What Should a Diabetic & Diverticulitis Patient Eat?

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

The diet for diabetes and diverticulosis, which is a condition characterized by small protruding pouches along the colon wall, are similar and play important roles in controlling both conditions. But if you're experiencing diverticulitis, which is when the pouches become inflamed, swollen or infected, you may be worried about how you're going to manage your diabetes due to the extreme differences in diet recommendations. Consult your doctor immediately if you're experiencing abdominal pain and think it may be a diverticulitis flare-up.

Young woman tossing a salad

The diet for diabetes and diverticulosis, which is a condition characterized by small protruding pouches along the colon wall, are similar and play important roles in controlling both conditions. But if you're experiencing diverticulitis, which is when the pouches become inflamed, swollen or infected, you may be worried about how you're going to manage your diabetes due to the extreme differences in diet recommendations. Consult your doctor immediately if you're experiencing abdominal pain and think it may be a diverticulitis flare-up.

Diet for Diabetes and Diverticulosis

What you eat is important for management of both your diabetes and diverticulosis. For the diabetes, your goal is to eat a variety of healthy foods -- including fruits, vegetables, grains, lean proteins and low-fat or nonfat dairy -- in controlled amounts at the same time every day to aid in blood sugar control. It is especially important that you control the amount of carbs at each meal since they have the greatest impact on your blood sugar.

To decrease pressure on your colon and prevent diverticulitis, you should eat a high-fiber diet, which includes beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to help keep stool soft and prevent constipation. When you have diabetes, eating more high-fiber foods has the added benefit of aiding in blood sugar control by delaying stomach emptying and helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Diet for Diverticulitis

Diet also plays an important role in the treatment of diverticulitis. What you eat or don't eat aids in the healing of your colon, according to the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. Depending on the severity of your diverticulitis, you may need to rest your bowel for a time, advancing to a clear liquid diet as tolerated. A clear liquid diet includes foods such as broth, apple or cranberry juice, gelatin and fruit ice.

As your condition improves, you can start eating solid food as directed by your doctor. To continue to allow your colon to heal, you will eat a low-fiber diet. Low-fiber food options include white bread, white rice, pasta, low-fiber cereal, applesauce, melon, soft-cooked vegetables, eggs and tender meat.

Diabetes and Clear Liquid Diet

As a diabetic, you may be concerned about eating foods such as gelatin, juice and fruit ice on your clear liquid diet due to their sugar content. However, you still need some carbs to help maintain blood sugar.

On the clear liquid diet, you need 200 grams of carbs a day divided into three meals or about 65 grams of carbs at each meal, says the Medical University of South Carolina. For example, a 65-gram carb clear liquid meal might contain 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of gelatin and 1 cup of clear broth.

Diabetes and Low-Fiber Diet

The low-fiber diet may also be a little different than your usual diet for diabetes, but it is an important step in healing your diverticulitis. To aid in blood sugar control on a low-fiber diet, try to eat about the same number of carbs at each meal using your low-fiber food choices as you would on your normal diet. For example, a 60-gram, low-fiber breakfast might include 1 1/2 cups of a low-fiber cereal such as corn flakes with 1 cup of nonfat milk and 1 cup of cantaloupe cubes.

Once your symptoms start to improve, which usually occurs in about two to four days, according to UCSF Medical Center, you can start to add fiber back to your diet in increments of 5 grams to 15 grams, advancing to your usual diet as tolerated.

References

About the Author

Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.

Related Articles

More Related