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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the recommended diet for someone with diverticulitis?

    Should I be eating more or less fiber? Anything other advice?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 23

    Thanks

    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Firstly it is important to distinguish the difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis as both have different dietary treatments. Collectively both of these conditions are often termed diverticular disease.

    Diverticulosis occurs when the bowels are placed under constant strain trying to pass hard stools through for elimination. This is often due to little dietary fibre. For people with diverticulosis it is recommended to consume a diet high in dietary fibre, men need 30g and women 25g of dietary fibre daily. When reading labels aim for wholegrain breads, cereals, pasta and rice that contains around 3g or more fibre per serve. Other foods which contain fibre include fruits and vegetables (with the skins on) and oats.

    Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula (small pockets in the bowel) become inflammed and infected. Symptoms of diverticulitis include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea. If you are suffering from diverticulitis you MUST seek adivce from your GP or doctor. Dietary treatment includes a low residue or low fibre diet, avoidance of irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, until the inflammation and infection subsides. Gradual reintroduction of dietary fibre is then recommended starting with fruits and vegetables, legumes and oats (soluble fibre) first.

    If you are suffering from diverticular disease the best dietary treatment can be sorted by visiting an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). Visit www.daa.asn.au to find an APD close to you!

  • 17

    Thanks

    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    Diverticulitis can be a tricky one to treat - as dietary treatment focuses on treating the symptoms (that is, flare ups). During flare-ups its very important to reduce your fibre intake then increase your fibre intake once the flare-up has passed. 

    Dietary treatment for diverticular is a diet high in fibre.

    Increasing dietary fibre will increase stool bulk and reduce pressure within the bowel. This should help to relieve constipation and abdominal pain. Remember when increasing your fibre intake, to also increase your fluid intake and maintain regular exercise. A diet with adequate dietary fibre produces bulkier stools that stretches the colon, reducing the pressure on the colon and therefore associated pain.

    Aim for at least 30g of fibre/day
     
    Foods high in fibre include:
      - wholemeal or wholegrain breads, cereals and pastas
      - Legumes (eg. chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, baked beans etc)
      - Vegetables
      - Fruit (try and keep the skin on the fruit where possible - eg. eat the apple skin)
      - Nuts and Seeds (there is currently no scientific evidence to support the avoidance of small seeds, nuts and pips. A high fibre diet can include these foods without any adverse side effects)

    Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday (not including caffeine containing drinks such as coffee)

    Enjoy regular exercise (helps to stimulate bowel motions)


    An Accredited Practicing Dietitian can assist with implementing a high fibre diet and ensuring proper dietary action is taken during flare-ups (periods of pain). 

    Good luck!


    Samantha Ling
    Rostant Nutrition
    (Find us on Facebbok at www.facebook.com/rostantnutrition )  

  • 14

    Thanks

    Ashleigh is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD, AN) and registered with the Dietitian's Association of Australia with experience in both clinical and private practice. Ashleigh's … View Profile

    Fibre is found in plant foods which have not undergone a lot of processing. These include cereal and cereal products, fruit, vegetables, dried peas and beans, lentils and nuts. Fibre is not digested and so it passes through your intestine and is not absorbed by your body.

    During a flare up of diverticulitis, it is important to reduce your fibre intake and follow a low fibre diet. The aim of a low fibre diet is to reduce the amount of fibre you eat each day, by avoiding foods which are high in fibre. For a low fibre diet choose:

    • Refined breads and cereals: white bread, white pasta, white rice
    • Vegetables: well cooked and peeled, avoid seeds, peas, carrots and corn
    • Fruit: fruit juice, tinned/canned fruit, stewed skinless fruit
    • Dairy: avoid fruit yoghurt or containing nuts/seeds
    • Spreads: avoid jam, peanut butter
    • Soup: strained broth

    Once the indications of a flare up have resolved, it is important to increase your fibre intake towards 25g/day for women and 30g/day for men. By increasing your fibre intake, you will reduce your risk of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, aid in satiety, for blood sugar control and weight maintenance. To meet your requirements for fibre, aim to increase your intake of fibre rich foods as indicated below:

    • Breads & cereals: choose wholemeal, wholegrain varieties. Brown rice and pasta, quinoa, oat bran, bran flakes, buckwheat
    • Vegetables: aim for 5 serves daily
    • Fruit: aim for 2 serves daily (include the skin where practical)
    • Nuts & seeds
    • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans

    In addition to this, it is important to increase your fluid intake (aim 2L daily) and engage in regular, gentle exercise.

    If you would like additional information I recommend you contact an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

    Kind regards,

    Ashleigh

     

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