Low Residue Diet

Health problems often followed a change in our diet since all medical procedures should be supplemented with specific dietary and nutritional requirements. One such diet is a Low Residue Diet.

What is a low residue diet?

It basically means a diet that is low on fiber – only about 10-15 grams or less of fiber everyday. However, it differs from a low-fiber diet, because apart from avoiding fibrous foods, there are also restrictions on dairy products as well as other foods such as prune juice, food items that are rich in dietary fat, meat that are cooked rare, caffeine and spices.

What is the objective of a low residue diet?

A low residue diet is prescribed to help cure certain health problems. A low fiber diet is designed to lessen stool volume and frequency while lengthening intestinal transit time. It is basically prescribed to decrease bowel activity.

What foods can be eaten on a low residue diet?

Anything that is low in fiber can be eaten. Your low residue diet can include:

  • White bread, refined pasta and cereals, and white rice
  • Limited servings of canned or well cooked vegetables and fruits that do not include skins, seeds, or pulp
  • Tender, ground, and well cooked meat, fish, and poultry
  • Milk and yogurt (usually limited to 2 cups per day), mild cheese, cottage cheese
  • Margarines, butter, vegetable oil, mayo, plain gravies and dressings
  • Broth and strained soups from allowed foods
  • Pulp free juices

Food which you should avoid when on a low residue diet is:

  • Whole grain breads and pastas, corn bread or muffins, products made with whole grain products, bran, seeds, or nuts
  • Strong cheeses, yogurt containing fruit skins or seeds
  • Raw vegetables
  • Tough meat, meat with gristle
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Millet, buckwheat, flax, oatmeal
  • Dried beans, peas, and legumes
  • Dried fruits, berries, other fruits with pulp or seeds
  • Food containing chocolate, coconut
  • Highly spiced food and dressings, pepper, hot sauces
  • Caffeine

When a low residue diet usually prescribed?

Apart from helping cure certain diseases, a low residue diet is also required to prepare a person from certain medical tests and procedures such as pre- and post- abdominal or intestinal surgery.

Other conditions or illnesses where in a low residue diet is required:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as;
  • Crohn’s disease – a chronic IBD that is characterized by areas of inflammation with areas of normal lining between in a symptom known as skip lesions.
  • Ulcerative colitis – an IBD of the large intestine or colon that includes characteristic opens sores. Symptoms are constant diarrhea with blood.
  • First and second stages of labor – the 1st stage are the shortening and then the dilation of the cervix. 2nd stage is called the pushing stage and starts when the cervix is fully dilated and ends when the fetus is already expelled from the womb.
  • Diverticulitis – a disease of the large intestine. Happens when pouches that are formed outside the colon are inflamed.
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvis and lower bowel
  • Chemotherapy
  • Preparation for and participation in space flight
  • Preparation for a colonoscopy