Often diverticulosis goes undetected and when there are symptoms they are generally gas, bloating and cramping. Doctors will use a colonoscopy to determine if you suffer from the condition. This is often followed by fasting and then a diet of elimination to determine what foods cause problems for you. All of this is under the guidance of a physician.
Often the diet can be individualized as some patients have certain triggers and other patients do not. Water is a critical role in the diet as it is very important to digestion. Be sure to get at least 1.5 liters of water per day or more to remain healthy on this diet. Avoiding processed foods, high salt and high fat foods are also important. Since this is all about digestion, foods that don’t digest as easily such as corn, broccoli and whole grains need to be avoided.
What Experts Say about the Diverticulitis Diet
The diet isn’t meant to cure or even treat diverticulitis, it is however meant to give an over active digestive track a chance to rest. The condition is caused by inflamed or infected pouches in the digestive track. Giving these a chance to rest can help clear up the infection and allow digestion to return to normal. Severe cases of the condition could require hospitalization.
Pros and Cons to the Diverticulitis Diet
- Eliminating stomachproblems can help a person return to normal life.
- The ease of digesting food on this diet often results in weight loss.
- Poor digestion can lead to many other health problems and clearing that up can restore a person’s health.
- The diet can be a bit tricky to follow, especially at first.
- Beverages can be highly limited and restricted to clear fluids.
- Foods that are often thought to be fine and healthy aren’t included on this diet (many lettuces, fiber rich foods and broccoli).
- Many comfort foods aren’t allowed on this diet.
Sample Diverticulitis Diet Meal Plan
A glass of milk, cereal that isn’t packed with fiber, fruit juice devoid of pulp or toast (as long as it’s not whole grain) is fine.
Fish and poultry are good choices. Don’t have them fried or breaded. Pasta and noodles with light sauces are okay as is rice.
Remember to keep the veggies to the basic, easy to digest types; cooked peas or green beans and skinless potatoes. You can also add pasta, rice, poultry and fish.
Traditional snacks don’t fly so well on this diet. First you can try string cheese or low-fat yogurt to help with hunger. You can also have fruits that are canned and without seeds or skin.
Things to Know
One of the hardest things to remember is that many foods that are traditionally considered healthy are not okay on this diet. Many lettuces aren’t good, so salads are out. Raw fruits and veggies also often pose a problem. In addition, removing the skins from veggies like potatoes is a good idea. The key to the diet is to only eat foods that are very easy to digest.