If you’ve never heard of diverticulitis, consider yourself lucky. It’s what happens when the sacs that can line your colon walls, called diverticula, become inflamed. When that happens, symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, constipation and diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, and fever, according to the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, a number of complications can occur, such as peritonitis (swelling and infection in the abdominal lining), abscesses, and a fistula. That’s definitely not something that anyone wants to deal with.
Unfortunately for the carnivorous among us, there’s more bad news: Diverticulitis is linked to a diet high in unprocessed red meat, according to a study in the journal Gut. This time it’s not the hot dogs and sausage, then, that are to blame — it’s steaks and pork chops that are the culprit. And once again, the study concluded that replacing one serving of red meat with poultry or fish per day decreased the likelihood of developing the condition. And, of course, eating plenty of fiber can help!