What sweets can you eat with diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a digestive condition where pouches form in the wall of the colon. It causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Many people with diverticulitis need to follow a special diet to manage their symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

One of the most common dietary restrictions for diverticulitis is avoiding nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn. These foods can get lodged in diverticula and cause inflammation or infection. However, many sweet foods are still permitted.


Most fruits are safe to eat with diverticulitis. Fruits provide important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and natural sugars. The best fruits for diverticulitis are soft and seedless, such as:

  • Bananas
  • Applesauce
  • Canned peaches, pears, or apricots
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Grapes
  • Mangos
  • Papaya

Avoid any fruits with small seeds like kiwi, strawberries, and raspberries during a diverticulitis flare-up. Coconut and dried fruits should also be avoided.

Safe Fruit Desserts

Fruit can be enjoyed raw, baked into desserts, or blended into smoothies. Here are some sweet, fruit-based dessert ideas to satisfy a sweet tooth with diverticulitis:

  • Fruit salad – toss cubes of melon, grapes, bananas, and other soft fruits
  • Applesauce – plain or flavored
  • Fruit parfaits – layer yogurt and fruit
  • Poached pears
  • Fruit crisps – top fruit with an oat crumble
  • Banana “ice cream” – blend frozen bananas into a creamy dessert
  • Smoothies – blend yogurt and fruits like mangos or berries
  • Sorbet or sherbet made with fruits like oranges, pineapple, or raspberries

Refined Grains and Starches

Refined grains like white rice, bread, pasta, and flour are usually well-tolerated in moderation for diverticulitis. Look for low fiber varieties. These refined grains provide carbohydrates without irritating the colon.

White sugar, maple syrup, and honey are also fine. Be sure to account for the added sugars and calories if weight is a concern.

Sweet Treats from Refined Grains

Here are some satisfying sweet treats that can be enjoyed as part of a low-fiber diverticulitis diet:

  • White cakes and cupcakes
  • Cookies made with white flour
  • Pie crusts and fruit pies made with white flour
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Puddings
  • Angel food cake
  • Scones and biscuits made with white flour
  • Plain doughnuts
  • Waffles and pancakes made with white flour
  • Muffins made with white flour
  • Homemade popsicles


Pure chocolate is usually fine in moderation for diverticulitis. Dark chocolate provides antioxidants and health benefits. Avoid chocolate with nuts, seeds, or dried fruit added.

Chocolate Desserts

Here are some sweet chocolate treats to satisfy cravings during a diverticulitis flare-up:

  • Chocolate pudding
  • Chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Chocolate cake or cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate chips cookies
  • Hot chocolate
  • Chocolate popsicles
  • Chocolate frosting or ganache

Eggs and Dairy

Eggs and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are usually well-tolerated with diverticulitis. Opt for low-fat or non-fat varieties if diverticulitis symptoms are aggravated by fat.

Egg and Dairy Desserts

Here are some egg and dairy-based treats that can satisfy a sweet tooth during a flare-up:

  • Custard
  • Pudding
  • Flan
  • Cheesecake
  • Milkshakes
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Whipped cream

Candy and Sweets

Some types of candy and other sweets are permitted in moderation on a low-fiber diverticulitis diet. However, amounts may need to be limited due to sugar content.

Look for candy and sweets without nuts, seeds, coconut or dried fruit. Avoid anything with whole grains or raw fruits and vegetables too.

Diverticulitis-Friendly Candy and Sweets

These types of candy, sweets and dessert toppings can be enjoyed in small amounts as part of a diverticulitis diet:

  • Jelly beans
  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Lollipops
  • Life Savers
  • Striped mint candies
  • Gummy bears and worms
  • Marshmallows
  • Fruit snacks like Welch’s
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce


Plain water, clear broths, coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, juices without pulp, milk, and smoothies without seeds or skins are good beverage choices with diverticulitis.

Sweet Drink Options

Here are some sweetened beverages that can safely be enjoyed as part of a low-fiber diverticulitis diet:

  • Soft drinks like ginger ale or cola
  • Sweetened coffee drinks
  • Sweet tea or ice tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Fruit juice without pulp
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade
  • Flavored waters with no seeds
  • Smoothies without fruit or vegetable skins/seeds
  • Milkshakes

Tips for Indulging Sweet Cravings with Diverticulitis

It’s completely normal to crave sweets, desserts and other sugary treats, even when following a diverticulitis diet. Here are some tips to indulge wisely:

  • Eat sweets in moderate portions – treat them as occasional snacks, not daily desserts
  • Select low-fat, low-fiber options when possible
  • Avoid excessive sugar by limiting juice, soda, and candy
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
  • Enjoy fruit as a more nutritious sweet treat
  • Substitute honey, maple syrup, or chocolate sauce if sugar is a concern
  • Read ingredient labels carefully to avoid problem foods
  • Pay attention to how different sweets affect your symptoms
  • Talk to your doctor if sweets seem to aggravate your diverticulitis

Foods to Avoid

While many sweet foods are permitted, some types of sweets must be avoided with diverticulitis. Steer clear of these higher fiber, more irritating options:

  • Cookies, cakes or crackers made with nuts, seeds, whole grains
  • Granola, cereal, or snack bars with seeds, coconut, or dried fruit
  • Trail mixes with nuts, seeds, or dried fruit
  • Fresh fruits with skins, seeds or membranes like raspberries
  • Dried fruits like raisins, prunes, apricots, and figs
  • Fruit snacks with whole grains, seeds, or coconut
  • Yogurt or ice cream with nuts or seeds mixed in
  • Candy, snack mixes, or desserts containing chocolate covered nuts or seeds
  • Popcorn
  • nuts or seeds


Having diverticulitis does not mean having to avoid all sweets and desserts. Plenty of fruits, refined grain products, chocolate, eggs, dairy and certain candies can satisfy a sweet tooth during a flare up. Just be sure to limit portion sizes, read labels carefully and know which foods to avoid.

Discuss any specific diet concerns with your doctor and gradually reintroduce fiber-rich foods as diverticulitis symptoms improve. With some care and moderation, it’s possible to keep a diverticulitis-friendly diet satisfying by incorporating permitted sweets.

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