Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis Diet Tips

Diverticula are small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract. They occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. (This is similar to what happens when an inner tube bulges through a tire.) People who have these pouches are said to have diverticulosis. Sometimes one or more of these pouches becomes inflamed or infected, a condition called diverticulitis. Some people with diverticulosis become aware of the condition only when diverticulitis occurs.
Diverticulosis is a very common condition in the United States.
Diverticulosis is more common in developed or industrialized countries, such as the United States, England, and Australia, where the typical diet is low in fiber and high in highly processed carbohydrates, diverticulosis is common. Diverticulosis first appeared in the United States in about 1900. This was the same time that processed foods were first introduced into the US diet.
Diverticulosis is much less common in countries of Asia and Africa, where the typical diet is high in fiber. (For more information on diverticulitis, check with the Mayo Clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diverticulitis-diet/HQ00548)

Most people recover from diverticulitis without problems if they receive appropriate treatment. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis can be prevented by changes in lifestyle and habits.

Diverticulosis is thought to be caused by increased pressure on the intestinal wall from inside the intestine. As the body ages, the outer layer of the intestinal wall thickens. This causes the open space inside the intestine to narrow. Stool (feces) moves more slowly through the colon, increasing the pressure. Hard stools, such as those produced by a diet low in fiber or slower stool “transit time” through the colon, can further increase pressure. Frequent, repeated straining during bowel movements also increases pressure and contributes to formation of diverticula.
Diverticulosis in developed countries is blamed largely on the typical diet, which is low in fiber. For more information on Diverticulosis.

Diet Plan for Diverticulitis

  1. Grains
    enriched refined white bread, buns, bagels, english muffins
    plain cereals e.g. Cheerios, Cornflakes, Cream of Wheat, Rice Krispies, Special K
    arrowroot cookies, tea biscuits, soda crackers, plain melba toast
    white rice, refined pasta and noodles
    avoid whole grains as the seeds can get add to the inflammation within the intestine.
  2. Fruits:
    fruit juices except prune juice
    applesauce, apricots, banana (1/2), cantaloupe, canned fruit cocktail, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon
    avoid raw and dried fruits, raisins and berries.
  3. Vegetables:
    Vegetable Juices
    Potatoes no skin
    beets, green/yellow beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms, green/red peppers, potatoes (peeled), squash, zucchini
    avoid vegetables from the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard etc
  4. Meat and Protein Choice:
    Well done, tender meat (lean), fish (wild caught) high in Omega 3 which will reduce inflammation within intestine. eggs
    Avoid beans & lentils
    Avoid all nuts and seeds, as well as foods that may contain seeds (such as yogurt)
  5. Dairy
    Two servings per day skim or 1% milk
  6. FATS
    Avoid saturated fats such as butter, margarine, Trans Fats, mealt high in fat content.
    MCT oil is most gentle on the intestine. You can also try plant oils. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, canola, avocado and peanut oils.

By: K. Crocker