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Dietary strategies for IBD: Paleo Diet

Food-Based Approaches, Membership

Quality Rating

Criteria for starring system: 

  • Incorporates appropriate microbiome strategies
  • Incorporates appropriate gut healing strategies 
  • Inflammation reduction is a priority
  • Long-term symptom reduction
  • Easily implemented
  • Reduces disordered eating patterns

Caveat for starring system: This system is our opinion based on the available research at this time. We reserve the right to modify our recommendations as new literature is published and we learn more about the complexities of IBD. Review our recommendations with an appropriate amount of discretion and understand that oftentimes there is not a one size fits all approach for every situation.

Paleo: half star

Overview: The Paleo diet restricts processed foods and encourages scratch cooking with seasonal organic produce. The intention is to eat in the way that our ancestors would by living off the land with the underlying rationale being that our digestive system is poorly evolved to modern agricultural practices and processing. 

  • Very limited studies in IBD
  • Paleo excludes: Grains (even GF versions), sugars (natural and artificial), vegetable oils, dairy, beans, legumes, factory farmed meat, eggs, and seafood, refined salt, and potatoes.   
  • Difficult to access, afford, and sustain for many people. Eliminates several SCFA producing fiber sources advantageous for someone with IBD such as beans, legumes, whole grains, and potatoes. Elimination of these foods would also be unhelpful for someone trying to regain lost weight from malnutrition.
  • Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4021001/

Meets criteria for: 

  • Encourages whole foods made at home 

Does not meet criteria for: 

  • Incorporates appropriate microbiome strategies
  • Incorporates appropriate gut healing strategies
  • Long-term symptom reduction 
  • Inflammation reduction is a priority
  • Easily implemented
  • Reduces disordered eating patterns