Low Fiber diet for diverticulitis

People with Diverticulosis tend to have segments of their colon that push out into pouches, called diverticula. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition turns into Diverticulitis. When these pouches get inflamed, they are referred to as flare-ups. These flare-ups can occur suddenly with abdominal pain typically on the left side. Fever, nausea or vomiting may also occur during flare-ups.

Diverticula is often the result of not enough fiber in the diet. As a result, the stool become hard and it gets difficult to pass it through the colon. This pressure on the wall of the colon results in the formation of diverticula.

While a high fiber diet may help prevent diverticulosis and thus diverticulitis, a low fiber (or low residue) diet is often recommended during flare-ups.

What to eat during Diverticulitis:

Usually a low fiber diet, (approximately 10-15 grams of daily fiber) is recommended until the flares recede.

You may want to avoid these foods, especially if you are having problems with diarrhea, or have gas , bloating or cramping:

  • Foods that are greasy, fried and high sugar content
  • Foods with high amounts of lactose
  • Sweetened and caffeinated beverages, including smoothies, fruit juices or sodas with high sugar content
  • Foods that contain artificial sweeteners.

Table of Low Residue Foods to Eat for Diverticulitis (If you are post-surgery for diverticulitis or your doctor has advised a liquid diet, please click here to see the “Liquid Diet Guidelines for Diverticulitis

Low Residue Diet for Diverticulitis

 Foods To EatFoods to Limit
Meats, Fish, Poultry, EggsBaked, broiled, grilled or steamed meats/poultry/fish, deli slices, eggsFried meats/poultry/fish/eggs
DairyLactose free dairy (any) low lactose dairy: cream cheese, half and half, hard cheeses (cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, Swiss, etc), soft cheeses
(feta, mozzarella, etc), yogurt (Greek)
high lactose dairy (large amounts): buttermilk, chocolate, creamy/cheesy sauces, custard, ice cream, milk (cow's, goat's, sheep's, condensed, evaporated), soft cheeses (cottage, ricotta, etc), sour cream
Meat, Dairy
Alternatives
milk alternatives (almond, coconut, rice, soy), creamy nut butters, tofubeans, black eyed peas, lentils, nuts, crunchy nut butters, fried tofu, soybeans, split peas, soy/bean patties
Grainsmade with refined wheat, made with foods allowed: bagels, biscuits, breads (french, italian, pita, white, sourdough), cereals (cream of wheat, cream of rice, oatmeal, cornflakes, Cheerios, Chex, Rice Krispies, etc), chips, crackers (graham, saltine, soda, etc), English muffins, flour tortillas, noodles, pancakes, pastas, pretzels, tapioca, waffles, white ricemade with whole wheat or made with foods to limit, barley, bran, breads (multi grain), bulgur, corn tortilla, croissants, high fiber cereals (Kashi, Fiber One, etc), granola, popcorn, quinoa, rice (brown, wild), rye, sugary cereals (Fruit Loops, etc), sweet rolls
Fruitsapplesauce, avocado, banana, canned fruits (drain the syrup), lemon, lime, melons, peeled: apple, apricot, peach, pear, peach, plum, etc, fruit puree/sauces (any, no pulp, no skins)dried fruits, fruit seeds/skins, fried fruits, berries, cherries, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, mango, papaya, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, prunes, orange
Vegetablescooked (no pulp, no skins): beets, carrots, green beans, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, squash, wax beans, yams, zucchini, etc, vegetable/tomato puree/sauces (any, no pulp, no skins)raw vegetables, fried vegetables, vegetable seeds/skins, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, tomatoes
BeveragesDecaf coffee, fruit and vegetable juices/smoothies (any, small amounts, no pulp or skins), sport drinks, herbal teaCaffeinated coffee, lattes, sodas, prune juice
DessertsAngel food cake, chocolate (small amounts), marshmallows, sugar free desserts (puddings, popsicles, etc)Fried desserts, brownies, cakes, caramel, candy, cookies, donuts, pastries, pies, sherbet, sorbet
Seasonings/CondimentsBroth, butter, cooking oils, all spices and herbs, gravy, honey, jam/jelly, ketchup, margarine, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, salad dressings, sauces (BBQ, soy, etc), salt, vinegarCoconut, maple syrup, olives, pickles, sugar (large amounts), jam/jelly with seeds, all seeds (flax, sunflower, etc), artificial sweeteners (isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol)
While a high fiber diet may help prevent diverticulosis and thus diverticulitis, a low fiber (or low residue) diet is often recommended during flare-ups.

Source: Stanford Healthcare

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