What Should I Eat & Avoid Eating if I Have Diverticulitis?

What Should I Eat if I Have Diverticulitis?


Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs when small pouches in your digestive system lining become inflamed. When this occurs, you can experience abdominal pain and other symptoms. It’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t eat when you are having a diverticulitis flare-up.

What Are the Symptoms of Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis can cause the following symptoms during a flare up:

  • Abdominal pain that usually occurs on your lower left side
  • Fever
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Tenderness in your abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

What Are the Risks of Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis causes mild symptoms. However, this inflammation can put you at risk of developing complications that can be serious. These include abscesses or blockages in your small intestine or colon.

What Are Treatment Options for Diverticulitis?

Your diet is an important part of treating diverticulitis. Certain foods can help ease inflammation, while other foods can make it worse. In addition to taking antibiotics, your doctor will go over dietary changes that you should make. Keep in mind that a diet your doctor recommends is a temporary one that is only used for easing diverticulitis.

Clear Liquid Diet

Your doctor might recommend starting with a clear liquid diet. This means only having the following:

  • Broth
  • Water
  • Coffee or tea with no cream or milk
  • Pulp-free fruit juices
  • Ice pops without any pulp or fruit pieces
  • Gelatin

Low-Fiber Foods

Foods with fiber can be added back into your diet gradually, beginning with low-fiber ones. Your doctor might recommend the following:

  • Dairy products, such as milk and cheese
  • Fruits that are cooked or canned and have no seeds or skins
  • Vegetables that are cooked or canned and have no skin
  • Eggs
  • Poultry and fish
  • Cereals that have low amounts of fiber
  • White rice, pasta, and bread

High-Fiber Foods

When your doctor says it’s safe to do so, you can add high-fiber foods back into your diet. These foods can help prevent flare ups from occurring. High-fiber foods include the following:

  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains, such as bread and brown rice
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

During an acute flare-up, you should avoid eating these high-fiber foods, since they can cause symptoms to become worse.

What Are Foods to Avoid with Diverticulitis?

You should avoid having any of the following foods:

  • Foods that have high amounts of sugar, such as refined grains
  • Foods that have high amounts of fat, such as whole milk, red meat, and fried foods

Keep in mind that limiting or avoiding these foods on a regular basis can benefit those who have diverticulitis. Diets that include these foods put people at a higher risk of having a flare up.

If you are experiencing symptoms of diverticulitis or have been diagnosed with this condition, make an appointment today with Gotham Medical Associates. Our physicians and dieticians specialize in treating conditions such as diverticulitis in an effective, compassionate manner.

Locate Us


123 William Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10038


Midtown – 5th Ave.

535 Fifth Avenue, Suite 611
New York, NY 10017


Midtown – 56th St.

60 East 56th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10022