We are so excited to bring you our first HealthCentral Cooking Club! If you have ulcerative colitis or other forms of inflammatory bowel disease, you know that figuring out what you can and can't eat isn't always easy. In fact, it takes careful food logging (there's no way around it) and ideally working with a registered dietitian to figure out the healthiest possible eating plan that also helps keep your flares to a minimum.
Because here's thing about ulcerative colitis: There's no such thing as a universal UC diet. There's not even a single list of foods that everyone with the condition should avoid. That's because everyone's UC triggers are unique to them, which is exactly why it's so important that you put in the time to figure out yours.
However, this doesn't mean that there aren't some good guidelines to follow, and those are what we used when developing the recipes here. Each category includes several dishes that are UC flare-friendly (look for the stickers on the photos). For those, we took special care to include ingredients that are low-FODMAP, a.k.a. low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These insanely named compounds are difficult-to-digest carbohydrates that can fuel gas production. That's the last thing you need when your UC is acting up.
The rest of time—which is hopefully most of the time—when you're in remission? Doctors recommend people with UC eat a plant-based Mediterranean diet, which is basically their advice for everyone. And that's exactly what you'll find reflected in the rest of the recipes (no stickers!).
Remember, it's definitely possible you'll find an ingredient somewhere that you know you need to avoid because #everyoneisdifferent. If you see something new you'd like to try and aren't sure how your bod might react, run it by your R.D. or doctor. Our goal with all of this? To help you find joy in eating and cooking, and sometimes the super-fun part comes with riffing and making a dish your own. And, hey, we want to see what you make! Share your irresistible food photos with us on Insta (@healthcentraldotcom) and tag #HCcookingclub. Happy eating!