June 11, 2012

Low Residue Diet - How Important to Your Health?

low residue diet
Whether you are suffering from a bowel inflammation, preparing for a colonoscopy or somewhere in between your doctor may have brought up the idea of a low residue diet to you. In a nutshell, these low fiber diets are designed so that the frequency of your visits to the bathroom are reduced and the transit time in your intestinal passages is increased.

Whilst you can lose weight with the low residue diet it is actually designed to help people with stomach conditions. Essentially the low residue diet removes a lot of indigestible foods from your diet so your body doesn’t have to work as hard to process it.

Because of this diet design there is some pretty strict guidelines of what you can and can’t eat. It is always best to consult with your doctor first but in general here are the foods that are ok to consume.

Foods you can eat on a Low residue diet

  • Clear juices (make sure they are pulp free and strained)
  • Fresh fruits (in moderation) that contain no seeds or peels.
  • Well ground up meets, eggs, chicken or fish
  • Mayonnaise, vegetable oils, butter and margarine as well as some dressings and (plain) gravies
  • White rice and pasta, some cereals and white bread.
  • Strained soups and broth from the above foods.

More important than the foods you can eat is the…

Foods to avoid during a Low Residue Diet

  • Yogurts that contain the skin or seeds of fruit, most cheeses
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raw veggies (except for lettuce)
  • Any tough meat
  • Oatmeal, millet, flax and buckwheat
  • Peas, dried beans and other legumes.
  • Whole grain pasta and bread or any products containing whole grains
  • Corn bread and muffins
  • Coco Powder (this includes chocolate)
  • Seeds and Nuts
  • Spicy food

As mentioned, your doctor may have his or her own personal plan for you so be sure to double check before you reach for the pantry.

So who is this diet for?

The low residue diet is aimed at a lot of different people such as

Bowel inflammation sufferers - If you have been recently ill or gone through surgery you may have been experiencing inflammation and pains in your stomach. A low fiber diet helps the body rest by not working as hard and giving it time to reduce the inflammation.

Pregnant women – Women in late stages of pregnancy are sometimes recommended to try this diet because it can reduce some of the stomach pain associated with pregnancy.

Radiotherapy patients – Some patients who have radiation treatment in their pelvis and stomach area can develop diarrhea. If the diarrhea continues it can be a serious medical issue! The low residue diet addresses these concerns by re-hydrating the person whilst stopping the diarrhea and preventing malnutrition.

Many other people also use the low residue diet to help them such as Crohn’s disease sufferers, patients after abdominal surgery, those inflicted with ulcerative colitis and even astronauts in space!


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