Eating a healthy balanced cystic fibrosis diet is essential


It is important to support your cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment regimen with a healthy, balanced diet, in accordance with the advice of your doctor. This should include a variety of different foods – carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the major sources of energy for the body.1,2

People with CF may need more energy (calories), fat and protein than other people because their body finds it more difficult to digest and absorb these from food.2,3 The exact amount of energy and fat needed varies from person to person, so you should always check with your doctor or nurse for specific CF dietary advice.3

If you are concerned about your weight at any time, please speak to your doctor or nurse. They may arrange a meeting with a dietician who can advise you on any appropriate changes that can be made to your diet.


Eating a diet rich in energy, fat and protein

Although the amount of energy, fat and protein needed will vary from person to person, everyone with CF should eat a balanced and varied diet.

In order to eat the additional energy, fat and protein needed, three meals a day plus snacks between meals is usually recommended.2

Foods such as nuts, avocadoes, oily fish, cakes and biscuits are good sources of fat and energy. While cheese, cream and butter can be added to meals as an easy way of increasing the fat and energy content.4

If you are struggling to consume enough energy, your doctor, nurse or dietician may recommend a supplement to help you meet your energy and nutrient needs.


Suggested foods


    • Egg (hard-boiled, poached, fried, scrambled or two-egg omelette)
    • Bagel with cream cheese
    • Full fat yoghurt
    • Muesli with nuts and seeds
    • Cereal or porridge with whole milk
    • Toast with butter or margarine spreads


    • Avocado salad with olive oil or dressing
    • Egg salad sandwich (two large eggs plus mayonnaise)
    • Thick vegetable or chicken soup


    • Chicken and vegetables
    • Salmon fillet with salad
    • Fish with mashed potato
    • Quiche and salad
    • Lasagne
    • Pizza
    • Curry and rice
    • Chocolate pudding
    • Yoghurt
    • Ice cream


    • Handful of peanuts/almonds
    • Slice of hard cheese
    • Croissant
    • Slice of buttered toast
    • Medium avocado
    • Muesli with whole milk
    • Whole milk yoghurt
    • Large glass of whole milk or milkshake
    • Muesli or cereal bar
    • Bag of microwave popcorn
    • Ice cream
    • Biscuits

    Menu suggestions

      Chicken fajitas (serves 4)

      30 minutes

      15 minutes

      Intake per portion:
      510 kcal and 18 g fat


      • 4 plain tortillas
      • 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper
      • 1 red onion
      • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
      • 400 g chicken breast
      • 3 tablespoon olive oil
      • 2 teaspoon Tex-mex spices

      For the guacamole:

      • 1 avocado
      • Juice of 1 small lemon
      • 1 shallot
      • 1.5 teaspoon guacamole spices

      1. Quarter the avocado, remove the skin and stone. Place the flesh in a blender. Peel and quarter the shallot and add to the blender. Squeeze the lemon and add the juice, followed by the spices. Blend to a smooth purée.
      2. Cut the chicken into strips and place them in a soup bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and spices. Mix well.
      3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
      4. Cut the peppers into thin strips, discarding the seeds. Peel and cut the onion into thin slices and stir-fry the vegetables in a frying pan on a high heat for 5 minutes.
      5. Heat a little oil in a high-sided frying pan and brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side.
      6. Warm the tortillas in the oven for 2-3 minutes in aluminium foil. Place them on plates and spread with the guacamole. Add the vegetables and chicken and serve.


      Top tip: For a gourmet version, add Gruyère cheese, some coriander/chervil leaves or a spoonful of crème fraîche.

      Bananas baked in their skins and spiked with vanilla pods (serves 4)

      10 minutes

      25 minutes

      Intake per portion:
      220 kcal and 3 g fat


      • 4 ripe bananas
      • 4 tablespoon mixed flower honey
      • 4 tablespoon salted butter
      • 4 vanilla pods
      • Parchment paper
      • String

      1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
      2. Make a vertical cut along the entire length of each banana to 3/4 of its depth and without detaching the skin. Gently pull apart along the cut and insert the honey and butter cut into small pieces.
      3. Cut each vanilla pod into 6-8 pieces. Insert the pieces of pod along the length of the banana.
      4. Wrap each banana in parchment paper to form a parcel. Tie with string and bake for 20 minutes.
      5. Allow to cool slightly and serve.


      Top tip: This dessert is good served with caramel or vanilla ice cream.

        1. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA Journal 2010;8(3):1461. Available at Accessed June 2016.

        2. Borowitz D, et al. Consensus Report on Nutrition for Paediatric Patients With Cystic Fibrosis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2002; 35(3): 246 ̶ 59.

        3. Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Nutrition: A guide for adults with cystic fibrosis. 2010.

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