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What is Diverticulosis?

 

Diverticulosis is one of the most common large intestine disease. Pathological changes most often occur within the colon. The cavities,  made in the intestinal mucosa, are penetrating into the muscle layer. This causes bulging of the mucosa outside the intestine and the formation of specific, thin “pockets” with a diameter of about 1 cm. Unnatural changes in the intestinal wall can lead to food retention in bulges.

Diverticulosis is classified as a disease of affluence, because its most common reason is long-term, improper nutrition. The usual problem is eating highly processed and fiber-free foods. Genetic factors also affect some cases. The highest percentage of morbidity is among people over 85 years old, hence the disease is mainly considered as a disease of the elderly. Due to the deteriorating quality of food from year to year, sedentary work and eating not really healthy meals at a  run, it is also increasingly found in young people.

Asymptomatic form

 

In about 60% of cases, diverticulosis is asymptomatic. It is usually diagnosed by accident in the case of tests such as colonoscopy or computed tomography. Over time, they may be prone to inflammation and bleeding to the large intestine. The remaining percentage are people with symptomatic diverticulosis.

In the case of occurrence diverticulums but with no symptoms, pharmacological treatment is not recommended. A high fiber diet is advised. Fiber is responsible for mechanical stimulation of intestinal functions. Increase is possible by consuming whole grains, thick groats, fresh fruit and vegetables in raw form. An important role is played by including wheat bran in the diet and drinking plenty of water.

Symptomatic form (diverticulitis)

 

The most common symptoms of diverticulosis include: prickly or blunt abdominal pain (especially in the left half of the abdomen), alternating constipation with diarrhea, bloating, sometimes stool and gas retention and fever. In this case, the basis is appropriate antibiotic therapy and in the first days of hospitalization a strict diet (fasting). After the symptoms have disappeared, an easily digestible diet is gradually introduced with limitation of raw fiber (low fiber diet).

Diet in diverticulitis

 

The low fibre diet is designed to relieve and calm the diseased intestines. Fiber should be limited to 10-25 grams per day. Carbohydrates should constitute 50% of the energy supplied, 20-25% protein and 35-30% healthy fats. Level of restrictiveness of your diet will depend on your condition and individual tolerances. Observe your body and avoid foods that you feel pain after. However, there are general recommendations that should be followed to reduce discomfort.

Diverticulitis diet low fiber

 

The most important recommendation in a low fiber diet is to exclude from the menu products containing a high amount of fiber. Majority of them are widely recognized as healthy. These products include, among other, sources of whole grain carbohydrates such as: thick groats, whole grain bread, dark pasta, brown rice. It is much better to choose wheat products such as white, stale bread, rolls, white, thin pasta, rice noodles, rusks, small groats (semolina, couscous, millet), potatoes or rice flakes. Remember to cook them until soft instead of “al dente”. This will increase their digestibility.

When choosing meat or cured meat,  preferably veal, chicken or turkey. Definitely exclude mutton, pork, bacon, duck or venison.

Eggs are best eaten soft or in the form of steamed scrambled eggs.

A large amount of saturated fatty acids is not recommended, therefore eliminate fat such as lard, bacon, tallow and margarine in cubes in favor of vegetable oils, such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil or avocado, which are a good source of omega acids 3. In small quantities, you can afford real butter.

When choosing fish, pick lean types such as cod, sole, flatfish, zander, pike, hake and pollock. Resign with oily species such as eel, salmon, catfish, silver carp, halibut, sea trout, pickling, and sprat. Preserved or smoked fish will also not be recommended.

When choosing dairy products, pay attention to skim milk and milk products. Scrub full-fat milk, yellow cheese, toasted cheese and feta cheese.

Try to peel the vegetables and fruits, puree or squeeze the juice out of them. Remember to remove small stones that can overlap the diverticula and cause pain. Around vegetables, it’s best to choose carrots, beets, peeled tomatoes, spinach, lettuce or dill and eat in crumbled and cooked form. Refrain from eating cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, onion, radish, mushrooms and legumes, for example chickpeas, lentils, peas or beans. Fruit is best eaten baked, or in the form of mousse. Choose apples, bananas, berries, peaches or apricots. Avoid cherries, pears, gooseberries, cherries, plums, nuts, seeds or stones, and dried fruit.

Do not irritate your digestive system unnecessarily with hot spices such as chillies, pepper, garlic, mustard, vinegar, horseradish, maggi and broth cubes. Try to choose milder substitutes like lemon juice, parsley, dill or cinnamon. You can also use salt in limited quantities. As with any diet, you should quit sweets, chocolates, cakes and even cocoa.    In case of cravings, choose homemade pudding or jelly.

Finally, don’t forget to drink still water. It is best to give up other drinks. Carbonated and sweetened drinks, coffee, strong tea or alcoholic drinks are not recommended.

Diverticulitis diet plan

 

At First, to reduce bowel function, diet should be based on steam and water cooking.

Over time, you can introduce baking in transparent foil, in parchment, in ceramic dishes, in an electric toaster, braising, frying products without fat in frying pans.

Example of a Day with Low Fiber Diet – 3500 Kcal

 

Breakfast

Poached eggs with avocado toast

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 sandwiches of wheat bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • dill

 

Cycling 1.5 hours

 

After-workout snack

Peach smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 peach
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 50g millet flakes

 

Second breakfast

Rice oats on milk with blueberries and banana

  • 1 cup of milk 1.5% (250ml)
  • 1 banana
  • handful (50g) of blueberries
  • 100g of instant rice flakes

 

Lunch

  Rice spaghetti with stewed chicken

  • 1 large chicken breast (250 g)
  • 100g rice noodles
  • 10 ml olive oil
  • 100g canned tomatoes
  • ½ tsp basil
  • pinch of salt

 

Dinner

Cod baked in foil with marjoram and puree

  • 15 ml rapeseed oil
  • 300g potatoes
  • 250 g fresh cod
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  •  pinch of salt
  • 5 g butter
Coach Damian

Coach Damian

Damian is a head coach and founder of Cyklopedia, which was created with one goal to help everyone be faster cyclists by structured training plans, healthy recipes, and nutrition plans. Damian is racing and coaching for over 10 years, working with athletes all around the world.

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