Foods You Can't Eat With Diverticulitis

Sesame seeds should be avoided with diverticulitis
Sesame seeds should be avoided with diverticulitis


Listed here are some of the foods you can't eat with Diverticulitis that you can use as a reference or as a starting point for more research. Diverticulitis is swelling of an abnormal pouch in the intestinal wall. Most of these pouches are typically located in the large intestine. Each pouch is referred to as a diverticulum and multiple pouches are called diverticula. The presence of pouches themselves called diverticulosis. It can occur more often after the age of 40. Diverticulitis happens when bacteria get trapped in the pouches and can lead to inflammation or infection.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis:

Most of the people who suffer from diverticulosis have a very few symptoms or none at all. However some people experience some of the symptoms

  • Abdominal pain in the left lower abdomen
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Below you will find some of the foods you can't eat with diverticulitis. You can use this list as a general guideline and always consult your health care provider first.

 List of foods to avoid with diverticulitis:

1. Nuts and seeds: Avoid nuts such as peanuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews. Because these seeds can irritate your colon and cause pain. Avoid seeds such as sunflower, caraway, pumpkin and sesame seeds. If you have diverticulitis and you think that nuts and seeds trigger your attacks, it is best to avoid these foods.

2. Vegetables and fruits: Avoid vegetables and fruits contain seeds that has tiny particles. These tiny particles could lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation. Avoid fruits and veggies such as strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers such as green and red peppers, eggplant and okra. Also vegetables from the cruciferous family such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and swiss chard. Other vegetables include carrots, celery, iceberg lettuce, potatoes, squash, beets and zucchini.

3. Grain products: It is important that you avoid grains and its products. Grain has residues that can leave in the stomach. For example, it can be found in breads, and pastas. Instead you can consume enriched refined bread, plain cereals such as cheerios and rice krispies.

4.Dried fruits: Dried fruits such as raisins and berries are difficult to digest and should be avoided with diverticulitis.

5. Sugary foods and sodas: Avoid sugary foods and sodas, because they can cause gas and bloating, which can further aggravate the diverticulitis symptoms.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomato
Avoid acidic foods such as tomato

6. Acidic foods: Avoid highly acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits such as lemon as they may aggravate the condition.

7. Milk and cheeses: Avoid whole milk, non dairy coffee creamers and whipped cream. Whipped cream contains coconut or palm oils. Instead you can use skim milk, and low fat yogurt. Try to limit the use of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, butter, cottage cheese and margarine. Most dairy products are easily digested and tolerated well. But it is a good idea to monitor how you do on them and also discuss milk intake with your doctor first.

8. Refined foods: Another important food to avoid with diverticulitis is refined foods. Refined foods found in all purpose flour, sponge cake,pretzels, puffs, pizza, ice cream, pastries, doughnuts, chocolates, artificial sweetners, canned juice, cream pies, white sugar and muffins.

9. Fried foods: Avoid fried foods and fatty foods including french fries, fast foods, fried chicken, fried tacos, and processed foods. Instead of deep frying, you can bake, boil or saute in a pan.

10. Alcohol: It is important that you try to avoid alcoholic beverages as they irritate your colon. If you choose to drink alcohol, only drink it occasionally. It's a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure drinking alcohol is acceptable.

11. Smoking: Smoking should be avoided as they irritate the gastic mucosa.

12 Others: Other foods you can't eat with diverticulitis include corn and its products, popcorn, beans such as navy beans and kidney beans, juices with pulp, sodas, coconut, burgers, spicy foods, popcorn, peppers and fast foods.

Comments 46 comments

Janice 5 years ago

This diet would seem to preclude food in general. Since diverticulitis also calls for a high-fiber diet, how would one get it by leaving out almost all vegetables?

Allan 4 years ago

I guess you would only eat certain nonseeded or peeled veggies and would have to cook them before,maybe a v-8 would be better!

anthony diodati 4 years ago

when I got to the end, I said according to this write up, you cant eat nothing?

mary 4 years ago

Everything I love is on this list

nybride710 profile image

nybride710 4 years ago from Minnesota

I just got diagnosed with DV. My goodness, what can I eat?

Santi 3 years ago

These are only the opinions of the author. I have had DV for 5 years, your body will tell you what it can and cannot take. You should adjust accordingly. There are other sites which conflict w the ideas here. However, if you want to follow the ideas above, you should learn to love dog food! Although in their next installment I believe it will be included as well.

Common Sense 3 years ago

Sites like this are built to generate traffic, not to give good advice. The horror of the internet - greedy site publishers paying for content just to drive traffic. Shame! This is people's health, someone is going to read this and think it represents expert opinion. It does not, it's just marketing drivel. Don't believe everything you read folks. /rant

OMG 3 years ago

It looks like you could eat bell peppers. Just remove the seeds which I do anyway . also cucumbers, squash, zucchine, and etc. I wonder if this person has ever had diverticulitis??

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 3 years ago from Burlingame, CA

If you currently have a flare up of diverticulitis, is ice cream easy to digest? In general, I understand it's good to avoid, but I'm looking for some low residual foods to eat.

Kim Hanlon 2 years ago

So much conflicting info regarding what you can & can't eat. Comments from Santi & Common Sense ring true. Having DV myself, eating what you feel comfy with and most of all a little exercise is working for me.

Fran yannelli 2 years ago

Omg what do you eat

Tanya 2 years ago

What a bunch of drivel!

Judy 2 years ago

I am 71 years old in February of this year I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. does anyone have a good diet for diverticulitis on what to eat and what not to eat. would appreciate any info that you can give me.

Robert Platt Bell 2 years ago

This list is a little ridiculous, and I think each person's situation is different.

According to this list, the only thing you can eat is MEAT. Gee, that helps me a lot. I have gout, too.

I had two attacks recently, both after eating a lot (and I mean a LOT) of eggplant. Is this the cause? Maybe.

Sometimes too much heavy lifting triggers it. Stress, too. Being out of shape, overweight, drinking too much - all factors as well.

The ONE THING I have definitely given up is popcorn. And I've loved popcorn since I was a little kid. But those kernal shards are like little knives in my lower intestine.

Corn on the cob is problematic unless you CHEW IT A LOT.

I take a Metimucil capsule every day with a large glass of water, and drink lots of water. Dehydration doesn't seem to help diverticulitis.

I have NOT had a problem with "soft seed" vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes. So I don't know why those are on the list.

Everyone's situation is different, and some people literally "outgrow" it over time.

I went for nearly two years without an attack, and then had two in a row, right after having eggplant. Is this the cause? I am not sure. It is all too easy for amateurs to make cause-effect links.

I do have a problem with ibuprofen (which really helps with the intense pain from this disease). It makes me break out in hives. They do not hurt, but are uncomfortable, and sometimes my whole face swells up!

It took me about three years to make the ibuprofen/hives connection, and only after seeing two allergists, two doctors, and reading up a lot about side effects of ibuprofen.

So, it may take you just as long to figure out what triggers a diverticulitis attack. For me, popcorn and corn-on-the-cob (another favorite!) were quick to figure out, as there were several cause-effect episodes.

But cucumbers? Tomatoes? Maybe for some folks......

Robert Platt Bell 2 years ago

I forgot to mention nuts. Small amounts seem to be OK, if chewed slowly. Unchewed nuts can lodge right in the diverticuli and cause a nasty infection.

Sort of gave up on nuts. Even chewed, they turn into concrete in the lower intestine.... particularly peanuts, particularly boiled peanuts (a "delicacy" here in the South).

Good Luck and keep your spirits up!

Wow 2 years ago

So, basically once you have had diverticulitis you have to stop eating. Period.

Got it.

Debbie Bruskoski profile image

Debbie Bruskoski 2 years ago from Gary, Indiana

As I lay here in a hospital bed waiting to go home tomorrow, I ran across this site. My Dr's advice was a soft diet. Meat, potatoes, & steamed veggies (which I can substitute with low sodium V-8). Luckily I avoided the surgery, but have been here 5 days on IV antibiotics & morphine. His (diet plan) for me salads, no raw veggies, no raw fruits, & drink lots of water. This is his soft diet, which I can handle. Obviously no nuts, seeds, or popcorn. Like I said, I'm in the hospital, I was put back on real food 2 days ago. I have had soft shell tacos, bacon, a hamburger, and even pancakes. Everyone's body is different, but I do believe these foods made my bowels finally move. My doctor had no problem with these foods. His main advice was absolutely NO roughage. It's all trial and error. I do believe this site went extremely overboard and that can scare people.

PapillionWtngs 2 years ago

I have been in the hospital three times with diverticulitis. The first time, but I found out that I had it, I could not tell you what I ate to trigger the episode. The second time, it was cashews. The third time it was raspberries that had been cooked. I was diagnosed at

41, and am at 58 now. I have had probably a dozen or so attacks, and you just never know what will trigger it. Stress is a huge factor. I even tried those Juice Plus capsules, and they almost sent me on my 4th hospital stay. Drink plenty of water, and listen to your body. If you don't want to eat, don't eat. But just drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. My body tells me what it wants and what it needs, but it may have messed up on the okra. We'll see. Wishing all good health and hoping that we can get rid of the scare tactics as in the article above and come to the realization that everyone is different. Hang in there.

cinda shapiro 2 years ago

The doctors in OR said it was infection in the lymph nodes around the affraid to go back to my doctor..sounds silly but now I am light bleeding from tbe rectum.

Lynda 2 years ago

Just home from 10 day stay in hospital with diverticulitis. I never want to go through that again. I am so afraid it will happen again.

Irene 2 years ago

Yeah I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I ate half a can of cashews and 2 days later extreme pain could barely walk up right. Doc told me not to eat all nuts and seeds including all berries because they have tiny hard seeds. Any hard sharp or giddy like cornmeal. I had one more attack shortly after being diagnosed ate some strawberries. That was the last time I ate strawberries and I haven't eaten nuts or seeds which has kept me from any flare up. I have no problem eating all vegetables even dill pickles or corn on the cob Has been ok. So a good rule is don't eat anything hard, sharp or griddy. That includes some spices like fennel seeds or pumpernickel multi grain breads. It works for me. Hope this help someone.

Sue 21 months ago

I'm having an outbreak of diverticular this is the first in a while don't want to go hosital been up all night I'm losing blood and mucus and having lose stools is there anything I can do to avoid hospital please I am 59 yrs .

miss mia 21 months ago

You are not suppose to eat raw veggies or fiber DURUNG A FLARE UP. When you have a flare up they DONT WANT YOU going to the restroom. They want your colon to heal. After fiber is GOOD. I AVOID nuts in general , corn and any small seeds. Zucchini should be fine boiled or so seeds are soft. I found chili seeds in salsa were killing me. Now I just dip and shake it off. PROBIOTICS for your digestive system help

Jessica 21 months ago

@Miss Mia, you took the words out of my mouth. What I think everyone needs to know is that Diverticulitis is a temporary condition. It is when the diverticula (little sacs inside the colon) become infected. After the infection heals, in about a month, your medical condition is called Diverticulosis and your diet becomes the opposite, minus the nuts/seeds (anything that doesn't digest well.)

I'm 24 and was diagnosed Dec. '14. I went to the hospital due to severe stomach pain and ended up there for 4 days, while my 3 year old and 4 month old (who is nursed exclusively) were home with my husband, it was awful! I was on Cipro, Flagyl, and Pepcid for 2 weeks. The doctor game me 2 lists of what I can/can't eat. The first list was all low-fiber foods, for the first 4 weeks. The second list was foods with higher amounts of fiber. My first full day in the hospital I was not allowed anything to eat. The second day was broth, mind you, hospital broth, yum! The third day was solid food. They said I had to take it easy, and avoid fiber the first month because I had to rest my colon. Basically, they don't want you going to the bathroom too often, because your stool would obviously have to pass over the infected area. Think about it, if you had an abscess on your gum, you would avoid that area when brushing. (Sorry, that's the best analogy I've got.) So, about 2 weeks for the infection to go away, and 1 month total for the strict diet. Yes, it does seem like there is nothing for you to eat, but I managed.

This is my actual list from my doctor of what to eat for the first 4 weeks:

Grains: Refined white flour products. Ex. white bread, bagels, pancakes/waffles, cream of wheat, white pasta/rice. Cold/hot cereals made from white or refined flour. (So, no "whole grain" cereals)

Protein: Tender, well cooked beef, pork, poultry, fish. Eggs cooked well. Smooth nut butter (remember, no pieces!) Tofu, if that's your thing.

Vegetables: Canned or well-cooked vegetables, no skins or seeds. Mashed potatoes. vegetable Juice.

Fruit: Canned, soft, or well cooked fruits, no skins, seeds, membranes.

Dairy: Milk, buttermilk, yogurt, mild cheese, cottage cheese, lactose-free milk, sherbet. (They told me to limit dairy, but I don't drink milk so that wasn't a biggie for me.)

Fats/Oils: Limit to 8 teaspoons per day. When possible choose healthy oils/fats, such as Canola or Olive oil.

Other: Broth and strained soups made from allowed vegetables. Desserts- small portions without whole grains, nuts, seeds, raisins, or coconut.

A summed up list of what NOT to eat:

Tough or Fatty meat. Anything fried. Lunch meat. Sausage/Bacon/Hotdogs. Anything raw(meat/sushi/eggs). Whole-wheat anything. Brown rice/quinoa/kasha/barley. Oatmeal, anything whole-grain and high-fiber. Raw/undercooked vegetables. Peas/Corn. Gas-forming vegetables. Potato skin. Raw fruit. Coconut, Avocado.

I really hope that helped. I basically wrote an article there. Sorry it's so long but I asked my doctor so, so many questions and everyone deserves to have this information! The rule is after this boring 4-week diet, you have to slowly increase your fiber, ultimately leading up to 30 grams of fiber per day. So basically, switch all the whites to wheats and browns (bread, pasta, rice). I wish everyone well! Oh, one more thing, jarred tomato sauce does have little, tiny seeds in it. I found that out by the jar and once when I ordered a pizza, I figured let me just lift up the cheese and look, oh I was so mad! lol. I did, however, just read that Cantidina removes the skin and seeds to make their sauce! I'm looking forward to trying it. I really need to learn how to make my own!

dawn monzo 13 months ago

To Jessica, I am just suffering my fourth round of diverticulitis in a year. I read your entire comment and I can't tell you how informational it was to me. I hope to others as well. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to write your list of foods. It's more than what my Dr gave me. God bless you and thank you so much....again.

Jerrie 13 months ago

The information on what not to eat was rather disturbing and overwhelming..I'm glad people have spoke up on it..thank you for your comments, they were more informative and comforting, I'm not feeling so alone in this battle..

Stephanie 12 months ago

I just came out of emergency with my first attack. I have a gluten and dairy intolerance so i have been eating white rice and chicken and boiled eggs. Can i make soup out if cauliflower if it is pureed? The dr told me nothing of what not to eat.

Kt 6 months ago

Food List for Diverticulitis

during episodes of


Acute Phase Food List

 Clear liquids for 1-3 days until pain subsides

 Beef or chicken broth

 Clear soda

 Fruit juices without pulp, apple or grape are good choices

 Tea, coffee without cream,

 Jell-O without fruit

 Ice chips or Popsicles without pulp

 Plain saltine crackers

 Dry toast

Recovery Phase Food List

 Introduce low-fiber bland foods

 Soft or hard boiled eggs

 Canned fruits without pulp

 Desserts without seeds or nuts

 Juices without pulp

 Low-fiber cereals and milk

 Cheeses

 Yogurt

 Smooth peanut butter

 Tender meats, poultry, or fish

 Rice, plain noodles, or macaroni

 Well cooked vegetables without skins

Return to Normal and Prevention Food List

No longer do doctors state to avoid nuts, seeds corn, popcorn there is no evidence that this causes a flare up. You obviously just wouldn't eat these foods during a flare up as it will cause more pain. This information was from a doctor based site.

MAC 4 months ago

Dear Jessica,

Your entry was the most information have received and I thank you for taking the time and effort to post all the foods. I just had my second bout of diverticulitis and have asked the doctors both times for lists of good/bad foods. They did not have one. So frustrating. I will carry your list with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Joan 3 months ago

I was in hospital for over a week w DV in another state then I lived!! Dr there and thank goodness Dr in my state agreed on same things.... Eat in moderation of food as popcorn, nuts, etc. Once a month, Not everyday or week!!! If you have pain, stop eating and go on liquid diet for 2 to 3 days and lots of rest...then go back to high fiber. Just pat attention to what works for your own body!

Mardi 2 months ago

It is very important to distinguish between Diverticulosis (the condition) and Diverticulitis (the painful flare up inflamation events). For Diverticulosis to maintain health and avoid painful flareup events, highest fiber diet is crucial. Get lists of fiber content on all foods before eating. Aim for 30 grams of fiber per day. Add high-fiber drinks to your daily regimen.

When a painful flareup occurs and you need antibiotics to bring it under control, a very low fiber diet is then necessary. This is during the course of antibiotics to help heal the inflamation. After the antibiotics slowly increase fiber again to high levels.

To maintain health and prevent painful inflamations, read all the labels of all the foods and try to maximize fiber content in whatever you are eating.

This method has helped me manage my Diverticulosis for a number of years while happily eating yummy food and only having to restrict myself when I have bouts of Diverticulitis.

Tammy 2 months ago

I had the worse case scenario all at once out of nowhere! Not to scare anyone but, all I am saying is to please follow the diet your doctor tells you and find out what works for you! Never cheat or take any chances!! I am telling you this because I want you to be informed, and I pray this never EVER happens to you!! One day I had severe pain in my stomach, not really sure what I ate to cause the pain, I went to the emergency room they did some tests, CT scan etc...and they told me I had a perforated colon, which was most likely caused by diverticulitis. I was arguing with the Doctor telling him I don't have this, I have never been diagnosed by this??? The doctor told me I may have never had any symptoms, and that sometimes this can come out of no where... It is not as rare as you think!!! Perhaps if I had a colonoscopy they may have detected it? Anyway, they had to perform emergency surgery, and if they did not do the surgery, that my colon would have burst, they told me that it would have been fatal... The doctor had to remove 8 inches of my colon, and I had to have a temporary colostomy bag!!! All I can say is that this was horrible! Thank god it was reversible after 8 weeks! I will Never Ever eat a seed a nut, corn ever again!!! I am trying to follow this diet as best I can!!!! Best of luck to all of you!!!

cindy massty 2 months ago

Tammy, you have to stay on the diet even after you have the damaged part taken out?

Tammy 2 months ago

Basically, they told me they removed the damaged part so now I was ok??? The doctors told me right after the surgery, while I was still in the hospital, I would be on IV for the first 2 days then clear liquids, then eventually soft solids, then to slowly increase a low fiber diet, then they said when I went home to slowly go back to a normal diet nothing too spicey and increase the fiber slowly... I can not imagine doing this!!! I will never eat a nut , a seed, popcorn, regular corn or anything like that again!!! I have been just trying to follow a healthy diet as best as I can, fiber supplements, etc... I went to 2 gastro doctors, they are all telling me I do not have diverticulitis because they removed the damaged part, but I somehow was doing something wrong for this to happen to me! The doctors now are saying all those things that the things that were said years ago about nuts, seeds, are not the case anymore... They have done studies and it is not always the case, they even encouraged me to try these foods and see if anything bothers me... Well, I ask you if you went through what I went through would you even dare to try theses things.? I am not trying to scare anyone I am just saying please be careful and follow what works for you...I am just so afraid now!!! I never want to go through that again!!! Guess I am just very paranoid about it!!! I was fine one day and the next day I wake up with a colostomy bag! The doctors all told me that it is my choice, but gave me the diverticulitis diet anyway. I didn't even tell you part 2 of my story... So about a year later after my 2nd surgery, the reverse of the colostomy, I had another surgey due to scar tissue / adhesions that had developed from my previous surgeries... The scar tissue had developed and wrapped itself around my colon, so they had to remove 3 more more inches of my colon... Thank god I didn't have to get another colostomy bag...the surgeon had said that sometimes adhesions develop as your body heals, and that not all people get it, but some do. I guess I am just one lucky person!!! I went to get some different opinions about that as well... They say some people do not develop scar tissue until years later... Honestly, now I don't know what to do now!!! I am grateful to be alive, don't get me wrong, I just hope no one ever goes through what I went through... So I am just trying to be healthy and live my life every day as best as I can!

Derek 2 months ago

I have been trying to check what I can and cant eat and the advice here in the UK is totally opposite to the one in the USA! I'm fed up being in pain and feeling and looking bloated. I need some good advice please

Tina 7 weeks ago

I have had this condition now for several years. I have never been more depressed it is just awful. I have never been a good eater and now I hardly eat anything it just scares me to death. All the things I really liked are now off the list. I can't eat most of the things on these lists without a flare up so I tend to go hungry and weak most of the time. Sad but true I feel better on the days I go without. It is not much of a life though. I also know how you all feel about the bloating too unless you get this you could not even begin to imagine the discomfort. I guess I have become a bit of a sad and moany person so my kids tell me. I am only 55 and hate I can never have a raspberry or sweet little tomato ever again. I have to take spare clothes with me where ever I go and am in the loo half the rudy morning even when I have had next to nothing. Best cheer meself up with a small slice of cheese about the only pleasure left lol.

Joe Bradford 6 weeks ago

Two flare ups over 8 years. First, I pigged out on cashews a whole bottle. Second pickles and tomatoes. I found myself eating a tomato and a pickle with my lunch sand witch. Man did I regret that. But antibiotics and cutting out foods cleared it. I will not eat nuts, corn, and if I eat tomatoes I peal the outside off to eat.

Spud70 6 weeks ago

This blog post is ridiculous. Here is a real post

Moonstruck 6 weeks ago

This is crazy! You can't eat nuts, seeds, popcorn.. Seeds are in cucumber (I cut out the center part) tomatoes, do the same thing. Avoid all berries but blueberries. Don't fry anything! potatoes ok, but not the skin. Stop butter, but use olive or avocado oils for cooking and salad dressing. I had my first attack ever last week... It's horrible but , my Dr at the hospital went through all this before I left. I have 1 more day of the liquid diet, then I start the soft diet soon at least I can eat eggs, white bread. Pasta and rice. Ice Creme, pudding , Mashed & whipped potatoes (No whole grain at all for the soft diet.

5 weeks ago

Wat the hell is there left for me to eat !:-(

lisa 3 weeks ago

according to this you cant eat anything

Irene 3 weeks ago

I have had 4 attacks in 5 months,in the Hospital four times,first I thought it was salad....stopped it for 2 months(still had 2 attacks)...gave up coffee for 2 months (still had 2 attacks)

I have an appointment with an allergy Dr. to see if it can be a food ..I don't know what else to do...I eat everything I should then after about 4 weeks I have no pain at all...but,vomit for days and days 3 weeks ago

Good morning all. Yes, this monster is utterly ridiculous I agree what can we really ever eat again. I just experienced an attack on last week, awww it was terrible I had the CT Scan done as well. Good thing it came back showing no perforations just infected so I'm on the antibodies which I have started to feel a little better. I have been on the liquid diet since Monday, I am truly hungry but am still so afraid to eat something. I just feel so light headed and like I wanna regurgitate all the time. I love Ice Cream I'm glad so far we can still have the pleasure of that, but not too much. I just pray we all overcome this monster one day soon. Be Blessed!!!

Frank 3 days ago

Can anyone tell me if I can eat linguine and clams with having diverticulitis?

Sharon 2 days ago

I was just diagnosed with diverticulitis on Tuesday. Spent two days in the hospital, first on clear liquids and the last on soft liquid and finally on regular food. I'm with the rest of you, according to this you can't eat NUTTIN'! DAMN!

My doctor has told me to reintroduce foods gradually and pay attention to what I eat. In scared to death as one doctor said "you'll eventually have a colostomy bag". Not gonna happen.

I got this!

ruth 2 days ago

please can you help me , what bread can i eat as i have diverticulites bad

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article