Eating Salad with Colitis

Have you ever wondered if it’s OK to eat salad when you have ulcerative colitis?

I think everyone asks themselves this question.   I sure did.  For me, salad is a big part of my weekly diet, and yes, I’ve got UC and a colon.(and a colon that knows how to take hard normal craps too, and a colon that is medication free since Oct. 2009)  Of course I think diet is important for controling my UC.  For you, things may be different, but things may also be the same.

Back in the 2008-2009 days when I was trying to find a way to kick the bleeding and endless toilet runs, I was pretty sure that “roughage” and thinkgs like raw veggies and salad were bad for my body, or at least “hard to digest”.  This is what I had heard from the medical system and I listened to that theory.  Back in the days of the blood flying out and landing in the toilet or some days just dripping, I hardly ever ate anything green, probably more like never at all.  Those were the days of bread, rice, gatorade, and weekly blood tests at the local medical clinic.  Those were the days of watching like a hawk my blood test results, popping the prednisone on a Swiss clock schedule, going to get refills of prescriptions from Walgreens drug store all the time etc… And of course, days of no salads.

I like salads.  I hate Ulcerative Colitis.  That’s pretty simple right…

So, in trying to figure out the transition to eating no salads to eating them 3-4 to 5-6 times per week, I am trying to remember how it went.   As you may know from reading other posts, I started a radically new Specific Carbohydrate Based diet
on August 11, 2009.  I don’t think I jumped right into salads every day, but for sure within a few weeks, I was eating salads whenever I felt like it.  Why…?  Because my body was liking the salads.  My body wasn’t saying “No don’t eat salad, its causing your bloody stools”.  It was saying the exact opposite.  So, that is my salad story.

It’s probably not the best idea to think that if you start eating ONLY salads, you will get your UC under control and living symptoms free like me, but I personally think that would be a MUCH better idea than jumping head over heels into a massive year long run with the salads the drug companies are feeding everyone.  I’ll be grabbing a bowl of nasty brussel sprouts before grabing a jar of prednisone anyday.

Lastly, if you are anything like me and like red meat and chicken and stuff like that, a nice salad like the one in the video is a great thing to throw those types of proteins into as well.

If you have any strong or mild opinions on salad for UC patients(whether with or without a colon/ in a agreement or not at all with this post) please post them in the comments below, the UC world would be most grateful.

real happy

26 thoughts on “Eating Salad with Colitis”

  1. Wow, that looks delicious! Must try it sometime. I’m lucky, in that what I eat doesn’t seem to affect my colitis, although I have avoided orange juice pretty much since I was diagnosed ten years ago. My husband doesn’t like processed foods, so we almost always cook healthily, and I’ve never really thought about it before, but maybe that’s why my colitis has been in remission most of the time. Any flare ups I have had tend to be stress related (although it’s unpredicatable – I’m a teacher, but the daily stresses of teaching don’t seem to affect me – it’s just unexpected anxieties I think!) Unfortunately I started a flare up last week, after two years without meds, which is why I’m looking up colitis websites at the moment and have found yours! Back on medication again, Pentasa this time, but I’m going to continue my normal eating pattern in the meantime. Which reminds me, I ought to go and get the dinner on …

  2. Hi Adam,
    Wonder if you can clear this up for me.
    In my legal and illegal foods. Fructose> illegal. Honey> legal.
    I have just been told honey has 55% fractose. I am using liquid honey as my sweetener.

  3. I have recently been pondering this exact question. I was dx with ulcerative proctitis in 1994 and after careful watch of a fantastic doctor I spent most of the years following in remission. Until a few years ago, when bad symptoms creapt back and I found myself runnng to the toilet several times a day. My Doctor had since moved away and I was tossed into the Canadian health care system and they continued to prescribe various meds but would never schedule a scope to see what was really going on. During these years a pretty bland diet, injected with moments of great food as cooking is my passion. But always eaten with caution. Finally this Feb I started 40mg tapering dose of prednisone, and as my symptoms improved I started eating salad…often. Now I am 12 days off the prednisone and wondering, was the salad helping? So many years spent avoiding it, but these past few weeks gut function was better than ever…and now it’s starting to slip again. Today was the worst day yet, and I immediately wanted to go to old habit of a bowl of plain pasta. Another part of me wonders whether salad would be better or whether it would wreak more havoc. In the end I may skip dinner altogether.

  4. Hi Adam,
    I am new to this website.. and am very excited on changing my lifestyle since my current diet and meds aren’t doing the trick. I have severe UC and have had a rough couple of months.. alongside with prednisone I have tried topically treating it as well with the use of enimas and suppositories. I have drastically cut so many delicious foods out of my diet. I am currently eating no greens, lots of soups, little potato, eggs and ground meat (which i have read is easier for system to digest). I use to eat salads daily before my diagnoses, which kind of lettuce do you find works for you?
    also, and recommendations on drinks you are able to enjoy?
    I do notice that the occasional caffeine whether it be in soda, tea or coffee almost immediately sends me running to the restroom.

    Hope you receive this message and look forward to hearing some positive feedback!


    1. Hey what’s up Kelly,

      I hope things turn around for you soon. I am currently down to 5mg/day of prednisone and soon going to be full on med free once again, so yep, a bit aprehensive, but excited none the less.

      Quick tip, I would cut out the potato completely if I was yuo. I used to eat potato but for about six months now have cut it out. I know its hard, but it can send you back several steps, and only a few people I know who have UC and treat UC with diet alone eat potato. These people have been on the SCD diet for a LONG time menaing several years and still only eat potato sparingly.

      As for salads, if you are still experiencing active colitis meaning bleeding and that type of stuff with very loose stools, you might want to consider waiting a while on the salad stuff to until you get the bleeding to go almost away.
      But finally to answer your question…: I eat all sorts of greens. Arugula, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, spinach etc.. I love it all and eat it all quite a bit. For salads, I throw in red onions, greeen onions, carrots, beats, cabbage(sometimes), cucumber, tomato. I sometimes put in a bit of walnuts, but not the candied walnuts that seem to be getting popular.

      As for salad dressings, lately, I go dry, and try to get maybe some olive oil and white vinegar only. Most of the other dressings that are typical have bad stuff in them that I just cant tolerate, so I avoid it all pretty good.
      Sodas I never drink, except maybe a half of a diet coke once a month if that..
      I am guilty of getting back on the coffee train, 95% of the time decaf coffee with only added honey, no milk or other sugars FOR SURE.
      I personally think the coffee is not a great idea for any of us, but that’s my own opinion, and I am fully addicted to it(unfortunately).
      Drinks I recommend: water, welch’s 100% grapejuice with 50% water, home made carrot juice, fresh squeezed orange juice in moderation after bleeding has stopped, and I make a crapload of smoothies, almost every morning actually. go to the bottom of the site and search “morning smoothie” and you’ll see the post I wrote on that.

      Best of luck to you, feel free to comment as often as you like, if its from a post I wrote, I’ll try to get back to you ASAP.


  5. Hey Adam,

    I hope you’re well.
    I was reading through your post, to be honest I was never told anything about avoiding salads so was kind of surprised about that! My bigger surprise was though that you mentioned that you were off your meds?? I ddn’t even think that was a possibility of people with UC?

    I’ve had UC for 10 years, mainly on Pentasa, but lets say if for a few days I just want to take a break from all the pill popping I automatically start feeling my colon falling apart!

    How were you able to kick the meds?



  6. My daughter has uc – it has been one year since diagnosis. She was in remission for at least 6 months but is now having a relapse (lots of stress). She takes asacol and steroid – she was on 6md (i think that is the name) it made 1/2 of her hair fall out. She is not on it anymore. I would love to get your book for her but I want an actual book – is it only a download? Also, am worried about her eating raw veggies especially carrots – they always giver her trouble. She had a little salad last night and paid for it today.


    1. Dear Joanne,

      I’m very sorry to hear about the tuff times your daughter has had, especially with the 6MP side effects. Some of the strange side effects are pretty incredible, and I hope she has gotten over that stuff.
      As for the book, it is only available in downloadable format, however many people print out the PDF files if they want to read the books in hard copy, and you’re free to do that too.

      Best of luck to you and your daughter,

      1. Adam,
        Thanks for your quick response. I hope I can get my daughter to look at your material. I think she just thinks that someday she will have the colon surgery and everything will be fine. I am not so crazy about surgery, especially when she could stay in remission if she took charge of what she eats. She likes salad, but doesn’t bother her not to have them. Does your book only have salads. She needs to be lactose free – she does behave most of the time.


    2. I was diagnosed with uc 3 yrs ago and found that lettuce and orange juice and anything spicey set me off…I was also with a Dr that I feel was useless for 1.5 yrs…she had me on liada and predisone which didn’t do anything for me but made me feel horrible…I changed Drs and he has me on sulphasalazine and I feel wonderful!!!! I have started eating spicey foods again with no problems but am still nervous about the oj and salad….maybe one day I will work up my nerve!!!

    3. Hey Adam,
      I tend to find I am ok to have salads if I am blood free too. I am on Lialda for 2 years now. When not flaring, I only take 1 pill, but upon flare they up me to two or four and throw in some hydrocortisone enemas to calm me back down. I was diagnosed ten years ago and diet controlled it for eight, in other words had no flares and for me I just had to be careful not to eat too many raw veggies or peppers (night shades tend to bother me, and peppers and tomatoes are among them). I find I do better with spinach or a darker leafier greens than iceberg lettuce. That usually doesn’t like me as much. But when I flare and have blood symptoms I try to go back to cooked veggies and only raw carrots as those tend to go down the easiest for me.

      1. Hi Sarah,

        Great to hear you’ve done so well for so many years! Great job. And, it great to know that you have a plan in place if symptoms do come back. Keep us posted on how you do and have a great rest of the week:)

    4. Hi Adam, My husband has suffered with severe UC for about 5 years. We are on the SCD diet and on stage 3, we want to start to bring in lettuce, cucumber and kale but we are not sure if we have to cook them. Thank you so much, Kelly

      1. Hi Kelly,
        I myself would only bring those items in if symptoms are under control and no bleeding. I myself don’t really go by stages as much as how symptoms are at any point in time when bringing new foods into the mix.

        Best of luck to you:)

    5. Hello Everybody,

      I am new to this and just finding out that I have UC. I didn’t know that I couldn’t eat potatoes. I know they told me no hard veggies, no salads, no dairy, no peanuts, no coffee or tea, but my favorite is potatoes. I am still having a hard enough time trying to not eat any salads at all and have been doing great!!! I do however, eat potatoes and will stop that now. I really want to do the right thing and go into remission from this disease. I have really enjoyed reading some of the stories and would love to hear more about what diet works. I am a firm believer in doing what I’m told when it comes to my health so I guess I better leave the sweets alone not that I eat them every day but I do have them when my sugar is low because I am a diabetic. I also, enjoy a glass of wine which my doctor told me that is ok for me to drink.. I haven’t bled in a while and really don’t have any major flair ups but every now and again I may have to go to the bathroom more than twice a day no more than 3 I would say. I don’t know if that is good or bad. Oh yea, my bowels are still loose and sometimes formed but I just pray that I will get it into remission and under control so that all is well.

      Best of luck to all of you guys!!

    6. Hello!
      My husband was recently diagnosed with UC and we are just starting our journey in helping him feel better and getting the help he needs. I am a firm believer in healing with healthy foods and exercise, so was glad to see that salads don’t need to be ruled out completely. Wondering, if the lettuce greens/spinach are included in a smoothie and blended would that make a difference in how the body reacts to them? Also, I’ve read recently that blending low-fat cottage cheese with flax seed oil helps the body better absorb the healthy properties of the flax seed oil. Has anyone heard of this or tried it? Organic raw apple cider vinegar is also supposed to be healthy for your gut and immune system, any thoughts on including this in a healthy diet?

      Thanks so much!!


      1. Hi Monica,
        THanks for sharing.

        I think salads are a great thing, I would hold off on salads while there is inflammation as they are often harder to digest when compared to cooked veggies. When symptoms are taken care of, they have always been a big part of my diet, and I eat salads at least once a day with meals for several years now since being diagnosed back in 2008, and many others do the same.

        I don’t personally eat low fat cottage cheese, but like all foods, giving things a try and seeing how the body reacts is a good test since we all react different to them.

        As for the apple cider vinegar, I’m a big believer in it. I use it for salad dressings, even bought a bottle of it the other day and have it sitting in the cabinet in the lunchroom at my work for when i bring home made salads (and extra virgin olive oil to..a great combo together i think:)

        Here’s a post from a while back I did on apple cider vinegar:

        best to you and your husband,


    7. Hello, I noticed nobody has posted anything for a few years now. Just seeing if their is anything new in regards to surgeries, diets, ect….that anyone may be aware of in 2018. Thanks either way and hope all is well.

      1. Hi Nick, Thank you for your message.

        And, you are right, I need to be doing more research into new things for 2018, and I will get on that soon. If you’re on the newsletter, you will get updated when news of that is published.

        Thank you again, and hoping you are well,


    8. I was diagnosed with UC 50 years ago! I was severely ill for three to four years and since then, it has been under control…have had 30+ colonoscopies …still getting polyps and always feel tenderness in the colon…and still react poorly to salads and dairy products. When I am feeling “off” I cannot and do not eat salads…I don’t even crave them…my body says NO! So, the lettuce wilts in the fridge and then I throw it out. The same response with dairy products. I know if I eat a bowl of ice cream, I will feel nauseated and uncomfortable… still do it sometimes but know that I will suffer.
      That’s my report. Hate to tell you all this…the 50 years part…but, that’s UC. gone but Not gone. Just got a call from the doctor…colonoscopy result: 5 polyps, mildly active UC. RATS!

    9. I am a new kid on the block. After 6 hrs in the ER doubled over with pain I have been diagnosed with UC. Spent 3 days as an out patient antibiotics and hydration. Lots of bleeding the runs and cramps. I have not yet been put on any meds. Have lost 6 pounds in just a Short time. I am afraid to eat. Plus the bloating is awful. Have a great doctor. Calls me every night . Did a stool test and it was positive for blood. Will do another one in 3 weeks.

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