Foods to Avoid in Diverticulitis
There is a lot of confusing information out there about what foods to avoid if you suffer from diverticulitis.
We recently did a survey on the End Diverticulitis website. In this study, we asked people to rate foods according to how much of a problem they caused. Specifically, when they feel fine, that is, they have diverticulosis (as opposed to diverticulitis), so they don’t feel any pain.
Basically, diverticulosis is where you have the pouches, and diverticulitis is where the pouches are inflamed (you usually feel pain).
These are the foods most people say they have problems with. The foods that would cause them to flare up diverticulitis.
If you are pain free and not taking any medications for diverticulitis (ie antibiotics) then pay close attention to these foods and food groups and try to avoid them.
These foods were rated HIGH RISK by our respondents. I would like to eliminate them from your diet. Just remember that even though most people say they caused problems, they may not be causing problems for you personally. These are just the recommendations according to the research we did for the End Diverticulitis website.
These are the foods you should avoid according to the study report.
1. Stress – although it’s not food, it was rated as the biggest problem by our survey.
2. Nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc.
3. Sesame seed, this would include buns and burgers with sesame seeds on them.
4. Corn (any corn, popcorn, sweet corn, even cornmeal and tortillas)
5. Hot and peppery, hot and spicy.
I’d also like to add a few things that were specifically mentioned, they weren’t rated because they weren’t in question in the original survey, but many people specifically mentioned them as a problem and something to avoid.
1. Tomato juice V8
2. Iceberg salad
3. Fried, deep-fried or fatty foods.
5. Raw vegetables
One thing that came out of the study was that some people had no problems with even the above (except for stress). So it seems the things that influence you can be very personal.
How do you manage a diet for diverticulitis? this is not a hard and fast rule, it is just a suggestion.
Eliminate from your diet initially.
Nuts, corn, sesame and chili. Also tomato juice (V8 tomato juice has been mentioned quite a few times, but I think all tomato juices should be questioned). Iceberg lettuce (try other options like lettuce or baby spinach leaves, my favorites), baked goods and fatty foods, onions and raw vegetables. This should immediately help reduce your diverticulitis problems.
Nuts are funny, many people say they are not good and many say they are OK. Long story short (excuse the pun) leave them to begin with, then try a few here and there. But don’t overindulge.
Leave out the corn, sesame seeds, and chili (or hot and spicy foods) all together.
Once you eliminate them from your diet, what do you do?
Well, after all the survey responses we received, if you really, really miss the foods when you feel good and good again, you can try them. Only in small batches, don’t overdo it. Just a few and see how you go. Keep a food diary so you know how things are going. But in general things like nuts are probably OK, they were a 50/50 food in the study and current medical thinking suggests they are OK.
But if you feel good and really don’t miss them, why bother??
There are usually tons of food options no matter where you go, so why not just leave the questionable ones behind.
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