Diverticulitis Diet: Top 11 Foods To Avoid with Diverticulitis

Top 11 Foods to Avoid with Diverticulitis

They say we should embrace getting older, well, as accurate as the statement is, we also dread getting old because of some health complications associated with old age. There’s a myriad of health conditions that are inevitable if one doesn’t take necessary precautions to alleviate them. Diverticulitis is one such condition and is characterized by small pockets in the colon lining, which when they get infected, swelling abounds.

The condition leads to abdominal pains, and as if that is not enough, people have nausea, fever, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and fever. Because the condition often strikes unexpectedly, the next low fiber foods should be avoided if you want to escape diverticulitis.

The following is a list of the TOP 11 foods to avoid with diverticulitis:

1. Corn

For some people, convincing them to part with corn is like trying to move objects with your mind; they just won’t budge, but will hold on to them as if their entire life depended on them. Unfortunately, if you are suffering from diverticulitis, the sad truth is that you will have to surrender it. The reason is that corn is often the underlying cause of digestion problems.

The fiber in corn causes some stomach discomfort, but this is not the main reason why you should avoid eating corn if you have diverticulitis condition; corn is high in sugar content. Because you love corn too much, you start by reducing the amount gradually or opting for the processed cream corn, which has considerably fewer amounts of fiber and sugars as well.

The processed corn cream makes it easier for the body to digest it and is significantly less discomforting. The problem here is that the corn components, fiber, and sugar combine and the result after ingestion are the inflammation of the colon. It is recommended that one is on the lookout for symptoms after eating corn.

2. Foods rich with spices

This might be one part difficult to deal with. Many people are used to foods with lots of spices little knowing that they are causing themselves harm. If you are a fan of spicy Chinese or Indian or any other cuisines for that matter, it is time, sadly, that you stop or minimize the consumption. Here is a fact you didn’t know, spicy foods can lead to gut issues, which eventually translates to diarrhea, vomiting and other problems caused by irritation and inflammation in your digestive system.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant with your friend and eaten the same meal then afterward you develop complications while he or she is perfectly all right? Well, the truth lies in the way people react to certain spices or amount of food eaten. If you are a spicy-food lover, it is recommended that you try out the amount of food you can handle without developing any complications or before the symptoms start worsening.

In as much as some people can stomach spicy foods what would seemingly be like every day, others would not tolerate them at all. It all comes down to you and how you react to the food. When you ate enough and started feeling some abdominal pains, it might be because your colon is or is getting inflamed.

3. Broccoli

There is no denying that broccoli has a plethora of health benefits to people. However, it is so unfortunate that with people suffering from digestive related issues like diverticulitis, it proves quite troublesome as it often leads to discomfort. How this happens is that after eating broccoli, individuals with this condition start experiencing gas build up in the gut followed by bloating.

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As mentioned earlier, low fiber foods stand high chances of causing diverticulitis; however, you probably are wondering why broccoli is in this list yet it is rich in fiber that is supposed to be good for your digestive system? The underlying problem is as a result of broccoli triggering abdominal pains, for those who are suffering from this condition, instead of making the stool loose to be properly excreted, or helping in the relief of abdominal pain. To be on the safe side, it is only true to try out the diet and determine the effect broccoli has on you.

During the experiment, you should try boiling or steam the broccoli. This is because some who have the condition say that when eaten raw, it has adverse effects.

4. Cabbage

This is getting unfair; that’s what you probably are feeling right now if cabbage is among your favorite vegetables. The aim is to let you know what could further the condition you are in, and cabbage is another contributing factor to diverticulitis, just like broccoli. It gets irritating in the digestive system.

Cabbage, like broccoli, is rich in fiber but it makes the inflammations in your digestive system worse as soon as the body begins to digest them. The inflammation will be followed by the build up of gas, which will entirely mess up the rest of your day as you tend to get uncomfortable. When you pass the gas or burp, it gets released and as compelling as this sounds; many people will look at other options for dealing with the gas problem.

Coupled with digestive problems, the gas build up will lead to bloating and eventually, your stomach will start hurting, and the pain may end up getting unbearable. If cabbage has this effect on you, it is best to avoid it. On the other hand, if you have no idea if it can affect you, it is important that you commence on a cabbage eating spree to determine the extent it takes for it to affect you.

5. Milk products

Several dairy products do not augur well with people having diverticulitis. For example:

Dairy products in general
We all love milk, cheese, butter, cream and so forth. Little do we know that the way we are enjoying them is the same way that they are gradually affecting or abetting certain conditions in our bodies. They cause issues with the digestion whether or not we are lactose intolerant.

You will want to ensure that the inflammation in your intestines goes down and does not get severe to extents that you can’t be able to do anything else if you are a patient of diverticulitis. The reason is that diverticulitis has an adverse impact on the way lactose is digested in the body. Even those who are not lactose intolerant have experienced a shift from the norm of their digestive process.

Sometimes after the consumption of dairy, bloating is experienced. The bloating will continue and eventually lead to diarrhea and should this be the case, denying yourself the milk product or wholly excluding them from your diet could ease the situation you are in. It might be a little difficult than it sounds but luckily, you have a variety of options to choose from like opting for lactose-free yogurt and cheese, and for milk you can go with soy and the almond ones, which are apparently sweet tasting.

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6. Butter

Butter has a variety of uses because of its fatty nature. However, the fat in it is another cause for the recurring diverticulitis symptoms, not to mention how it is the worst choice one could consume for its digestive issues. It doesn’t matter if one is lactose intolerant or not, butter, either soft or hard, could be the basis for a ton of problems that as soon as you cut them out of your diet, you will feel a lot better. Low-calorie oil spreads like olive spread will do, as the alternative for butter.

Olive spreads have no lactose and will make your gut feel better as there is no reaction, and it is recommended as one doesn’t have to sacrifice their full breakfast. Again, trying out butter to see if it has a response on your body comes in highly recommended so as to know the right amounts for you, as well as wondering if you will have to do away with it completely.

7. Cheese

This is another milk product that isn’t recommended for people with diverticulitis. That’s right, and you will have a hard time doing away with several favorites like cheese and butter as mentioned above. Dairy products are not the best options for dealing with digestive issues. Eating too much or even a little cheese, depending on people, could lead to difficulties in the digestion of food.

Hard cheese is a better option for the absorption as opposed to soft cheese like cream cheese or mascarpone, which is particularly not the best. The reason is that they lead to significant amount of gas forming, which results in bloating and severe stomach cramps.

Should you be planning on eating cheese, probably like the other foods we have listed, you should try experimenting with it and see how much of it you can tolerate or how much it takes for the symptoms to start showing. The good thing is, there is lactose-free cheese that you could buy, which should enhance your digestion. It is the best choice for cheese.


Some foods taste funny if you tried them without pepper. What you should know, however, is that if you are a victim of digestive issues, both red and green pepper are out of the question as they will be difficult to break them down. Green pepper, for instance, is known to be the cause of cramps as a result of aiding the production of gas, which is even worse if you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Abdominal pain is experienced immediately the peppers begins getting digested in the gut, which is followed by bowel movements and the difficulty in passing solids. This is understandable in that when one is suffering from diverticulitis, different foods cause different reaction in the vast majority of people. Mild to severe symptoms are largely dependent on the effect that pepper has on one’s diet.

Ironically, it is a little disheartening to a person suffering from diverticulitis seeing someone else eat peppers, even raw, and he or she can’t even touch them. However, one can experiment with them and know the right amounts for him.

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9. Beans

Beans are among the listed foods that are rich in fiber like broccoli and cabbage. We have delved into details on how fiber can cause stomach discomforts, bloating and gas build up in our guts, for that reason, beans are not a recommendation if you have diverticulitis. It doesn’t matter what variety or kind you are consuming, they all have the same effect of causing gas buildup and the pain can be alleviated quickly causing more problems.

Again, like other kinds of food, people will have different reactions when they consume beans. Doing a similar experimentation with beans like in other types of food, it is important to save you from completely cutting it out from your diet. The choice of eliminating it from your diet is highly dependent on you. Choose a method that will work best for you and one that will not elevate the problems you already have.

10. Lentils

Another great contributor to gastrointestinal anguish is lentils. They lead to abdominal pains and lots of discomforts.

Why do lentils cause pain and stomach pains? The answer is simple, it contains fiber and the body, while it is digesting the food, experiences difficulties and is accompanied by pain. Bloating occurs as a result of fiber contained in the lentils.

Every aspect of how beans are not the right choice for you when you have diverticulitis is the same as in lentils, which wouldn’t be recommended. You should ease on the experimentation part with lentils as you watch how symptoms manifest themselves. Hence, you will decide whether to leave them entirely or not.

11. Unhealthy, Fatty Foods

Many people love fast foods like chips, which are highly harmful to an individual with diverticulitis. Sadly, most of this unhealthy food is what we love the most, and every time we will see people eating them, our mouths will water. Pizza, burgers, hotdogs among other will have to go.

Fat stimulates the digestive system and chances that it will cause inflammations are high. They also have the effect of triggering the gastro-colic reflex, which leads to the contraction of the large intestines, leading to severe abdominal discomforts. Eating these kinds of food when you have diverticulitis does nothing more than to catalyze the pain.

Ensuring that you have eliminated or reduced the fatty foods that you so love eating and replacing them with food that is light and healthy, goes a long way in ensuring that you do not have many issues relating to digestive system.

The experimentation part of unhealthy foods should be conducted with full knowledge that there will be pain accompanied. Junk food is out of the question when it comes to health issues.



We all love food, so much so, that we will find it hard to part ways with others. Seeking medications to ensure that the effects food impose on us are not severe isn’t the solution, when you can just decide to eliminate or experiment on various types or other options and stay healthy. Diverticulitis is an example of a condition that will force you to watch your diet, and it is only reasonable because severe effects may eventually put you down.


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foods to avoid with diverticulitis

foods to avoid with diverticulitis



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29 Responses

  1. I hate it when authors of great articles like this do not take the time to answer reader’s questions! Not one of these people who took THEIR time to comment, got an answer. Are you just copying and pasting these articles or are you really an “expert”? I’d like to know about soft peanut butter too, and if the FODMAP diet is the best one to follow for my diagnosis of diverticulitis and a gall stone.

  2. when eating fruit it is easer to digest when it is soft . vegetables you must cook right out so it is soft, it is easier to digest . don’t think about eating any sort of bean or lintels you are not able to digest. keep away from red meats ,eat white meat chicken or turkey. don’t over cook, harder to digest.
    when you have eaten something wrong don’t go back listen to your body, we are all different

  3. A friend of mine who has diverticulitis, is coming over for the weekend. This has given me great insight on what groceries not to buy. Thank you very much!

  4. I’ve suffered with this for 10 year but unaware as I’d never heard of it and always treat my symptoms as wind however a week ago I had a really bad flare up and was admitted to hospital for 7 days antibiotics painkillers and fluids . I’m a bit more up to date now but all of these comments have helped massively. Still along way to go and still not fully recovered but on the mend I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy x

  5. I saw another question about this. Can anyone respond to whether creamy peanut butter can be eaten when your on the diet to rid yourself of diverticulitis? Of course after the clear foods portion …

  6. I’ve been poorly for 4 months with diorhea and very bad pains nausea etc. I had bowel ct in February as mo one hot back to me I presumed all was OK. My gp informed me recently I had diverticulitis i immediately cut out all dairy my diorhea has stopped. All the suffering because I didnt know ????

  7. Hi
    Ive been diagnosed (after a ct scan) with extensive diverticular disease and some retroperitoneal inflammation. Im due to see a specialist but with the current situation(covid 19) nothing seems to be happening. My GP doesn’t seem overly concerned but Ive read terrifying reports on some sites about them being serious illnesses ie partial gut removal or even them being fatal. Should I be worried. (Ive currently put myself on a low fodmap liquid diet and it seems to help.

    I shall be grateful for any thoughts fom fellow suffers/Drs

    Thanks and stay safe


    1. I’ve been diagnosed for a few years now and I did have a colon resection about 4 years ago. I find much relief by using Colloidal Silver and CBD everyday. Slippery Elm, Probiotics, try non dairy and gluten free for a bit too, helps when having a flare up.
      Be sure to take capsules not tablets for supplements, they digest better. I found that switching to low fodmap and dairy free helps a great deal. Daily exercise, even just walking seems to help a great deal.
      Good luck.

  8. I had a colonoscopy recently and the doctor told me that everything was good.My concern now is about I have bad simptoms of diverticulosis. I can’t eat beans ,milk,broccoli, corn,lentils. I have diarrea and constipation the same day.Your information was really helpful for me,thank you.

  9. I’ve had diverticulitis for a few years, discovered when I had a colonoscopy. Thank you for this information. So many people and doctors just don’t know what food advice to give me since everyone has different experiences with food when they have this condition. For me, I can eat some veggies as long as they are cooked to be “fork tender”. I have found through trial and error that corn, onions (cooked or raw), beets, bamboo shoots, lettuce, celery, peppers, tomatoes, or fruit with a skin or peel are triggers for an attack. I have diabetes as well and I find that if my blood sugar is high, my gut is inflamed and I can have some pain with some foods. I’m terrified to eat something new like quinoa because it might trigger an attack. One nurse told me if it makes me feel uncomfortable just don’t eat it. Problem is that you have to live through the pain to discover if you can tolerate it or not. You can’t even throw it up once it’s in the digestive track. This is definitely not a fun way to live! I’m thinking about shopping in the baby food aisle!

    1. That is my thoughts also my doctor says it is not the food if you are going to get it you will get it. Last year I had it twice with a UTI thought I would die September and October , I have it now been on antibiotics for 3 days and they upset my IBS . I always get it in summer or fall ,but I am ready to live on baby food and I also stay constipated.I just pray they come up with a cure.

  10. My nutritionist said that the only thing to avoid was berries with seeds and multigrain bread. I’m already a vegetarian but she also said meat and meat products are a no no. Adding in beans and lentils will help the fibre content and help move everything through to avoid build up of feacal matter in the pockets of colon. Maybe check with a medical nutrionist if you have diverticulitis.

  11. I’m a 66 yr old female battling diverticulitis for over 10 yrs. I am also a retired RN. This is by far the most helpful information I have read on the subject. I developed the gas, cramping and loose stool symptoms a while after the diverticulitis symptoms and assumed I must also have IBS.
    These conditions must go hand in hand although you will rarely see this suggestion. And you will see suggestions that seeds and nuts should not bother you which is certainly not true for me.
    I think physicians should recommend the FODMAP diet for all those with diverticulosis hoping to avoid diverticulitis at which point one should truly be recommended a clear liquid or at the very least a very bland, soft diet. Thank you for your information.

    1. Bri: I was told 2 or 3 years ago that I could eat nuts, popcorn and seeds. I found this out when I took a friend to get her colonoscopy and her doctor told me to tell her this was false and she could eat anything she wanted to! Well I hadn’t had popcorn for a few years so I decided to eat some ….. well guess what, I had a diverticulitis flare-up big time!!! So it’s not true that you can eat whatever!!!

      1. Popcorn is how I found out I had diverticulitis it inflamed and popped a hole in the intestine wall thought my appendix burst almost had to have surgery a week in the hospital with antibiotics
        I’ll never eat popcorn and alot of other things again

    1. I have diverticulitis and I have a instant pot that I do cabbage in. It’s so tender and it doesn’t bother me. It may be different for you. I wash all the seeds out of canned tomatoes and I deseed them .

  12. I have type 2 diabetes and have depended on cheese, butter, broccoli,cabbage and
    cauliflower as good alternatives to things I previously ate. I’m at a loss as to know what I can eat. I eat no sugar and very few carbohydrates. What do I eat now?

    1. I am currently experiencing a very mild flare up of my diverticulitis symptoms. I have found that certain foods for me seem to trigger it. This is my third one in 4 years. If your flare ups are severe your situation may be different. I have found a very high fiber diet to be helpful but have found dehydration to be the biggest issue. If the foods on this list don’t cause problems for you personally try in moderation. It’s apparent to me after all my reading that nobody really understands what causes diverticulitis. A lot of foods on the list often cause gas but not necessarily diverticulitis. A food diary may help to determine what triggers your flare ups. My doctor says that stress is a big factor too.

  13. Thanks for the information. I am 49 and just been diverticulitis. I feel so old! I have a lot to learn. Can you eat soft peanut butter?

    1. Hi Della yeah I know that feeling had a case of it myself in July was hospitalist with it.The doctors was not much help with what not to eat.Found this site and have learned a lot about anther people how have it to don’t feel so alone

      1. I’m 48. I was just diagnosed with it. Omg. It really sucks. I’ve never felt so bad in my life. It’s worse then the flu. I’m still figuring things out. I was a fast food junky for awhile, about 2 yrs ago. Then stopped. Been Trying to eat as healthy as I can, with diverticulitis. A lot of the foods I love, broccoli, chips, certain fruits. Getting old stinks.
        Suggestions for a newby?

  14. Very helpful information and just wished the doctors told me more of what not to eat cause I’ve been dealing with diverticulitis since 2009. Thank you so much for your research.

  15. oh my gosh, very helpful….I will keep all suggestions in mind…I have learned that all raw veggies that were suppose to be good for you, and good for the colon, are acutally hard on the colon, scratching and scraping. In fact we should be gently be steaming, or pickleing, etc. for better digestion…funny they more we investigate, the more we know. My mom always said ” everything in moderation”…..lived to be 95.

  16. Thx for the information it was very helpful in understanding this condition I was recently diagnosed with diverticulitis attack

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