I have diabetes and Chrohn's disease; any ideas on a diet that can work for both?
Actually, a “diet” for Crohn’s and a diet for diabetes can be quite similar in that both generally recommend eating three meals and two or three snacks each day. In terms of your Crohn’s, you likely will find out, if you haven’t already, which foods you can and cannot tolerate, based on symptoms or flare-ups. In general, foods to either limit or avoid for Crohn’s include alcoholic beverages, fatty and fried foods, carbonated beverages, milk (if you’re lactose intolerant), gas-forming foods (such as beans, lentils, cabbage, broccoli), spicy foods, raw vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Of course, everyone is different, so it may require some trial and error to learn what your body can tolerate. If you are having issues with cramping, pain, or diarrhea, sometimes a low residue diet is recommended. This means avoiding foods high in fiber (such as bran cereals and whole grain bread), vegetables, nuts, seeds and raw fruit. You may be able to resume eating these foods once your symptoms improve. In terms of your diabetes, what’s helpful is to aim to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at your meals and snacks each day. Carbohydrate is found in bread, pasta, cereal, rice, fruits, milk, yogurt and desserts. Your “carb choices” may consist of white bread, white rice and applesauce, for example, if you have a flare-up of your Crohn’s. But on days when you are feeling well, you may be able to eat more fruits and vegetables. Keeping a food diary is helpful, both for your Crohn’s and your diabetes, as you’ll quickly learn how foods affect you. But given the challenges of having these two conditions, I’d encourage you to meet with a dietitian who can help you with a more specific eating plan, tailored to your needs. Ask your doctor for a referral.