The holidays pose all kinds of challenges for eating healthy, but also pose major challenges for those out there with Crohn’s Disease. Patients with Crohn’s Disease are very sensitive to fatty and high fiber foods. Crohn's sufferers generally tolerate lower fiber foods much better, along with lower fat foods. It can be hard to eat just anything during the holidays for people with eating restrictions, like Crohn’s. Just one slip up can cause pain, inflammation of the bowel, and even possible damage. There are some safe holiday foods you can enjoy if you do suffer from Crohn’s though. Here’s 7 great foods to enjoy that shouldn’t upset you at all, so you can enjoy your holiday with family and friends and forget about your Crohn’s for once.
1. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes may not be a low calorie option when traditionally prepared, but if made with skim milk and a healthy alternative to butter, anyone with Crohn’s Disease could enjoy them. Make sure the skins are removed since they contain much of the fiber in potatoes. If you need to, prepare your own dish to offer to bring, and make a batch of healthy mashed potatoes. They’ll be digested quite easily, and no one will ask why you offered to bring a dish, and will most likely appreciate the offer.
White turkey breast is the perfect holiday food for anyone who has Crohn’s Disease. Avoid the fatty pork and ham dishes like sausages, brisket, or the holiday ham your granny makes each year, because turkey is the perfect choice. Turkey is low in fat, and the breast meat is the leanest option, so be sure to snag some of that before it gets gone. Just make sure that turkey’s roasted, not fried!
3. Green Beans
Most people with Crohn’s do not tolerate beans, or raw veggies at all. Yet, one dish that’s usually well tolerated are well cooked green beans. If they’re cooked in oil, drain yours really well with a spoon first, and if you’re preparing your own, just steam them really well in some lemon juice, black pepper and salt for a great flavor that’s much better tolerated. Just forego that green bean casserole since it’s high in fat and fiber, which will upset your stomach pretty quickly.
Plain pumpkin, roasted or baked, is great for people with Crohn’s. Even though it is high in fiber, it is a form of fiber known as soluble fiber that is better tolerated than insoluble fiber from nuts and seeds. Those are quite healthy still, but not great for someone with Crohn’s. If you’re sensitive to dairy, be sure you forego the pumpkin pie though. It usually contains dairy, but if it’s made dairy-free, feel free to have a slice.
5. Apple Pie
Apple pie is also usually well tolerated by people with Crohn’s, due to it’s lower fiber content that only comes from soluble fiber. Though it’s not the healthiest option, it shouldn’t upset your Crohns, unless made with a lot of fat.
6. Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is very low in fat and fiber, which make it a great choice for both diabetics and someone with Crohn’s Disease. It is high in sugar, but if you’re going to indulge, be sure to indulge in something that won’t cause pain. As a nutritionist though, I will say, I’d go with the pumpkin for a healthier option!
7. Apple Cider
Choose apple cider (not hard cider) over wine if you can. It will still give you a warming sensation, much like wine, but since it’s alcohol free, it won’t cause GI irritation like alcohol will. I know it’s not the same, but remember, if you’re in pain, it won’t matter how much you enjoyed it!
Remember, fat and fiber are the two things you want to avoid more than anything. Other than that, you should be okay as long as you avoid those two main GI irritants. If you have Crohn’s Disease, what holiday foods are usually safe for you to enjoy?