Being Pre-Diabetic and Having Diverticulitis

by Earlene G.
(Avon Park, FL)

Visitor Question:

Since I was told I'm pre-diabetic, I've made changes to my diet - the way I eat in general. I really try to watch what I eat.

Since I also have diverticulitis, I was researching to see what foods to avoid. Low and behold, the food I'm suppose to eat due to being pre-diabetic are many of the foods I'm not suppose to eat due to having diverticulitis, i.e., corn, popcorn, whole grain,beans, brown rice, and so much more.

What foods should I eat, what should I avoid eating?

Lifetime Fat Loss Answers:

Hi Earlene,

The conundrum is, as you probably know, you have both conditions because you weren't consuming enough high fiber foods, whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, raw, unsalted nuts and beans and you were probably eating too many processed, white foods. Now you have inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract with the bulging pouches caused by hard stools.

So, you need to let the inflammation calm down and at some point start consuming primarily the above foods so your stools will be normal, especially enough fresh vegetables and fruit. Avoid sugar, too much salt, and white, processed foods. This will also take care of the pre-diabetes.

What to eat right now? Maybe this will be a little trial and error while you are extra sensitive with the diverticulitis. However, please consult with your doctor about all of my suggestions and how long to let the diverticulitis heal.

This may not sound too appetizing but your health depends on you taking serious measures to heal yourself. It’s what you eat that will help you to heal although walking briskly every day for 30 - 40 minutes is extremely important too! You will be amazed at how walking contributes to a healthy bowel function.

So here are my suggestions for food. Go ahead and avoid the foods you mentioned for now until your gut calms down. (Avoid the ones on my list forever to prevent diabetes.) That still leaves eating mostly cooked greens (like spinach, swiss chard and kale) and soft, low glycemic, fresh fruits like papaya (great for digestion*,) or unsweetened applesauce, pear sauce, and some protein like fish, chicken, turkey or beef.

Eating a zucchini broth would be very healing. Obviously, you need a highly nutritious diet and you need to not irritate your large intestine until the inflammation is healed. It seems to me the most soothing food for your large intestine right now is cooked zucchini. Steam a few zucchini until they are soft or cook with some water to make a broth.

This is what Henry Bieler, MD, (Food is Your Best Medicine) says about zucchini: "Zucchini is a bland vegetable especially rich in sodium. Sodium, of all the alkaline elements of the body, is the most important, so it follows that zucchini is a most healthful vegetable. The liver is the storehouse of sodium, an element necessary to maintain the acid-base equilibrium of the body. Without this acid-base balance, good health is impossible to maintain. The simple, bland zucchini, used as both food and medicine, is an ideal way to restore a sodium-exhausted liver."

In his book Dr. Bieler says he often recommended a broth made of steamed zucchini and green beans for his patients in need of healing a variety of conditions and diseases. You could try adding cooked green beans after you are a little less sensitive. Green beans are high in potassium and B complex vitamins. They have a higher carotenoid content than dried beans and are usually more digestible. When you are feeling better you could add some green juices or smoothies and eventually a high fiber diet in addition to some good quality protein.

Check with your doctor about when to start eating a diet high in whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and beans. In other words, the most healthful diet is the Mediterranean diet. You need the essential fatty acids in seeds, nuts, and fish and all the vitamins and minerals you get in the fruits and vegetables. Most people get more protein than they need by eating too much meat. And you need to heal your inflammation.

How long that takes probably depends on whether or not you eat plenty of cooked greens (like the zucchini) and stay away from sugar, too much salt and too many saturated fats and processed foods. Once your diverticulitis goes away eat a high fiber rich diet to keep it away, optimally 60% raw fruits and vegetables. That will take care of your pre-diabetes too.

This information is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other health care professional. I am not a medical service. So, again please consult with your doctor regarding dietary suggestions for your conditions.

* Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that reduces swelling and inflammation.

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