular milk, but it doesn’t come packaged with the bloating and nasty afterwards of regular milk. The only downside is that lactose free milk is significantly more expensive ($3.99 for a half gallon here in downtown Chicago) and not as readily available. You may also try soy milk or rice milk, although their tastes significantly differ from milk (at least for me.)

  4. Minimize refined sugars in your diet to help overall

    Okay, this one was scary for me. When I first was diagnosed, I started reading on the Internet for foods to avoid. Almost unanimously across various sources, I read that refined sugars may trigger colitis symptoms in some people. Great, so I’m supposed to eliminate sugars from my diet. Thing is, sugar is in EVERYTHING. The sites told me what to avoid, but they left me to fend for myself when it came to alternatives.

    That’s where I can help you. Refined sugars are found in processed cereals, sweets, cereal bars, table sugar, and virtually everything we eat nowadays. However, if you take honey and use that as a sweetener instead, it is far healthier. In fact, according to, “Some nutrition experts say honey, unlike table sugar, contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals and that honey can aid in digestion.” That’s great news for us colitis people.

  5. ???

    Yeah, I know, that’s cheating. But hey, I do have a point here: find out what foods don’t work for you. Everyone’s case is different. Always give a food a try and see what happens. Remember to keep other things constant so you can track the effect of a food on your health. This extends to maintaining sleep and stress levels as well while your experimenting. Here’s how I do it:

  • Record my health status at the beginning of the week

  • Decide which food I’m going to add to my diet for that week (NOTE: Only if I’m in a steady or improving health state)

  • Keep all other factors constant for that week (sleeping schedule, exercise schedule, other foods, time of food/medication intake, etc.)

  • Introduce the new food in the middle of the week and record the daily status of your health

  • If you notice no change, then you can assume that the new food has no effect on your health

  • When a food does not sit well, you know to avoid it in the future. You can try the experiment with the same food item at a later date, but for now, it didn’t pass the test because it made you colitis symptoms worse

    Also, I'd recommend you look into natural healing alternatives that can supplement a good diet. CC Compound helped me, maybe it can help you too. You can learn more about that by clicking here.

  • Sometimes, I’ll find a food that actually makes me feel better the next day. But more on that in my next blog post, which will be about the top 5 colitis friendly foods you may not have tried, but are bound to love.