Can you eat tuna with diverticulitis?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat tuna with diverticulitis?” and discuss the benefits and risks of eating tuna with diverticulitis.

Can you eat tuna with diverticulitis?

Yes, you can eat tuna with diverticulitis. The ingestion of fish was reported to reduce the risks of developing acute diverticulosis disease of patients suffering from diverticulitis (1).

On the contrary, the consumption of red meat was reported to worsen the symptoms.

What are the benefits of eating tuna with Diverticulitis?

The benefit of eating tuna with diverticulitis is that tuna is a fat rich fish and a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (3).

Eicosatrienoic acid (omega 6), arachidonic acid (omega 6), and eicosapentaenoic acid (omega 3) are present in fish oil. These fatty acids exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and are able to reduce inflammation, as well as act against inflammatory mechanisms within the cells.

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the intestine internal tissue and in many cases requires the treatment by using anti-inflammatory drugs (4). The ingestion of fish oil has been demonstrated to effectively substitute anti-inflammatory drugs in treating diseases in many studies. 

It has been reported that the ingestion of fish was able to reduce the risks of developing a more severe form of diverticulitis in patients having this disease (1).

What are the risks of eating tuna with Diverticulitis?

The risk of eating tuna with diverticulitis is if you have an allergy to fish proteins, which could cause undesirable symptoms. In addition, eating spoiled fish can cause foodborne illnesses. 

Allergy to fish causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or other symptoms, such as skin rashes, urticaria and even anaphylaxis, in severe cases. It is more common in children, however, adults also can develop an allergy to fish (5).

Another risk related to the consumption of fish is that fish can spoil easily and is susceptible to spoilage by many pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes as well as parasites.

Eating spoiled fish can cause symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and nausea and other gastrointestinal and flu-like symptoms (6).

What is the recommended diet for a patient with diverticulitis?

The recommended diet for a patient with diverticulitis is a diet rich in dietary fibers. Food containing fibers, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, should be included in the diet (4).

Consuming a diet that is high in naturally occurring fiber and nutrient-dense is the most effective method for warding off diverticulitis and diverticulitis-related diverticulosis. 

The Dietary Guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advise us to get our protein from a variety of different food sources (8).

In addition to eating poultry and lean cuts of meat, this includes increasing your consumption of fish and vegetarian meals that are rich in plant-based sources of protein. Processed and red meats should be reduced in the diet.

Fiber supplements can also be used to treat and prevent diverticulitis, as the risk of inflammation of the diverticula is directly related to low fiber ingestion. Supplements, such as lactulose, Metamucil or bran tablets, in addition to food or as a source of fibers in the diet (4).

Some fiber-rich foods are fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, potatoes and fiber-rich cereals are encouraged. Food such as refined sugars, processed meats, french fries and high-fat dairy and sweets should be avoided (7).

The ingestion of a low FODMAP diet is also recommended for patients suffering from diverticulitis. FODMAPs are fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) (1). 

Other FAQs about Tuna that you may be interested in.

Can you eat tuna without cooking it?

Can you defrost ahi tuna?

Can dogs eat ahi tuna?

Why is tuna so expensive?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you eat tuna with diverticulitis?” and discuss the benefits and risks of eating tuna with diverticulitis.


  3. Tuna. Food Central Data. United States Department of Agriculture 
  4. Ünlü, Cagdas, et al. A systematic review of high-fibre dietary therapy in diverticular disease. Int j colorectal dis, 2012, 27,  419-427.
  5. Sharp, Michael F., and Andreas L. Lopata. Fish allergy: in review. Clin rev allergy immunol, 2014, 46, 258-271. 
  6. Prasad, M. M. Microbial hazards in fish and fishery products and its importance in fish trade. ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, 2018.
  7. Carabotti, Marilia, et al. Role of dietary habits in the prevention of diverticular disease complications: a systematic review. Nutrients, 2021, 13, 1288.
  8. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.  U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

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