Diverticulosis is a condition that typically affects the lower portion of the large intestine (colon). Though the exact cause for it is not certain, some people develop sac-like outpocketings along the lining of the colon. These are called diverticula and are common in people over the age of 40 years. However, when these diverticula get inflamed and/or infected, this is called diverticulitis, and it can cause an individual to experience severe abdominal pain, bloating and gas, fever and chills, and abnormal bowel function.

The development of diverticula has often been linked to one’s dietary habits. Thus, here is a list of foods to avoid in order to prevent diverticulosis as well as control symptoms of diverticulitis.

1. Red Meat

Those suffering from acute diverticulitis, which results in short-term discomfort, perhaps sporadic flares, should limit consumption of red meat. Red meat is tougher and more difficult to digest, moves through the bowels more slowly, and will further agitate an already stressed digestive tract. It is also known to cause constipation in individuals with lower digestive enzymes. Since tender meats like poultry are less likely to cause further damage, those are the safer options for one who is having meat cravings. Those suffering from chronic diverticulitis may incorporate some amount of red meat into their diet, though it is still recommended that white meat be consumed more frequently.

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