Clear Liquid Diets for Diverticulitis


If you have diverticulosis -- a condition characterized by the formation of pouches in the colon -- you most likely won't experience any major problems. However, if the pouches become inflamed, referred to as diverticulitis, you may experience pain, fevers, vomiting or a change in bowel regularity. In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may recommend a clear liquid diet as part of your treatment plan for diverticulitis. Talk to your doctor about your diet needs before making changes.

Why Clear Liquids for Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an infection or inflammation of the diverticula, or pouches. Bowel rest is usually recommended to promote healing of the infected area.

The clear liquid diet provides some calories, electrolytes, minerals and fluids in a very easily digestible form, which is why it's recommended during an acute diverticulitis attack.

Foods Allowed on Clear Liquid Diet

If the doctor has recommended that you eat a clear liquid diet for your diverticulitis, you cannot have any solid food. The diet is made up of liquids that you can see through. You cannot drink any nectar or juice with pulp.

Foods allowed on your clear liquid diet include water, filtered apple juice, grape juice, clear sodas such as ginger ale, clear broth, plain gelatin, fruit ice, black tea or coffee and sport drinks.

Sample Menu

Try to have three meals a day while on the clear liquid diet, with three to four of the clear liquid options at each meal. For breakfast, you might have black coffee, apple juice and gelatin. If needed, you can add sugar to your coffee but not milk. At lunch, stay hydrated with broth, tea with lemon, fruit ice and grape juice. A dinner might include tea with lemon, broth, gelatin and apple juice.

Diet Progression

The clear liquid diet is low in calories and is not an adequate source of nutrition and should only be followed for a few days, according to MedlinePlus. Talk to your doctor to discuss when you can resume solid foods.

Typically, after the clear liquid diet, your doctor may recommend a low-fiber diet so that your colon can continue to heal. As your symptoms disappear, you can resume your usual diet.

A high-fiber diet is recommended for people with diverticulosis to help prevent future problems, specifically another attack of diverticulitis.

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