Ask the NUTritionist

Densie Webb, Ph.D., R.D. co-author of "The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!" answers questions about diets, health and pecans.

Q: My doctor says I have diverticulosis; do I have to stop eating pecans?

A: No. There’s no evidence that Georgia pecans or any other nut, for that matter, aggravates diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis is a condition of the large intestine in which small pouches called diverticula develop in the wall of the intestinal tract. When these pouches become inflamed and infected, it’s called diverticulitis.

The main symptom is pain in the lower abdomen, but, cramping, constipation and fever can also result. For years, experts believed that eating any food with seeds, like tomatoes or strawberries, or hard foods like nuts, would result in them getting lodged in the diverticula, irritating the intestinal lining and causing an infection.

However, there is no evidence that eating nuts and seeds actually causes this to happen.
In fact, experts now recommend that people with diverticulosis eat high-fiber diets, which should include seeds and nuts, like Georgia pecans, to prevent diverticulitis from developing.
However, everyone is different. If you find that eating nuts while you have active diverticulitis is problematic, avoid them during that time. Otherwise, make nuts, including Georgia pecans, a regular part of your healthy diet and chew them well to minimize the already slight chance they might cause problems.

Previous Questions

Georgia Pecans Lower Blood Pressure

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Georgia Pecans and a Low Fat Diet

Q: I’ve heard a lot on the news lately about a new study that showed low-fat diets don’t provide any health benefits. Does that mean I can eat more pecans?

Georgia Pecans are a Good Source of Antioxidants

Q: I’ve read that nuts are rich in antioxidants. How do Georgia Pecans rate compared to other foods?

Georgia Pecan's Anti-Cancer Properties

Q: Do Georgia pecans have any unique anti-cancer properties?

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Q: I’m concerned about my child’s weight and want him to eat healthfully. Does the new Food Pyramid for Kids allow for pecans in his diet?

Georgia Pecans, Fat and Cholesterol

Q: Does the fat found in pecans fit in with heart-healthy eating recommendations as well as those from the new Food Pyramid?

Georgia Pecans and the Food Pyramid

Q: Do pecans count as a snack in the new Pyramid? How much can I have?

Georgia Pecans Reduce Heart Disease

Q: I know there's a labeling health claim for nuts. What is it and what does it mean?

Georgia Pecans Lower Cholesterol

Q: My doctor says my cholesterol is too high and I need to change my diet. Will I have to give up Georgia pecans?

Georgia Pecans and Weight Loss

Q: I'm trying to watch what I eat so I can lose some weight. Can I include Georgia pecans on my weight-loss diet?

2005 Dietary Guidelines

Q: I saw on the news not long ago that the new 2005 Dietary Guidelines were released by the government. What exactly are they?

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