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IC Diet - IC Friendly Ingredient Substitutions

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One of the hardest things to do when you first get diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis is to start following the IC Diet and learning to cook with new ingredients.  Let's face it, adapting some recipes to the IC Diet is down right frustrating.  While it's easy just to leave out potentially bladder iritating ingredients, the result may leave a lot to be desired in the flavor department.

Through much trial and error, we have put together this ingredient substitution list.


As is always the case with IC, this ingredient substitition list is just a guide.  Everyone with Interstitial Cystitis is different.  An ingredient that is bladder friendly to one person may set off a 4 alarm bladder flare in another.


Note: Access to all the recipes and information on our web site is free.  Register for a free account if you want to save your favorite recipes or even submit and manage your own recipes via our online recipe management system.

Interstitial Cystitis Diet - Ingredient Substitutions

Lemon Juice Substitutes



Salad Dressing and Condiment Substitutes

Chocolate & Chocolate Chip Substitutes

  • Carob Chips

  • Chocolate Flavored Stevia Drops

Red Wine Sustitutues

White Wine Substitutes

Hot Pepper Substitutes

Chili Powder Substitutes

  • Hungarian paprika

Cinnamon Substitutes

  • Ceylon Cinnamon (try Frontier Herb Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder)
    A rough distinction can be made between two types of cinnamon: Cassia and Ceylon Cinnamon. When you buy Cinnamon in the United States, you are probably buying Cassia because it is less expensive than "True Cinnamon".  Cassia Cinnamon, however, contains a moderately toxic component called coumarin which is known to cause liver and kidney damage in high concentrations and could be one reason why Interstitial Cystitis patients have problems with Cinnamon. That's why we recommend trying Ceylon cinnamon.  Ceylon is often called "True Cinnamon" or "Real Cinnamon".  True Ceylon Cinnamon has negligible amounts of coumarin and has a much more refined flavour. Ceylon Cinnamon is sometimes referred to as Real Cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon sticks (or quills) have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are much harder.

Garlic Substitutes

Ginger Substitutes

  • Galangal

Onion Substitutes

Tip: Try Cooking these items first, if you can tolerate the onion substitute cooked, then try it raw.

Peanut Butter Substitutes


IC Diet Friendly Nuts

  • Cashews

  • Pine Nuts

  • Almonds

  • Macadamia

IC Diet Friendly Cheeses

  • Fresh Buffula

  • Mozzarella

  • Goat Feta

  • Sheep Feta

  • String Cheese

  • Young cheeses (aged < 60 days)

Raisin Substitutes

  • Dates

IC Diet Friendly Tomatoes

Tomato Sauce Substitutes




Recipes & More

Fish Tacos with Zesty Bell Pepper Mayo
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Chicken Fried Steak
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Asian Style Mango Cake
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