Low-residue Diet in Diverticular Disease: Putting an End to a Myth

Nutr Clin Pract. 2011 Apr;26(2):137-42. doi: 10.1177/0884533611399774.


Residue refers to any indigestible food substance that remains in the intestinal tract and contributes to stool bulk. Historically, low-residue diets have been recommended for diverticulosis because of a concern that indigestible nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn could enter, block, or irritate a diverticulum and result in diverticulitis and possibly increase the risk of perforation. To date, there is no evidence supporting such a practice. In contrast, dietary fiber supplementation has been advocated to prevent diverticula formation and recurrence of symptomatic diverticulosis, although this is based mostly on low-quality observational studies. This report focuses on the evidence that fiber intake may be beneficial in the prevention and recurrence of symptomatic and complicated diverticular disease and provides recommendations regarding fiber supplementation in individuals with diverticulosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Diverticulum / diet therapy*
  • Diverticulum / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome