Foods That You Should Avoid When Suffering from Diverticulosis

Updated on March 19th, 2020
foods to avoid with diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition of the colon. In Diverticulosis, small pouches or pockets like structures occur in the colon, which is called diverticula. The condition results from the weak sections of the intestines that bulge out under pressure. When this condition occurs without an infection or inflammation, it is known as Diverticulosis(1).

Incidentally, this condition is quite common nowadays. Half of the Americans over 60, are reported to suffer from Diverticulosis. A low fiber diet is believed to be one of the reasons for this condition. Neglecting symptoms of Diverticulosis could be fatal. It could aggravate and lead to infections, inflammations, and sometimes even tearing of the area. Here is a complete list of foods to avoid with Diverticulosis and their alternatives.

Foods to Avoid with Diverticulosis

1. Grains


Why Should You Avoid Them?

Whole grains have a lot of fiber that adds bulk to the stools. If you have an existing flare-up, these bulky stools can cause a lot of pain.

Which Grains Should You Avoid?

Avoid whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oats, amaranth, and bulgur when you have inflammation. Also, stay away from refined grains to ease the symptoms.

What Can You Have Instead?

Replace the above foods with low fiber grains like white rice, white pasta, white bread, dry low fiber cereals. If you are allergic to gluten, then opt for a gluten-free diet.

[ Read: Diet for Diverticulosis ]

2. Fruits

Why Should You Avoid Them?

Fruits are considered part of a healthy diet. But, when suffering from diverticulitis, fruits are foods that you must avoid. Avoid high fiber content. The high fiber content is not suitable for the pain and inflamed intestines. Some fruits even have a high sugar content, which might worsen your condition. Some fruits have a high content of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides(2), and polyols (FODMAPs).

Which Fruits Should You Avoid?

You should avoid all fruits with high fiber or sugar content. Also, avoid fruits like pears, apples, and plums that are high in FODMAPs.

What Can You Have Instead?

Replace high fiber fruits with fruit juices. However, if you enjoy eating fruits, you could safely have processed fruits like canned peaches, applesauce, etc.

[ Read: Home Remedies for Diverticulitis ]

3. Vegetables


Why Should You Avoid Them?

You might be surprised to know that vegetables qualify as the foods to avoid with Diverticulosis. The fact is, plants with high fiber may increase the pain and other symptoms of Diverticulosis, especially when passing bowels. You can, however, consume them after the symptoms are controlled. Some vegetables have high FODMAPs, which might further aggravate the condition.

Which Vegetables Should You Avoid?

Avoid vegetables with high fiber content during a flare-up of diverticulosis. Also, avoid vegetables like cabbage, onion, garlic, and Brussels sprouts high in FODMAPs.

What Can You Have Instead?

You can have cooked carrots, spinach, asparagus, beet, or peeled potatoes. You can also have cooked zucchini, yellow squash, or pumpkin after removing its skin and seeds. Try drinking juice of certain vegetables too.

[ Read: Natural Remedies for Diverticulitis ]

4. Beans

Why should you avoid them?

Beans are high in FODMAPs, which can irritate your digestive system. They have high fiber content too. These beans are not suitable for your inflamed intestines. They might increase the pain and other symptoms of Diverticulosis.

Which Bean Should You Avoid?

Avoid or limit the intake of beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, etc.

What can you have instead?

Firstly irrespective of high fiber or low fiber diet, drink lots of water to help clean your system apart from hydration.

The list of foods to avoid with Diverticulosis depends on the severity of your condition and symptoms. You should take the doctor’s advice after a thorough check-up before you decide on a diet for Diverticulosis.

Depending on your situation, you might be recommended soft food, low-fiber food, or high fiber food. The transition from high fiber to a low-fiber diet should be gradual. In short, listen to your gut, and opt for a perfect diet most suitable for your body. Eat healthy to stay away from any chronic digestive problem.

[ Read: Herbs for Diverticulitis ]


1. Can you reverse diverticulosis?

A mild case of diverticulitis may go away on its own without any treatment. When treatment is necessary, antibiotics and a liquid or low-fiber diet may be all that is necessary to resolve symptoms.

2. What can aggravate diverticulitis?

Studies have found links between diverticular disease—diverticulosis that causes symptoms or problems such as diverticular bleeding or diverticulitis and the following factors:

  • Certain medicines including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, and steroids.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.

3. Can Diverticulosis lead to colon cancer?

No, there has been no direct link found between Diverticulosis and Colon Cancer in the various research work done. But, some food habits and lifestyle factors may increase the risk of both these conditions. So, take care of your gut. Also, you should know what not to eat with diverticulitis and what foods aggravate diverticulosis.

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