The truth about Diet and Diverticultis

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Aug 9, 09:13 AM Comments [1].


I have had quite a few queries regarding diverticulitis lately. There are a LOT of myths around the right dietary treatment for diverticulitis, so making sure people have the right evidence-based information is really important.

What is Diverticulitis?

Probably the simplest explanation for diverticulitis that I have seen is: “Diverticulosis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) develop in your digestive tract. When one or more of these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis”.

Diet and Diverticulitis

So, what about diet? Do you need high fibre, low fibre? Do you need to avoid pips, popcorn, seeds, and nuts? Do you need to deseed your tomatoes? (The answer to this one is NO)

The Truth about Diverticulitis

The evidence-based Recommendations for Diverticular Disease are:

• To eat a very high fibre diet (with a good amount of soluble fibre)
• There is no evidence for avoiding foods like skins, berry seeds, nuts, corn, and popcorn – leave your tomatoes alone!
• To get regular exercise
• Reduce weight if you need to
• Reduce the amount of red meat you eat
• Regular meals with fruit and vegetables at each meal
• Make sure to drink at least 2L water each day
• Making sure you have enough vitamin D (10mcg/400IU supplement daily)
• Cutting down alcohol and smoking if this relates to you.
• You could try a probiotic for 3 months (but the evidence is scanty- if no effect after 3 months, stop taking them) and then include natural probiotic foods in your diet after that.

Soluble Fibre

Where is soluble fibre found?

-fruit, vegetables, oats, pulses/legumes (such as beans, chickpeas, lentils), nuts, barley, flaxseed, psyllium husk
Probiotic foods?
-yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, natto, kimchi, some sourdough bread and some cheeses.

tell us all

Have you heard the myths around diverticulitis? I wonder why people still think they need to deseed their tomatoes and cucumbers???

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


  1. A year ago I had an older nurse tell me to be sure to lay off the nuts, seeds, popcorn etc. I believe this myth persists because the vial makes sense, even if time and observation have shown otherwise.
    You picture little pocket purses inside your intestines ready to collect whatever tiny bits plop their way. Oh no, the pocket bulges gets irritated you have inflammation, diverticulitis, pain…the thing is, after decades of surgeries, the surgeons found no indication that these pockets were indeed full of the aforementioned culprits. Loose weight if you are overweight, eat a balanced nutrient fiber rich diet, and you may avoid diverticulitis.

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