What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Diverticulosis?

Reviewed on 8/17/2020

What is Diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis -- which can lead to diverticulitis -- is an intestinal condition that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. A high-fiber diet with a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables is recommended to ease the symptoms of diverticulosis.
Diverticulosis -- which can lead to diverticulitis -- is an intestinal condition that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. A high-fiber diet with a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables is recommended to ease the symptoms of diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis is a form of diverticular disease, which occurs when diverticula, small pouches in the large intestinal (colonic) wall, are present. When these pouches arise in the colon and push through weak spots in the colon’s outer muscle layers, it’s called diverticulosis. Inflammation of these diverticula is called diverticulitis.

What are Symptoms of Diverticulosis?

Symptoms of diverticulosis include:

What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Diverticulosis?

A high-fiber diet is usually recommended for patients with diverticulosis. High-fiber foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans and lentils. 

In the past, doctors often recommended people who had diverticulosis should avoid foods such as nuts, popcorn, and seeds because it was thought these particles could enter or block the diverticula. However, more recent research indicates these foods are not harmful and since they are high in fiber, they may help some patients. Each patient is different and people may find certain foods aggravate diverticulosis symptoms. 

Common foods such as those low in fiber or high in sugar that may increase the risk of developing diverticulosis or trigger diverticulosis symptoms include:

  • Red meats
  • Processed meats
  • Fried foods
  • Full fat dairy products

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Reviewed on 8/17/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference