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Want a burger but have Crohn's or ulcerative colitis? Try this...

Want a burger but have Crohn's or ulcerative colitis? Try this...

Updated on
November 12, 2023
Medical reviewer
Medically reviewed by
Brittany Rogers, MS, RDN
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Written by
Romanwell Dietitians

Do you ever crave a hamburger and fries but worry about triggering your symptoms? 

In this post, we share our 3 go-to tips we use with our clients to help improve their tolerance and enjoyment in eating burgers and fries.

Tip 1: Swap it out

Reduce your symptoms and improve tolerance by swapping out inflammatory and/or trigger foods for better tolerated alternatives that are still satisfying. For example:

  • Instead of a beef burger, try a salmon burger, lean ground chicken/turkey burger, or opt for a veggie patty
  • Instead of lettuce, add avocado on top
  • Instead of a bun with many ingredients, choose a bun with simple ingredients you can pronounce
  • Instead of having deep fried french fries, try air fried french fries or make homemade steak fries on the grill or in the oven


Tip 2: Reduce the portion size

Reduce the portion size of inflammatory and/or trigger foods to improve tolerance. For example:

  • Instead of using 100% ground beef/pork, try a 50% beef/pork + 50% lean turkey burger instead
  • Instead of having all the deep fried french fries, try having a 3/4 or 1/2 portion size and get something else to eat that won't trigger symptoms (but is still satisfying) if you're still hungry

Tip 3: Have it as is

Sometimes having the meal as-is is worth the potential symptoms. Remember, even pro-inflammatory foods are only inflammatory when consumed frequently over time so having them here and there is okay.

When you live with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, it's so important to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with food.

We always encourage our clients to honor their hunger cues and make satisfying modifications to meals that reduce symptoms but preserve their enjoyment in eating.

How to get more tips like this

If you're looking for more personalized meal adaptations that will help you reduce your symptoms and still eat the foods you love, we'd love to help. ‍

Reach out to start working with a Romanwell IBD dietitian today!


We can help you reduce your symptoms without a restrictive diet
Pay as little as $0 per appointment with insurance
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