Living with ulcerative colitis (UC) can be a challenge at times for many reasons. Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that predominantly affects the colon, also known as the large intestine, which can make it difficult to find snacks for ulcerative colitis.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it is estimated that roughly 600,000-900,000 people in the United States have UC.
What we currently know about IBD is that incorporating both medication and nutrition together are important for optimal outcomes. One of the most difficult decisions that people with IBD have is what to eat.
It is common for IBD patients to avoid high fibrous foods due to fear of worsening their symptoms and/or consuming a trigger food.
Finding the right foods to eat, especially snacks, can be helpful for patients with UC to not only help meet their nutritional needs but to feel comfortable in what they choose. Fiber is an important nutrient for UC and Crohn’s disease patients to consume since research has shown it being beneficial for the gut microbiota.
For patients with microscopic colitis, another type of IBD, it is also important to focus on certain fibrous sources since this can also play a role in symptom management. It can be helpful and a great idea to discuss your snack recommendations and options with your IBD-focused dietitian.
In today’s blog post we are sharing a round-up of snacks for ulcerative colitis that are nutritious and easy to digest! Consider looking into other colitis friendly foods for more options!
10 Snacks for Ulcerative Colitis
Hummus and Crackers
This is a good go-to snack for those who want something quick and easy to prepare. The typical serving size of hummus is around 2 tablespoons and can be both a delicious and nutritious snack since both foods contain a decent amount of nutrients.
Hummus, for example, contains protein and certain minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, B-vitamins. It also contains certain antioxidants like vitamin E, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Hummus also has fiber making it a nutritious snack for the digestive system and has a smooth consistency that is well-tolerated for those with IBD. Some of our favorite gluten free crackers to pair with hummus include Simple Mills crackers, and Hu Crackers.
You can also consider whole-wheat pita chips (if not celiac or have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity).
Whole wheat toast and peanut butter
This is another great go-to snack if you need to prepare something quick. The typical serving size for peanut butter or almond butter is 2 tablespoons and 1 slice for whole-wheat toast.
Nutrients found in peanut butter is protein with roughly 8 grams per serving along with other nutrients including calcium, iron, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B6, Magnesium, and healthy fats. Including 1 slice of whole-wheat toast can boost your protein intake and fiber content.
Other nutrients found in whole-wheat toast include iron, potassium, phosphorus, and B-vitamins. Quick tip: consider smooth nut butter to make it more tolerable for your digestive system.
Yogurt and Fruit
If you’re someone who feels better with dairy-free or lactose-free yogurt, then consider Kite Hill’s soy Greek yogurt for a boost of protein which has a whopping 17 grams of protein per serving (⅔ cup). Paring your yogurt with tolerable fruit like banana can include other anti-inflammatory nutrients like fiber, potassium, and antioxidants like vitamin C.
Orgain plant-based protein shakes and other nutritional shakes
This is a great option if you need a grab-and-go snack option. Orgain protein shakes are packed with nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. OWYN is another great nutritional shake that is plant-based and packed with nutrients.
For more information (and a discount!) check out our 5 Best Protein Powders for IBD.
GoMacro mini bars
This is another great grab-and-go bar that can be both delicious and satisfying. We recommend the mini bars since they have a lower sugar content.
Because GoMacro minis are used for quick energy, there will be lower amounts of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. GoMacro peanut butter mini contains protein (4 grams) and smaller amounts of fiber and potassium.
Optional: pair this bar with fruit for a boost of nutrient intake
Oatmeal can be a great snack option. In fact, oatmeal is both a satiating and nutritious snack alternative. A typical serving of oatmeal (~½ cup) contains many nutrients including fiber (~5 grams), protein (~6 grams), and micronutrients like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Optional: Consider sprinkling cinnamon to your own liking for additional taste.
This can be a great snack option if you enjoy smoothies. Make it to your own liking and what’s tolerable for you.
An easy smoothie recipe can include oats, ½ banana, 2 tablespoons of smooth nut butter, 2-3 strawberries, and almond milk as needed for blending.
Most of these ingredients have good sources of soluble fiber, antioxidants, potassium, iron, calcium, and healthy fats.
Optional: You may want to add on to your smoothie if you feel your IBD is in a stable place.
Chips and Guacamole
This delicious snack can be made to your own liking and can be made without it being a spicy food. If you feel better with avocado only, then that can also work!
Avocados are very nutritious since they are high in healthy fats (unsaturated fats), fiber, potassium, vitamin C, B-vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, and others.
Optional: Consider pairing your guacamole or avocado with chips like Siete or other chips that use avocado oil or olive oil instead of canola or other oils.
Edamame and Nuts
This protein-rich snack can be another great option to have. In just 1 cup of edamame, there is roughly 18 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.
Edamame is also a good source of numerous nutrients including magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, selenium, potassium, manganese, B-vitamins, vitamin C, choline, vitamin A, vitamin K, and healthy fat sources. A typical serving size of edamame is roughly ½ cup.
Optional: Add nuts (~¼ cup) if well-tolerated to this snack to make it more satiating.
Sliced Veggies and Dairy-free cheese
This fiber-rich snack is great if you are tolerating veggies well. You may also consider softening your veggies by cooking them and/or peeling them if you prefer.
Pair your vegetables(s) with dairy-free cheese dip like Tree Line to complete your snack. Vegetables are a great source of fiber and contain a wide-variety of vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, and so forth.
Remember to always discuss your health concerns with your team so that they can provide you with individualized treatment and recommendations.
There are other snacks for ulcerative colitis that can be helpful for some like boiled eggs and cheese for those who are not lactose-intolerant and tolerate these foods well. While these foods are okay to consume in moderation, they are not foods that we generally recommend having often.
If you have any questions or concerns, comment below or send us a message!