What Foods Can You Eat on A Low Residue Diet?

Reviewed on 2/16/2021

What Is a Low Residue Diet?

A low-residue diet is a low fiber diet, which reduces the bulk of stool that passes through the colon. This kind of diet is for people with IBD, bowel obstructions, certain cancers and other digestive conditions.
A low-residue diet is a low fiber diet, which reduces the bulk of stool that passes through the colon. This kind of diet is for people with IBD, bowel obstructions, certain cancers and other digestive conditions.

A low-residue diet/low fiber diet is used to help people with gastrointestinal problems to rest the digestive system (gastrointestinal tract). 

A low-residue diet reduces the amount of food waste that has to move through the large intestine (colon).

What is a Low Residue Diet Used For?

A low residue diet is used to help relieve symptoms of conditions such as:

A low residue diet is only meant to be followed for a short time to help patients recover from digestive issues. The duration of the diet is prescribed by a doctor. A low residue diet should only be followed under a doctor’s supervision.

If the diet is followed more than 2 weeks, a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement is recommended. When symptoms have gone away, patients can slowly re-introduce high fiber and high residue foods back into the diet.

What Foods Can You Eat on A Low Residue Diet?

General guidelines for a low residue diet include:

  • Avoid foods made with seeds, nuts, or dried fruit
  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables and remove skins before cooking
  • Avoid whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Consume products made from refined white flour
  • Limit milk and dairy products to 2 cups per day
  • Limit foods high in fat
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages

Foods you can eat on a low residue diet include: 

  • Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta
    • Avoid whole-grain breads and cereals and instead eat:
      • Enriched white bread
      • Rolls
      • Biscuits
      • Muffins
      • Crackers
      • French toast
      • Pancakes
      • Waffles
      • Refined cold cereals: puffed rice, puffed wheat, corn flakes
      • Cooked cereals: cream of wheat, grits, farina
      • White rice
      • Pasta 
  • Fruits and vegetables
    • Canned or cooked fruits
    • Strained fruit juice
    • Ripe bananas
    • Soft melon
    • Pumpkin
    • Spinach
    • Beans
    • Asparagus
    • Mushrooms
    • Skinless potato
    • Avocado
  • Dairy
    • Limit milk and dairy products to 2 cups per day
      • Milk
      • Yogurt
      • Custard and ice cream
      • Cottage cheese
      • Sour cream
      • Butter
  • Meats, poultry, fish, dry beans, peas, and eggs
    • Ground, well-cooked/tender beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork, fish, poultry, and organ meats
    • Eggs
  • Fats, snacks, sweets, condiments, and beverages 
    • Margarine
    • Oils
    • Mayonnaise
    • Salad dressing
    • Plain gravies
    • Sugar, clear jelly, honey, and syrup 
    • Spices
    • Cooked herbs
    • Bouillon, broth, and soups made with recommended foods
    • Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages
    • Plain cakes and cookies
    • Gelatin, plain puddings, sherbet, popsicles
    • Hard candy
    • Pretzels

What Foods Should You Avoid on A Low Residue Diet?

Foods to avoid on a low residue diet are those which may trigger the health issue, such as: 

  • Raw vegetables and fruits
  • Pulpy fruit juices
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Lentils and beans
  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Popcorn
  • Preservatives
  • Tofu
  • Fried and roasted foods

SLIDESHOW

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Reviewed on 2/16/2021
References
https://medicine.umich.edu/sites/default/files/content/downloads/LowFiberLowResidueDiet.pdf

https://addnutri.com/low-residue-diets/