Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

What should I eat if I have diverticulosis or diverticulitis?

If you have diverticulosis or if you have had diverticulitis in the past, your doctor may recommend eating more foods that are high in fiber.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015–2020, recommends a dietary fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. For example, for a 2,000-calorie diet, the fiber recommendation is 28 grams per day.

The amount of fiber in a food is listed on the food’s nutrition facts label. Some fiber-rich foods are listed in the table below.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Grains
Food and Portion Size Amount of Fiber
13-34 cup high-fiber bran ready-to-eat cereal 9.1–14.3 grams
1-114 cup of shredded wheat ready-to-eat cereal 5.0–9.0 grams
112 cup whole wheat spaghetti, cooked 3.2 grams
1 small oat bran muffin 3.0 grams
Fruits
Food and Portion Size Amount of Fiber
1 medium pear, with skin 5.5 grams
1 medium apple, with skin 4.4 grams
12 cup of raspberries 4.0 grams
12 cup of stewed prunes 3.8 grams
Vegetables
Food and Portion Size Amount of Fiber
12 cup of green peas, cooked 3.5–4.4 grams
12 cup of mixed vegetables, cooked from frozen 4.0 grams
12 cup of collards, cooked 3.8 grams
1 medium sweet potato, baked in skin 3.8 grams
1 medium potato, baked, with skin 3.6 grams
12 cup of winter squash, cooked 2.9 grams
Beans
Food and Portion Size Amount of Fiber
12 cup navy beans, cooked 9.6 grams
12 cup pinto beans, cooked 7.7 grams
12 kidney beans, cooked 5.7 grams

A doctor or dietitian can help you learn how to add more high-fiber foods to your diet.

High-fiber foods, including a banana, an orange, grapes, cucumber, and a sandwich on whole wheat bread.
If you have diverticulosis or if you have had diverticulitis in the past, your doctor may recommend eating more foods that are high in fiber.

Should I avoid certain foods if I have diverticulosis or diverticulitis?

Experts now believe you do not need to avoid certain foods if you have diverticulosis or diverticulitis.

In the past, doctors might have asked you to avoid nuts; popcorn; and seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, caraway, and sesame. Recent research suggests that these foods are not harmful to people with diverticulosis or diverticulitis. The seeds in tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, and raspberries, as well as poppy seeds, are also fine to eat.

Even so, each person is different. You may find that certain types or amounts of foods worsen your symptoms.

May 2016
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