Diverticulitis is infection or inflammation of abnormal pouches in the bowel wall. Age and diet are the two greatest risk factors and most people are unaware they have abnormal pouches in the bowel wall.
Symptoms of diverticulitis include
- Sharp pain in abdomen
- Bloating of abdomen
New research in men shows a high dietary intake of red meat, especially processed, may increase the risk of developing diverticulitis.
“Compared with the lowest levels of consumption, the highest level of red meat intake was associated with a 58% heightened risk of developing diverticulitis, with each daily serving associated with an 18% increased risk. However, risk peaked at six servings a week.
The association was strongest for unprocessed red meat, and substituting one daily portion of this with fish or poultry was associated with a 20% lowered risk”
The exact reason as to why red meat has such an influence of diverticulitis remains unclear. However, what is known is that red meat is linked to increased inflammation in the body; inflammation is widely associated with diverticulitis. Similarly, it is suspected the interaction between gut bacteria and red meat may play a role in triggering an immune response leading to a poor gut health and ultimately a diverticulitis attack.
Tips if you are susceptible to diverticulitis and struggle to reduce red meat consumption:
- Use lower temperatures when cooking eg slow cooking
- Marinate with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, parsley, coriander
- Eat alongside at least ½ plate leafy greens and vibrant coloured vegetables
- Reduce portion to ¼ plate serve
- Choose good quality meat ie grass fed & finished
- Add fibre to your meal such as roasted vegetables, brassica vegetables, wholegrains and legumes
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance