High-Fiber Diet

Fiber is in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and grains. Fiber passes through your body undigested. A high-fiber diet helps food move through your intestinal tract. The added bulk can help prevent constipation. In people with small pouches in the colon (diverticulosis), fiber helps clean out the pouches along the colon wall. It also prevents new pouches from forming. A high-fiber diet reduces the risk of colon cancer. It also lowers blood cholesterol and prevents high blood sugar in people with diabetes.

The high-fiber foods that are listed below should be part of your diet. If you are not used to eating high-fiber foods, start with 1 or 2 foods from this list. Every 3 to 4 days add a new food to your diet. Do this until you are eating 4 high-fiber foods per day. This should give you 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. You need to drink a lot of water when you are on this diet. You should have 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Water makes the fiber swell and increases the benefit.

Foods high in fiber

These foods are high in fiber:

  • Breads. Breads made with 100% whole-wheat flour; graham, wheat, or rye crackers; whole-grain tortillas, bran muffins

  • Cereals. Whole-grain and bran cereals with bran (shredded wheat, wheat flakes, raisin bran, corn bran); oatmeal, rolled oats, granola, and brown rice

  • Fruits. Fresh fruits and their edible skins (pears, prunes, raisins, berries, apples, and apricots); bananas, citrus fruit, mangoes, pineapple; and prune juice

  • Nuts and seeds. Any nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds

  • Vegetables. This includes all vegetables. They are best served raw or lightly cooked. Those higher in fiber include green peas, celery, eggplant, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, soybeans, lentils, and fresh and dried beans of all kinds.

  • Other. Popcorn; any spices

If you have diverticulosis

There aren't any specific foods to avoid if you have diverticulosis. But each person is different. There may be some foods that make your symptoms worse. Keep track and don’t eat foods that make you feel worse.

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