Healthy Baking Swaps for People With IBD


Everyone loves a sweet treat from time to time, but unfortunately for those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), baked goods laden with refined sugars, butter, and heavy cream can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Not to mention, while delicious, regularly indulging in sweets isn’t ideal for overall health. That said, making your own baked goods allows you to control the ingredients, so you can make adjustments to suit your dietary needs and health goals. Making certain gut-friendly ingredient swaps when baking your favorite recipes minimizes digestive distress and helps you feel your best, without negatively impacting flavor or texture. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion, or simply craving a sweet snack, here are five IBD-friendly baking swaps to try today.

1. Swap Out Refined Sugar for Mashed Banana

Bananas can be used for more than just banana bread. They contain naturally occurring fruit sugar, so mashed banana can replace the sweetness of refined granulated sugar in many recipes, while reducing total grams (g) of added sugars. Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 cup of granulated sugar contains a whopping 188 g of sugar, while mashed banana only contains about 28 g of natural sugars. According to research published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, high sugar intake is associated with increased risk for IBD. Further, eating sugar in excess draws water into the gut, worsening diarrhea per the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

When swapping out sugar for mashed banana, use half the amount of mashed banana as the amount of sugar called for in a recipe. Bananas provide a good amount of moisture along with their natural sweetness, so adding too much may alter the texture of your recipe.

Not only will mashed banana make your baked goods moist, it also provides a boost of potassium and soluble fiber. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, eating bananas frequently may even help to decrease inflammation levels over time, too.


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