Fried Chicken > Can you eat fried chicken with diverticulitis

Can You Eat Fried Chicken With Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a digestive condition where small pouches called diverticula form in the wall of the colon. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, it results in diverticulitis which can cause abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a change in bowel habits.

Many people with diverticulitis find that certain foods tend to aggravate their symptoms, especially foods that are hard to digest. But what about fried chicken? Here’s what you need to know about eating fried foods like fried chicken if you have diverticulitis.

Can You Eat Fried Chicken With Diverticulitis?

Eating fried chicken with diverticulitis is generally not recommended. Diverticulitis occurs when small pouches in the colon become inflamed or infected. Fried chicken contains a high amount of fat from being cooked in oil, which can be difficult for the intestines to digest when diverticula are present. 

The grease and oil can irritate the lining of the colon, worsening inflammation and potentially getting trapped in the pouches. This increases the risk of infection or other complications. While a small portion of boneless, skinless fried chicken may be tolerated by some individuals with mild diverticulitis, it’s best to avoid fried foods as much as possible during symptomatic periods. 

The high fiber coating or batter can also scrape against inflamed pouches and cause discomfort. Additionally, fried chicken often contains spices or seasonings that may further aggravate digestive issues.

Related post: Can you eat fried chicken with dentures?

For those prone to diverticulitis attacks, it’s generally advised to avoid heavily fried and greasy foods altogether. Chicken and poultry can still be enjoyed by baking, grilling, or broiling instead of frying. Aim for plain preparations without harsh spices. Following a diverticulitis-friendly diet can help manage symptoms and reduce flare up frequency and severity. 

Speak with your doctor about appropriate dietary restrictions based on your specific case and tolerance levels. With proper precautions, an occasional indulgence in fried chicken may be okay during symptom-free periods. But overall, fried foods are best limited or avoided entirely with this condition.

The Grease Factor

One of the biggest concerns with fried foods is that they are high in fat and grease. Fried chicken is cooked by submerging it in hot oil which allows the chicken to absorb a significant amount of fat. The problem with all that grease is that it can be difficult for your intestines to break down and digest. The more time food spends in your colon, the more likely it is to cause irritation, inflammation and discomfort when you have diverticulitis.

Some greasy foods may even get “stuck” in diverticula pockets which can increase the risk of developing an infection. So while an occasional small serving of boneless fried chicken without the skin may be okay, it’s generally recommended to avoid heavily fried foods as much as possible when you have diverticulitis. Baked or grilled chicken is a much better option.

Fiber Content

Diverticulitis diets usually call for limiting fiber intake from high-fiber foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains and raw veggies. That’s because fiber adds bulk to stool and can scrape against inflamed diverticula. Fried chicken, on the other hand, contains little to no fiber so it does not pose a risk in this regard. The coating or batter used on fried chicken is made from refined flour which has had the fiber removed. So fried chicken lacks the high fiber content that could irritate diverticulitis symptoms.

The Spice Factor

Fried chicken is commonly eaten with spices, hot sauces and condiments that can further aggravate digestive issues like diverticulitis. Spicy seasonings contain irritating compounds that can stimulate intestinal motility and gastric secretions. This can increase gut contractions and bowel urgency. If you are experiencing an acute diverticulitis flare-up, it’s best to avoid spicy fried chicken and other heated foods that can worsen inflammation.

Risk of Constipation

One potential drawback of fried chicken for diverticulitis sufferers is that it may lead to constipation. The low fiber content coupled with the high fat can slow down digestion, resulting in infrequent, difficult bowel movements. Straining to pass stool puts significant pressure on the colon which is problematic when you already have inflamed pouches and pockets. 

Chronic constipation can even increase the risk of developing diverticula in the first place. That’s why staying hydrated and getting plenty of fiber is important if you eat fried foods.

The Bottom Line

An occasional helping of plain fried chicken without spices or skin will likely not cause problems for most people with mild to moderate diverticulitis. But since fatty, greasy foods are commonly reported to worsen diverticulitis symptoms, these foods are typically limited as much as possible on a diverticulitis diet. 

For those with frequent diverticulitis flare-ups, it is usually recommended to avoid heavily fried foods altogether and opt for healthier poultry cooking methods such as baking, broiling or grilling. Going easy on the oil and spices can help minimize digestive discomfort. 

Speak with your doctor about your individual tolerance levels for fried foods like chicken. With the right precautions, an occasional indulgence may be fine.

Can you eat deep fried foods with diverticulitis?

Deep fried foods are not recommended when you have active diverticulitis. The high fat content is difficult to digest and can get lodged in diverticula, increasing inflammation and infection risk. It’s best to avoid heavily fried foods during flare-ups.

Does fried food trigger diverticulitis?

Fried foods do not directly cause diverticulitis but they may trigger symptoms or make them worse, especially during flare-ups. Greasy foods can irritate the colon due to the high fat content. Spicy seasonings can also stimulate contractions.

Can you eat chicken with diverticulosis?

Yes, you can eat chicken with diverticulosis (pouches in the colon before inflammation occurs). Poultry is usually well-tolerated. The best options are baked, broiled or grilled chicken breast without skin. Avoid heavily fried chicken.

Does greasy food cause diverticulitis?

Greasy foods do not cause diverticula pouches but they may worsen inflammation and symptoms. Fatty foods like fried chicken can be difficult to digest and could get stuck in diverticula which can lead to infections. Limit greasy foods during flare-ups.


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