What is a Diverticulosis Diet?

A diverticulosis diet is one of the diet plans and diet charts made for individuals who have a health condition called diverticulosis or small pockets extending out from the colon that occurs very gradually over a long time as they grow along the natural weak areas in the bowel wall. These pockets mostly occur in the sigmoid colon, the part of the body which specializes in contracting vigorously to keep a high pressure in order to regulate the movement of stool into the rectum. Because of these small pockets or bulges, the sigmoid colon becomes thickened and narrowed which can lead to major changes in bowel function such as discomfort, constipation, and/or diarrhea.

People with diverticulosis experience some symptoms such as thin or pellet-shaped stools, constipation, and occasional diarrhea. If left untreated, complications may arise which can be serious. Some of these complications are diverticulitis, bleeding, and perforation. To prevent diverticulosis from getting worse, preparing a diverticulosis diet or a high-fiber diet can be an effective therapy recommended by many medical experts and physicians. Also, there are related medical treatments and clinical procedures that must be performed to get the best results like a colonoscopy.

Foods to Include in a Diverticulosis Diet

Consider what you eat and drink every day using a food log spreadsheet because what you consume might cause or prevent diverticulosis. Research studies have shown that eating high-fiber foods may significantly lower the risk of getting diverticulosis. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, the recommended dietary fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories must be consumed to prevent this condition. If you have a 2,000-calorie diet, the recommended fiber intake is 28 grams per day. 

Beans and Legumes: They are an abundant source of fiber, with the average cup of beans providing over 50% of the daily value (%DV). Chickpeas, mung beans, cranberry beans, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, large white beans, black-eyed peas, boiled soybeans or edamame, natto or fermented soybeans, broad beans or fava, firm tofu, and unsweetened milk are beans and legumes rich in fiber. The top five among high-fiber beans are navy or haricot beans (19g fiber per cup), small white beans (19g fiber per cup), adzuki beans (17g fiber per cup), split peas (16g fiber per cup), and lentils (16g fiber per cup).Nuts and Seeds: Renowned for their heart-healthy benefits, most nuts and seeds such as macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts also belong to high-fiber foods. The daily value (DV) for fiber is 28g per day and a one-ounce portion of high-fiber nuts or seeds offers between 5-34% of that DV. The top ten nuts and seeds high in fiber are chia seeds (10g fiber per 2 tbsp), flax seeds (8g fiber per oz), pumpkin seeds (5g fiber per oz or handful), dried coconut (5g fiber per oz), sesame seeds (4g fiber per oz), almonds (4g fiber per oz or handful), pine nuts (3g fiber per oz or handful), pistachios (3g fiber per oz handful), hazelnuts (3g fiber per 1 oz handful), and pecans (3g fiber per 1 oz handful).Fruits: They are well-known for being loaded with fiber and nutrients. Studies have shown that adding fruits like mandarins, pomegranates, strawberries, bananas, apricot, cherries, mango, pineapple, papaya, and other high-fiber foods can help increase daily fiber intake. The top ten fruits rich in fiber are passion fruit (24g fiber per cup), guava (9g fiber per cup), raspberries (8g fiber per cup), blackberries (8g fiber per cup), avocado (5g fiber per half of the fruit), kiwis (5g fiber per cup), blueberries (4g fiber per cup), oranges (3g fiber per fruit), and grapefruit (3g fiber per cup). Vegetables: Having a diet full of vegetables is great for your gut, heart, and metabolic health due to their high-fiber content. The top ten great high-fiber vegetables that you can add to your diet plan are carrots (3.08g fiber per cup), broccoli (5.14g fiber per cup), beetroot (2g fiber per two beets), cauliflower (2.86 g fiber per cup), bitter gourd (2.48g fiber per cup), eggplant (2.48g fiber per cup), collard greens (7.6 g fiber per cup), Swiss chard (3.68g fiber per cup), artichokes (9.58g fiber per cup), and potatoes (3.63g fiber per medium potato with skin).Whole Grain Products: Different whole grains such as wild rice, sorghum, brown rice, amaranth, corn, and quinoa vary widely in their fiber content. This means a full serving of whole grains, for example, 16 grams of whole grains will contain just over a half gram of fiber to approximately 3 grams of fiber. The top high-fiber whole grains are bulgur wheat (2.9 g fiber in 16g of this grain), barley (2.8 g fiber in 16g of this grain), rye (2.4 g fiber in 16g of this grain), triticale (2.3 g fiber in 16g of this grain), wheat (2.0 g fiber in 16g of this grain), oats (1.7 g fiber in 16g of this grain), and buckwheat (1.6 g fiber in 16g of this grain).Probiotics: They may assist to keep a healthy digestive tract as the good bacteria make sure that those bad bacteria can’t gain control again and cause the infection to happen again. Some of the best probiotics for people with diverticulosis are probiotic strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, and bifidobacteria.

Foods to Avoid  

Your stool can become hard and harder to pass through the colon if you don’t eat sufficient fiber and drink plenty of water. If you let this happen, the muscles on your colon wall will more likely exert more pressure, leading to the appearance of bulges and pouches. Here is the list of the foods you need to avoid if you have diverticulosis.

Red ad Processed Meat: Research studies have found that eating red and processed meats such as beef, pork, and lamb could increase one’s risk of acquiring diverticulitis or aggravate one’s symptoms if he or she already has it. So, avoid steaks, pork barbecues, burgers, sausages, hotdogs, hams, corned beef, bacon, and many other types of red meats and processed foods. High Sugar and Fatty Foods: Some common examples of foods high in fat and sugars are cakes, chocolates, sweet bread, doughnuts, biscuits, full-sugar soft drinks, butter, fried foods, refined grains, and ice cream. You may avoid or limit your intake of these types of foods. Aside from having diverticulosis, consuming high sugar and fatty foods can cause many other health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. Excessive Alcohol: Consuming too much alcohol will more likely increase your risk of developing diverticulitis by 2-3x. Many medical experts and scientists conclude that the condition may be related to alcohol because of decreased intestinal motility. Spicy Foods: These types of foods can lead to an inflamed gut, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Some examples of spicy foods that you need to avoid or limit your intake are Kimchi stew, Sichuan hot pot, Phaal curry, Widower Curry, Cau-Cau, Neua Pad Prik, Otak-Otak, Jerk Chicken, and many others.

How to Create a Diverticulosis Diet Plan

While preparing your diverticulosis diet plan, consider the two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber supports gut health and eases or prevents constipation, being mostly found in the seeds and skins of most fruits like berries and bananas, as well as in whole grains and vegetables. While soluble fiber pulls water into your gut to aid in slow digestion and help you feel fuller longer, found in avocados, beans, legumes, pears, and other fruits, grains, and vegetables.

Step 1: Check Food Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity

A published report stated that only 2 to 5% of people have true food allergies. If you have a food allergy, your immune system reacts to it as it would to a harmful invader, which can lead to the release of histamine from your body. When this happens, it can lead to sudden allergic reactions including digestive problems like diverticulosis. Food intolerance is when you have the inability to digest particular foods. For example, lactose intolerance is a type of food intolerance when one’s small intestine lacks the enzyme lactase vital to digest lactose. Take a food allergy, food intolerance, or food sensitivity test to check if you have certain food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities so that you know what foods you will exclude from your diverticulosis diet.

Step 2: Consider Low FODMAP Foods

FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) is an acronym for a specific class of carbohydrates called fermentable short-chain carbohydrates difficult for people to digest. Based on a research study, following a low FODMAP diet PDF plan may significantly help prevent high pressure in the colon, thus preventing the occurrence of diverticulosis. This is because it can temporarily restrict these complex carbohydrates to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and let the digestive system rest for a while. Some examples of low FODMAP foods are brie, cheddar, feta, rice, quinoa, oats, eggplant, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, grapes, berries, and pineapple.

Step 3: Include a Clear Liquid Diet

If you have diverticulosis and other severe gastrointestinal conditions, you must have a clear liquid diet first to keep your body hydrated while providing you with the essential nutrients and to let your digestive system a chance to recover. Consult with a licensed and professional nutritionist specializing in diverticulosis treatment. Some basic components of a clear liquid diet for people with diverticulitis are broth, fruit juices without pulp, gelatin, water, honey, and many others.

Step 4: Add the Appropriate Number of Servings

Follow the latest recommendations of medical health experts in the prevention of inflammation or infection of the diverticula when you incorporate the proper number of servings in your diverticulosis diet. For example, add one serving of dark green vegetables and one serving of orange vegetables every day. Include some whole grain products, low-fat milk, and meat alternatives.


Can diverticulosis be treated with diet?

A good high-fiber diet may be beneficial to prevent the progress of diverticulosis. However, it will not be able to reverse the process. For example, having a high-fiber and vegetarian diet may decrease the potential attacks of diverticulitis.

What is the main cause of diverticulitis?

The main cause of diverticulitis is the inflammation of the diverticula or the small bulges in the large intestine. This happens when there is an insufficiency of fiber in the body. 

What foods heal diverticulosis?

Some of the foods that can heal diverticulosis are beans, legumes, bran, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals like oatmeal, brown rice, apples, bananas, pears, broccoli, carrots, corn, squash, and whole wheat pasta.

What are the effective ways to prevent diverticulosis?

The effective ways to prevent diverticulosis are to eat more high-fiber foods, exercise regularly, drink lots of fluids, and avoid smoking.

What are the harmful effects of diverticulosis?

Some of the harmful effects of diverticulosis are inflammation, infection, bleeding, or intestinal blockage.

Diverticulosis occurs more commonly in countries such as the United States where the diet is generally low in fiber. Statistical reports about this health condition revealed that more than 50% of adults over age 70 have diverticula, and 80% have no symptoms. Developing a high-fiber food diet plan like a diverticulosis diet plan is an effective way to ensure that all nutritional recommendations are met while treating this condition. Sample.net brings an eclectic collection of well-structured PDF document templates to guide you in developing a diverticulosis diet plan including a diet and exercise plan, a diet and workout plan, a dash diet PDF, and a food safety plan.