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Whole Food Plant Based diet (WFPD) - with a one-month diary template for sharing your results

Encouraged by latest research results regarding the role of diet in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) I start this thread to shed some light on this newly introduced diet.

Many of us have tried several other diets (SCD, GAPS, IBD-AID) with either no, mixed or some success. Many struggle (myself included) to stick to the diets because their emphasis on excluding energy-rich sources of carbohydrates and the time involved in making the staple foods (homemade yoghurt, almond flour etc.)
While the diets promote plenty of fiber, SCD and GAPS have also excluded starchy carbohydrates, arguing that they break down into di-saccharides that feed bad gut bacteria. All of the diets promote animal protein, fats and dairy.

New research further underlines the role of diet, but concludes that starchy vegetables are beneficial and a western diet that includes animal protein, dairy and fats is harmful. This has led to an incredibly exiting diet which at least to me fully makes sense. It addresses the underlying environmental causes of Crohns and provides plenty of nutrients. The illustrations posted below comes from a very informative video about the diet: Treating Crohn’s disease with a whole food diet. Dr Alan Desmond


One mechanism of protection against IBD occurs when soluble fiber reduce translocation of Adherent invasive E.coli (AEIC), a harmful bacteria that has been found in patients with IBD. Also further evidence has come out that food additives like emulsifiers cause harm done to the gut lining.


I am one week into the diet and I am already seeing results months on SCD-AID did not provide, corresponding with findings that eating a WFPD diet for just four days results in dramatic changes for the better inside the gut.


In order to try eating a WFPD, do the following:

1) get plenty of soluble fiber (oats, psyllium, pulses)
2) get plenty of insoluble fiber (whole grains and nuts as tolerated)
3) eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
4) eat natural sources of n-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids ( fish, nurs, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans,pumpkin seeds, rapeseed and olive oil)
5) take a B12 supplement

6) avoid saturated fats
7) avoid animal protein
8) avoid all dairy products
9) avoid rich sources of n-6 poly unsaturated fatty acids (animal meat, eggs, processed foods, fast-food, salad dressings, mayonnaise, corn oil, safflower oil)
10) avoid sweets drinks and fruit juice and juices with high fructose content
11) avoid all food emulsifiers (polysorbate-80, carrageenan, carboxymethyl cellulose, maltodextrin)
source: The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Heathier You, Dr. Alan Desmond, 2021

Below is a list of foods to eat. For recipes, any vegan / vegetarian cookbook will do, as long as forbidden food items are replaced in the recipies.

WFPD foods.png
source: The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Heathier You, Dr. Alan Desmond, 2021

Share your Whole Food Plant Based diet results after one month
If you want to try this diet and tell us in the forum what happens, copy this simple one-month dairy. Save it on your computer and fill it out once a week as you go along, and share it as a reply in this thread after one month.
I am one week in, and I have already seen very good results. I will post my dairy in three weeks :)


Diary: Whole Food Plant Based diet - results after one month
All qualitative scores given as 0-5, where 0 is worst and 5 is normal
* Consistency of Bowel movements where 0 is liquid diarrhea and 5 is normal. Write an average of the given days bowel movements
** describe briefly (max. 50 words) what meds you were taking before the diet and if any medication was started during the diet.

Typical daily bowel movements prior to WFPD diet XX
Typical daily bowel movement consistency prior to WFPD * XX
Typical daily energy level XX
Other medication prior and during** XX

Bowel movements XX
Bowel consistency* XX
Energy level XX

Bowel movements XX
Bowel consistency* XX
Energy level XX

Bowel movements XX
Bowel consistency* XX
Energy level XX

Bowel movements XX
Bowel consistency* XX
Energy level XX

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For me I see that Irish Devon doctor before.

I think it's a scam, everyone reacts different to different foods.

A high number of crohns patients are fructose intolorent. Fruit contains high fructose.

A lot of it is also food that will ferment and will not digest for a long time and attract bacteria.

Also patients with strictures should avoid high fiber foods, a lot of that diet has very high fiber.

I'm no Doctor but I think best to be cautious with diet books and use certain elements not the whole thing, as it appears no specific diet suits a crohns patient.
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I would also add fruit and vegetables clean and meat repairs.

There is no meat on that diet I'm 99% confident not eating meat is not the cure for crohns.
westernbuddy, that is a really harsh judgement. I agree that a good portion of healthy skepticism is great, but it does not make sense to call the WFPD a scam because a book is published which explain the diet and provides WFPD recipes. You could argue that people react differently to foods, but what about bacteria? Does it not make sense that Adherent Invasive E.Coli thrives on the same type of nutrients in all humans?
Also, high fructose load is found in sweet drinks such as fruit juices, not in one or two whole fruits per day where you also get a lot of fiber. I agree that some patients with strictures may not tolerate the high fiber content, but those cases does not mean a possible treatment should be scrapped, just at the fact that biologics cause serious infection in some does not exclude others from getting it.
I will agree that the power of these studies is poor, more research is needed to achieve the level of knowledge that exist around eg. biologic treatment. But the fact that the WFPD has shown a remission rate of 77% among patients with difficult-to-treat disease*, and that is far better than the well-below 50% of biologics.

wfpd diffToTreatCD.png
Also, a review study Evolving role of diet in the pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases has been made that concludes:
Progress in the field of microbiome and IBD has demonstrated that microbiome appears to play an important role in pathogenesis, and that diet may in turn impact the composition and functionality of the microbiome. Uncontrolled clinical studies have demonstrated that various dietary therapies such as exclusive enteral nutrition and newly developed exclusion diets might be potent tools for induction of remission at disease onset, for patients failing biologic therapy, as a treatment for disease complications and in reducing the need for surgery

Finally, I have to ask you to elaborate why you think this study Animal Protein Intake and Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The E3N Prospective Study is flawed?
They conclude: High total protein intake, specifically animal protein, was associated with a significantly increased risk of IBD, (hazards ratio for the third vs. first tertile and 95% confidence interval being 3.31 and 1.41-7.77 (P trend=0.007), and 3.03 and 1.45-6.34 (P trend=0.005) for total and animal protein, respectively).


anyway, I hope this thread will be for those who want to look into this and not just shoot it down. In the end it would be great to get some feedback from those who try to follow it (myself included), which is what I hope for. Could be no one gets any benefit - OK than we got wiser.
I don't think anyone will argue a whole foods diet is harmful as long as a B12 supplement is taken, so what is there to loose?
You sound like a sales rep for this diet not like a crohns patient.

I have high caution about charlatans.

Other long term members help me out, this is waldos first post very suspicious.

Where is the real evidence this diet has a 77% success rate?

I'm being realistic and as crohns patient I can guarantee some of the food on that diet would put me in hospital.
Nope, no sales rep. here, no affilitation with anyone involved in this diet. Just sick and tired of long term CD and looking for answers.
Please don't call me a charlatan, and please don't attach a legitimate interest in something that seems to have a good effect (at least in some studies) without providing anything to back up your claims other than "I'm 99% sure that...".
Correct, this is my first post but I don't see how that affects it legitimacy? This should be about content not author.
Any critique of treatments including this new WFPD should be welcome, but I'd rather such critique was serious. The only real question I read is the 77% success rate. I don't know the study, so I'll have to look into it. Bear in mind: I'm not an expert on this, and I don't pretend to be. I choose to post the 77% rate as legit because it is a result of a study that is published and therefore peer-reviewed.
Just to set the goal posts here - are you accepting study results as arguments or not in a debate?
OK, so I found a link to the study where the 77% remission rate comes from; Dietary Therapy With the Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet is a Successful Strategy for Induction of Remission in Children and Adults Failing Biological Therapy

In the discussion (paragraph 4) it reads "At present, we have data for 18 patients who have been treated with CDED alone [including the four in this report] without supplemental formula, and 14/18 [77%] entered remission just with whole foods in the diet."

It was posted in Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, Volume 11, Issue 10, October 2017. And yes, it is peer reviewed.
I don't by any means advocate that this is strong evidence. Some of the studies used to argue this are small and uncontrolled. But I reiterate the idea behind this thread - to test the waters, what if this actually has a positive effect? recent research indicate CD is not all genes, but also infection, antibiotics, stress - and diet, and the science behind this one seems plausible, at least to me :)
Maybe others want to chime in?

my little penguin

Staff member
The crohns exclusive diet (cded ) is very special diet and is not the same as a whole food plant diet list above


And cded restricts starches
My kiddo followed it under the advice of his Gi a few years ago
Thank you for posting this. Didn't have time to fully reviewed it yet, but it looks promising. No one is selling anything here, and the information is free...I don't think the criticism so far is justified.
penguin, thanks for the input. How did your kid react to the CDED?
I found the CDED regimen, you are right that there seems to be an introduction phase which is really strict. The maintenance phase though seems to me it is pretty close to the WFPD, except eggs and poultry is included. I don't see any starch restriction? Rice, and white potatoes are included.
I am not sure if the participants in the Dietary Therapy study who opted out of EEN and chose to do whole-foods only followed the intro or maintenance phase, of course that would make a difference.
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My concern with it is this link

Treating Crohn’s disease with a whole food diet. Dr Alan Desmond

I don't know how to turn it into a link but that sentence.

Dr Alan Desmond has a private crohns clinic where he sells recipes and high priced consultations.

I see they mention whole foods yes, but whole foods included meat.

However even with whole foods some people can eat apples some can't some can eat tomatoes some can't.

So for me it's a big red flag and caution when someone's first post contains a link to a Dr selling recipes.

A diet I'm sure can help one huge amount with crohns, but that is an individual diet not a recipe book one.

my little penguin

Staff member
Included starches but limited on how many per day and per meal etc …
And limited on what foods are permitted
Not the same
Cded didn’t do anything for my kiddo
Penguin, thanks for clarifying. It is good information to have - goes to show there is no magic silver bullet.
Never the same, I will give this a shot and I appreciate any input from others doing the same (or similar) diets.

I am posting this just because based on what I've learned so far it seems plausible. The low fiber / low residue diets my GI has recommended have done no good, and SCD / GAPS has only helped so-so. I failed biologics, and got a bad infection. Could it be high fiber and no animal based food is better?? Anyway, I put the diet xplanation video in because the GI in it explains the science behind way better than I ever could. The bio for Dr. Alan Desmond also seems pretty legit? Anyway, I got the message westernbuddy, you won't be skipping your red meat, dairy, and emulsifiers anytime soon :).
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my little penguin

Staff member
Which biologics did you fail ?
Due to lack of response ?
Disease activity?
Just a single infection ??
My kiddo has been on five different biologics over the years (3 for crohns )
I was in on an early Remicade trial in 1999, biologics got me through my 20s, then my kidney function started declining. Long story short Remi, Humira, and Entyvio now no-go. This is very rare though, so no reason to believe your son will get this sideeffect. I hope they will continue to help. Currently im on no meds for the first time in a long time, and symptoms not too bad since I started this new diet. Could be a coincedende so I need to try longer. Also I got vacation which helpes (less stress)..
My CDs always been in my colon.

my little penguin

Staff member
Make sure to get regular checks on blood ,fecal cal, imaging ,scopes
Not just symptoms
Additional med options
Ilaris has been used in refractory case studies
IVig has been used as well
Stelara is very low infection risk (Ds has been on it 4 plus years )
Jak inhibitors are approved for UC so with colonic disease ….
I have a friend who grows all his own fruit and veg.

When compared with the supermarket fruit and veg you can almost see the chemical dripping off it, so by avoiding foods with it clearly written on the label I don't think I'm avoiding a chemical diet.
1 year, doctors forced me to go with low fiber diet. For 5 month, I switched to fruit en vegatables, high fiber. Everything is way better.. so whole plant food diet is the way to go for me. Ofcourse, it’s never 100%. I still eat some meat fish poultry 1x week.
penguin, thank you for your advice. I agree that regular checks/GI follow up and all viable medicins should be on the table. For my part calcpro. is acceptable right now, so there is no rush to start another treatment, although MTX and predisone (again) would probably be next in line.
My GI also mentioned Stelara, could be an option.
Karinbe, thank you for the report. Your poor outcome from following a low residue diet sounds familiar. Congratulations on all being better for you.
Appears you do have crohns waldo, wish you all the best in your research. and very sorry for my commments. you have to be carfull there is a lot of money to make out of crohns, only have to ask abbvie

For sure i think it can be controlled much better with food.

I have had crohns best part of 25 years and never had medicine, managed with food and elemntal 028

However i am in a bad situation right now, and im trying to get myself out of it without medication again, if that will work or not i dont know, i hope so.
westernbuddy, thank you so much for your support. No offense taken, I can appreciate that it may seem dubious some new user comes in to advocate a diet like that. I am sorry to hear you are in a bad situation, can't say anything other than "hang in there, it will get better".. I guess that is what we all try to tell ourselves.
Its amazing you managed to stay off meds for so long. I'd be interested in hearing where you buy the elemental 028, the monthly costs and, if you know, the difference between that and Modulen? My GI is warming to the idea that I could try EEN route. I did it once back in 2000, and it helped alot, only I was in high school and could not keep it up for social reasons. The "77%" study we discussed earlier was a 50% EEN 50% whole food regimen, and I am considering that approach as well.
Sure im in the uk so the drinks come from the Nhs, i guess your in the usa. the drinks are fairly hard to get and that is a shame as i fouund them highly effective, i think i had maybe 25% enn to almost any food and have gone ten years, and i know each day if i stopped that drink i would relapse, could tell they were what was keeping me so good.

I think its even more effective to do 8 weeks enn at the same time doing steroids with them, or even start thre 50/50 with an 8 week course of steroids too, it enhances the drinks turbo charges them.

my little penguin

Staff member
Een studies (very popular with kids )
100% een formula only for 6-8 weeks is required
This heals and is similar to steriods
Children’s hospital of Philadelphia (chop) has done numerous studies
You can maintain with formula only
Some with 90/10 (90% formula )-10% food
Some 80/20 -20% food
Most require 100% formula
E028 has changed names to neocate splash it is designed for kids up to age 13 so not nutritional complete for adults
It’s elemental formula /amino acid based
From nutrica
Modulen is a Uk /Australia formula that is semi elemental-broken down some
The us version is peptamen
These are both complete nutrition
Elemental formula for adults would be vionex
Neocate also makes kiddie versions
Of powder Neocate jr in choc strawberry etc
But per Ds still taste like smashed frozen fries that are not cooked (horrid )
If you go elemental formula (easier for the gut to digest )
Use a cup full of crushed ice to get it as cold as possible (do not freeze-all nutrition is lost )
Place a lid on the cup and add a straw to by pass the taste buds
Plan on crushed ice to chew or OT chewy sticks the mouth needs to chew
Smell plates (plates you can smell but not eat help as well )
Some allow clear broth or dumdum loillipops (or pure table sugar over crushed Ice)
It can be done but is very hard for kids and harder for adults
Thank you, I appriciate all the info penguin. I can't imagine how much effort a parent has to put into doing EEN with their child. But if it helps bringing remission and do so without any of the side effect from drugs, it is worth it.
Interesting i have just been on the phone with the hospital as my main goal is to avoid drugs.

I have been on elemntal 028 for 2 weeks and im still glowing with inflamation, i asked if i could get antiboides to the drinks as there not working, they said no,,, they requsted i take 40mg steroids a day and if at one week im still in a flair go to hospital and they will inject me with steroids whilst on the elemental 028

So not so much avoiding drugs, actually not from torture, inject with a steroid that makes you starving and banned from eating at the same time.

But there is potential to avoid the like of combo drugs such as aza infleximab combined.

I think if i can bang myself in a deep remission i can go a good time without drugs, and then maintain with elemntal 028 25% daily

That sounds like a similar thing your trying to achive Waldo, a nice deep remission then maintain without drugs.

my little penguin

Staff member
@westernbuddy are you only drinking 25% of your calories from eo28 splash
Many many studies all show the same thing
For formula to be effective it needs to be 100% een no solid food
Partial een if far less effective
If your goal is to avoid steriod
Discuss with your Gi true een (formula only ) 100% no solids for 6-8 weeks
This does put the gut into remission most of the time
Aza is now avoiding in pediatric patients especially males due lymphoma increased risk
Most pediatric Gi use methotrexate instead
Biologics have far less side effect imo as a parent and more bang for the buck (higher rate of success for less risk )
After 10 plus years of dealing with this beast
Ds was dx at 7 and now is almost 18

many many rounds of een formula only no food
In addition to meds
Sure im on 100% enn right now have not eat a crumb for 17 days, would love a Blt and some french fries.

But its not working so steroids are about to be added to it too, 40mg per day at home, then if im still bad in one week hospital for steroids injected plus 100% enn.

If that does not work it will be aza and infleximab combined

My last Bad flair was 2010, i was in hospital being injected with steroids, they were not working, so then they added elemental 028 combned and no food, i have then gone 11 years medicine free with 1 x 100g sachet of elemntal 028 per day.

That is the process im trying to repeat right now. aza infeximab combined will be my last resort, i cant quite bear read all the risks and side effects from these drugs combined, and cant even go out and sunbath on them, love a pool party in ibiza. im in my 30's too.

my little penguin

Staff member
Talk to your doc about mtx and infliximab
That is the current combo for kids
Ds took infliximab for about 8 months ( allergic reaction )-but he is allergic to multiple drugs foods etc… so expected

read the insert on Tylenol
Steven Johnson syndrome ,liver failure, death
And that we give regularly to infants just for a fever

same risks with every day antibiotics for simple ear infection s

My point is risk benefit
From what I have seen in kids on here at least biolgics are miracle drugs
With very few actual risks in real life compared to
Normal kids meds

my little penguin

Staff member
Methotrexate is mtx
Ds has been on it for almost eight years
First with humira and now with Stelara

he only takes mtx as an add on for juvenile arthritis
In combo woth the biologics that treats both his jia and crohns
Thanks for starting this thread, Waldo. I've had Crohns for 44 years. Been on lots of meds. Had two bowel resections, the most recent last Feb. Once my bowel healed, my GI doc wanted to start me on Entyvio every 8 weeks for the rest of my life. I decided to do more research, then stumbled on the Whole Food Plant Based diet through Dr. Gregor's site "nutritionfacts.org". Been doing it for 3 months now and feel great! Huge boost of energy. I've also connected with an organization called Crohns Colitis Lifestyle that custom fits diet, nutrition, supplements specifically for me based on my response. So excited about this program.
Your very highly experienced with crohns undone coming up 5 decades.

Medication vs diet what are your thoughts, what has let you have a better quality of life?

Crohns appears to find a way past most things diet and food and meds and make a new appearance.

The drugs I think need a lot of work still side effects are bad, food I'm not sure if it cuts it alone, I have noted people go completely vegan and end up with more surgery than ever in some instances.

Also noted people in remission on biologics and ending up with strictures and surgery.

I have 20 years experience with it and for me it's like I have an alien 👽 living in me I have to keep happy.

And I can't make up my mind what is best for long term outcome, medicine or diet.

Diet is that keeping inflmation fully at bay and stopping further damage.

Or medication is this just putting a bandage on it and it will come back worse and at the same time skin cancer infections and other malignancies are a huge risk.

Have you looked at ustekinumab, it has least side effects to date but it's still not a bunch of roses.
westernbuddy, I realize diet is not a cure. As my surgeon said to me when I explained to him that I had tried through the years to control my symptoms with diet, he replied "Crohns doesn't care". I believe the same is true for traditional medicine: Crohns doesn't care. There is no guarantee meds and biologics are going to work either. Regardless, I am encouraged by my overall response thus far to the whole food plant based (WFPB) diet. I've had to make a few tweaks to it, like omitting nutritional yeast (Crohns and yeast do not get along!). If you're interested, here are a couple of short videos from nutritionfacts.org about the benefits of WFPB:

Here's a simple explanation of a WFPB diet: https://nutritionstudies.org/whole-food-plant-based-diet-guide/

I'm also in the process of building my SHIELD (an acronym for the online program) with Crohns Colitis Lifestyle, equipping me with tons of info and resources to help me better understand this disease as well as apply natural remedies that have worked for many others:

My plan is to continue down the natural health road while continuing with my traditional GI doc. I want to integrate the best of both worlds, if possible, without taking biologics. (P.S. I've not tried ustekinumab, but have done Remicade, mercaptipurine (6MP), flagyl, and prednisone through the years)
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this is my diet pretty much, but i would add eating fish and poultry, for dha and taurine, and avoid red meats which have less dha, more heme iron, and a molecule that promotes inflammation neu5gc.

also, not all soluble fiber is the same, like id say avoid inulin supplements, they feed just as much bad bacteria as they feed the good bacteria, see well cooked veggies as the best fiber supp you can get, like broccoli or tomatoes. if you combine fiber supps with probiotics as a synbiotic, that might be acceptable.
Do you peel your broccoli? How about deseeding and skinning your tomatoes? That would reduce the amount of insoluble fiber as well as reduce lectins that are difficult to digest. I'm not taking inulin, but am starting Natren probiotic powder to regulate the amount.
I agree with the fish and poultry, fish its the best source of lean protein.
Omega 3 and omega 6 found in fish can help with healing the gut and lowering inflammation.

Also eggs contain high amounts of iron and b vitamins.
Do you peel your broccoli? How about deseeding and skinning your tomatoes? That would reduce the amount of insoluble fiber as well as reduce lectins that are difficult to digest. I'm not taking inulin, but am starting Natren probiotic powder to regulate the amount.
I make a tomato sauce and remove the skins. at one time i was removing the seeds which I suspected were causing me issues, but i added them back in to retest and didnt notice any issues so I just leave the seeds in and its a lot less work. I don't peel my broccoli, if there is a long stalk i might cut the very end of it, since its the toughest part, but the stems are higher in fiber as i recall, so always eat the stems. I cook them very well until super soft and consume the water, i make chicken vegetable soup, it hides the broccoli flavor well.
wildbill and undone, thanks for your interesting input. I've been on the WFPD for seven weeks now and I'll soon post my findings but I want to wait until I my next Calprotectin test results, in order to have a biomarker to go along with the more subjective trends such as BMs and energy.
It's interesting to read about the tomatoes, I was told recently that canned tomatoes have Bisphenol-A (BPA) in them that is harmful.
It's not easy to avoid bad stuff! during my seven weeks of scrutinizing foods I have learned that canned coconut milk also (often) has added emulsifiers.
I'm just going to put another log on the fire with this video.

I do worry that people who are immune suppressed may be doing damage on a high fiber plant based diet, whilst at the same time being numb to the pain.

But I'm no Doctor or surgeon so in reality have no idea.