Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often question their doctors about diet. The objectives of this article are to provide clinicians with existing dietary advice by presenting the dietary information proposed by medical societies in the form of clinical practice guidelines as it relates to IBD; listing dietary guidelines from patient-centered IBD-related organizations; and creating a new 'global practice guideline' that attempts to consolidate the existing information regarding diet and IBD. The dietary suggestions derived from sources found in this article include nutritional deficiency screening, avoiding foods that worsen symptoms, eating smaller meals at more frequent intervals, drinking adequate fluids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, taking vitamin/mineral supplementation, eliminating dairy if lactose intolerant, limiting excess fat, reducing carbohydrates and reducing high-fiber foods during flares. Mixed advice exists regarding probiotics. Enteral nutrition is recommended for Crohn's disease patients in Japan, which differs from practices in the USA.