June 12, 2012

Low Residue Diet Foods

low residue diet foods
The pain, cramps and diarrhea often associated with inflammatory diseases such as Crohns disease and diverticulitis is not something that patients want to endure. Doctors usually recommend a low residue diet which involves the consumption of foods which are more digestible that will reduce the frequency of bowel movements. In this type of diet the use of fiber is restricted so foods with whole grains, nuts, seeds and raw or dried fruits are automatically excluded from the diet.

The term residue refers to the food that are not digested and thus passed out into the stools. When intestinal walls are damaged it becomes harder to digest foods and absorb nutrients but a low residue diet makes this a lot easier to do. When intestinal walls are narrowed as is the case with Crohn’s disease the reduced volume of the bowel movement as allowed with a low residue diet will help to reduce the cramps, diarrhea and gas experienced by patients. Although the pain and symptoms is reduced the inflammation will not go away so the diet will not cure the disease itself.

Since low residue diet foods is completely the opposite of what nutritionists believe to be a healthy diet, the diet itself is recommended only short term when there is a flare up or to help with recovery after surgery has taken place. It should also be noted that you should not automatically switch to a low residue diet just because you have been diagnosed with some sort of irritable bowel disease. Always consult with a physician before starting a diet like this.

Low Residue Diet Foods

A low residue diet is similar to a low fiber diet and should not be followed for long periods since it will limit much needed fiber and nutrients from the diet. Some low residue diet foods are:


Only refined or enriched breads and crackers.
Cream of wheat, grits and other coked cereals.
Puffed rice, corn flakes and similar cold cereals.
Refined pasta and white rice.
Fruits and Vegetables

Skin and seeds should be removed from any fruit consumed due to the high fiber contained in these parts of the fruit.

Well cooked or well cooked fresh vegetables.
Potatoes without the skin.
Tomato sauce is fine as long as the seeds are removed.
Ripe bananas
Fruits which are canned or cooked without the seeds or skin.

Other low residue diet foods include meats such as tender cuts of pork, beef, poultry, fish, oysters, sweetbreads and more. Foods such as butter, margarine, vegetable oils, mayonnaise, honey, American cheese, Swiss cheese, creams, cottage cheese are also allowed. Milk can be consumed up to a maximum serving of 2 cups a day. Desserts are good on this diet as long as they are made from refined flour and do not contain fruits and nuts.


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