Diet management emerges as an effective way of managing health disorders. Diverticulitis is a common digestive tract disorder that affects more than 50% of adults aged 50 and above. This disorder can, however, be effectively managed through dietary interventions
Keto diets are recommended for diverticulitis since they reduce the risk factors of chronic inflammation and recurrent attacks. Keto diets are low in carbohydrates and sugar, reducing risks of metabolic syndrome and obesity, which are major risk factors in both initial and recurrent diverticulitis attacks. Keto diets thus pose no risks for diverticulitis patients and are highly recommended.
The rest of this article is dedicated to answering whether Keto diets carb be used for diverticulitis. The answer to this question will be based on the known benefits and risks of keto diets. The article will also outline useful hints when planning for a diverticulitis keto diet.
How Keto Diets Can Be Used in Diverticulitis Management
People with diverticulitis can use Keto diets. The low carbohydrate content in these foods helps lower blood sugar and body weight. Gastroenterologists agree that sugar is problematic for diverticulitis and other inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions. This relationship will be addressed in a subsequent section. A reduced sugar intake in keto diets is thus a useful nutritional tool for diverticulitis.
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Ketosis, which is a metabolic state when the body runs on fats, has many benefits. These benefits have been directly linked with improved outcomes for diverticulitis patients. When the body enters ketosis, it turns to break down fats to produce energy to power the cells as opposed to reliance on carbohydrates.
The amount of glucose that fats release is significantly lower than carbohydrates. Ketosis thus lowers sugar availability in the body. Ketosis is most effective when protein intake is also limited. This is because the body turns protein into glucose when consumed in large amounts.
To be highly effective in diverticulitis, keto diets should be supplemented with carefully selected fiber foods. High-protein nuts and seeds, high-fat vegetables such as avocadoes, and non-starch leafy vegetables are all good high-fiber keto foods. The main advantage of a high-fiber content diet is better bowel operations.
Fiber softens stool and makes it easier to pass. Fiber lowers pressure and gas buildup in the colon, a risk factor for diverticulitis attacks and chronic inflammation. The high-fat vegetables are also a direct source of fats.
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Risks of Keto Foods for Diverticulitis
Fermentable Keto foods are to be avoided when you have diverticulitis. Highly Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), which are short-chain carbohydrates, increase gut pressure and distort the operations of gut bacteria. The fermentation process that breaks these foods down increases gut bacteria activity, triggering or increasing inflammation.
Some of the high FODMAP foods to avoid in keto diets for people with diverticulitis include cabbage, onion, garlic, soy protein, legumes, beans, and some fruits such as pears and apples. Processed fats are also considered high FODMAP and should thus be avoided. Choice of foods is thus key for diverticulitis patients.
Gastroenterologists also caution against consuming large amounts of red and unprocessed meat. High meat consumption increased inflammatory biomarkers, including ferritin, cadmium, and lead. Also, this unprocessed red meat was found to alter the microbial community structures, increasing the risk of inflammation.
In 2019 a study was conducted in the United Kingdom to establish the association between meat consumption and diverticulitis risk incidence using a sample of 46,461 men. This study established that the risk of diverticulitis was lower in men who consumed poultry, fish, and red processed meat than those who consumed total red and unprocessed meat.
People with diverticulitis should thus try to shift towards processed red meat, seafood, and poultry meat as they plan their keto diets. Foods with healthier cholesterol, such as eggs, fish, and poultry, should also be prioritized over those with higher amounts of unhealthy cholesterol.
Hints for Keto Food Preparations for Diverticulitis
To be highly effective, keto foods for diverticulitis should be adequately cooked. It is important to cook and cool these foods before eating to convert some carbohydrates and starch into resistant starches. Resistant starches are those that pass the small intestines indigested but are broken down to short-chain fatty acids in the large intestines. These fatty acids act to shield the sensitive pouches from inflammation.
Go for Soft Keto Diets
Secondly, ensure that the keto diets eaten by diverticulitis patients are soft. The keto diet is most suitable when it is in liquid form. Overcooking and squashing are some of the easiest ways of making foods soft.
Rough foods and those that have seeds and skins should be avoided at first. Corn, nuts, and very seedy foods are not recommended. These can be replaced by salad, papaya, melon, beets, and squashes. Harder foods should be minimized or introduced once the diverticulitis inflammation reduces.
Adequately Space Keto Diet
Finally, keto diets should be adequately spaced to lower the overall calorie intake. 4 smaller keto meals are better than 3 larger meals. These smaller meals are easier to digest and release fewer overall calories when compared to larger protein-dense meals.
Must Know Facts About Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis occurs when small pouches in the lining of the small or large intestines get inflamed. This is mainly due to inflection. In extreme cases, they can perforate and release intestinal contents into surrounding tissue, causing complications.
Diverticulitis is considered a western civilization disorder, for it is more common in the western world. Diet and lifestyle, including smoking, are major risk factors for diverticulitis. The risk of this disease increases with age, with elderly people above 80 years having a 70% risk.
The risk for those aged below 40 years is 10%. Lack of exercise also increases the risk of diverticulitis. This explains the higher prevalence risk in the elderly who have limited exercise.
Keto diets are safe for diverticulitis patients, provided they are cautiously selected and prepared. There are concerns about the safety of ketonic foods for diverticulitis patients. However, research shows that the benefits of these foods significantly outweigh the risk.
By lowering sugar intake, these diets reduce or eliminate the risk factors for the chronic inflammation associated with diverticulitis. The main consideration is lowering protein levels in ketonic diets and ensuring that the foods are soft and high in soluble fibers.
- BMJ Journals: Meat Intake and Risk of Diverticulitis Among Men
- Diet Doctor: Diverticulitis and the Low-Carb Diet
- PubMed: Diverticulitis: An Update From the Age Old Paradigm
- Healthline: Diverticulitis Diet: Foods to Eat, Avoid, and More
- Thieme Medical Publishers: Epidemiology and Pathophysiology of Diverticular Disease
- Healthline: The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
- EatingWell: The Diverticulitis Diet: What You Need to Know