I have diverticular disease. Should I avoid eating nuts and seeds? I've heard conflicting advice.

Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

In the past, doctors recommended that people with small pouches (diverticula) in the lining of the colon avoid nuts and foods with small seeds, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries.

It was thought that these tiny food particles could lodge in diverticula and cause inflammation (diverticulitis). But there is no scientific evidence that seeds and nuts cause diverticulitis flares.

In fact, eating a high-fiber diet — which may include moderate amounts of nuts and seeds — may reduce your risk of diverticulitis.

If you have diverticular disease, talk to your doctor or dietitian about the kinds of food to eat and whether there are any you need to avoid.

Sept. 20, 2016