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A healthy balanced diet can be a challenge for people with IBD, especially when the disease is active, due to factors such as poor appetite and impaired nutrient absorption. To meet your nutritional requirements, you should eat a wide variety of foods, incorporating all food groups.

  • The role of nutritional therapy in IBD primarily focuses on improving and normalizing the nutritional status of people with IBD
  • Nutritional status of people with IBD, particular those with Crohn's disease, is significantly compromised. Malnutrition occurs is approximately 65-80% of people with Crohn’s disease and 18-62% of people with ulcerative colitis
  • Several factors can lead to malnutrition such as inadequate intake, strict diet regimes, malabsorption due to active disease, bowel resection or bypass surgery, increased losses due to diarrhoea and drug interactions
  • There are no specific diets recommended for people with IBD, however a healthy balanced diet with adequate energy and protein is important to maintain nutritional status. Maintenance of a healthy weight in adults and normal growth and development in children is important

Many people with IBD receive conflicting dietary advice, it is important not to believe everything that you see on the internet or that friends and family tell you.

  • Over restrictive diets that remove whole food groups are not recommended
  • There is no evidence that IBD is caused by food allergies or intolerances
  • If your disease is active, you may be advised to remove certain nutrients from your diet to assist with symptom control.
  • Please discuss this with your dietitian or doctor if you are considering cutting out any foods.

IBD Nutrition


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBSclinic.org.au for individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Gastroparesisclinic.org for individuals with Gastroparesis


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

© 2014 Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS number 00111D