A substantial increase in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) has been observed globally in the 21st century. There is growing evidence for the influence of genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of IBD. Diet is a promising and potentially modifiable risk factor with mounting evidence supporting its therapeutic benefit. Specifically, exclusion diets aimed at eliminating pro-inflammatory foods and restoring microbial diversity have been proposed for the induction and maintenance of remission in IBD. At present, the only guideline-recommended nutritional therapy for induction of remission is exclusive enteral nutrition in paediatric patients with Crohn's disease. This method of treatment, however, is not a form of maintenance therapy and effects are not sustained after the reintroduction of whole foods. Identification of sustainable dietary interventions for the prevention and treatment of IBD is increasingly a focus of research.