The Mediterranean diet may help your Crohn's

The Mediterranean diet may help your Crohn's

Is the Mediterranean diet right for you?


Stan Cohen

The Mediterranean diet is getting lots of attention for good reason, including its ability to help some patients with Crohn's disease. Some studies have shown evidence that the Mediterranean diet could help to push Crohn's into remission. One of these studies found that 30% of those with Crohn's disease (crohnies) on this diet saw improvements in their symptoms: pain levels, fatigue, and tiredness. (JD Lewis and others, Gastroenterology )

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet isn't all that different from the usually recommended USDA dietary guidelines. The differences are that the Mediterranean diet advises that all grains are whole grains and that proteins coming from red and white meat should be eaten less frequently. Additionally, the diet also recommends cutting down sugar and saturated fat, which are usually high in the typical American diet. Out of 35 diets that were ranked, the US News and World Reports had the Mediterranean Diet at the top of the list in large part due to its nutritional balance and how easy it is to follow. 

What's in the Mediterranean Diet?

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Olive oil 
  • Fish


  • Red Wine
  • White meat


  • Dairy
  • Red meat
  • Eggs

While it's okay to eat red meats and dairy occasionally, think about eating more fish and other proteins as an alternative. Try eating fish at least two times a week and making sure most meals include fruits, vegetables, and/or grains. For example, the Italians love pasta and the other Mediterranean areas love rice. Both are better for you if they are whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. They are even better with some veggies mixed in.

The diet can also be beneficial to your family due to its nutritional balance and the various foods that are included. Healthy fats and fibers are also filling so mealtime should be enough to keep you and your family from snacking throughout the day. Generally, fish, nuts, and olive oil can be somewhat pricey. You can bring down these costs using frozen fruits and vegetables. Also, this diet isn't always available at fast-food restaurants so it could require more cooking which can be used as an opportunity to cook dinner with the family.

While changing your diet can help with symptoms, exercising and a healthy attitude can be important steps in controlling your symptoms.

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