Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet

Keeping you healthy is our main aim here at The GI Center. As your physicians, it is our aim to provide the best guidance of diet as well as medicine. In doing so, also please remember that it is not possible to mention each and every food component that is available in this world. Our instructions are designed to serve as guidance only. If you have any specific question regarding anything not fully addressed here, please call your physician.

Purpose: A low residue/low fiber diet is for people who need to rest their intestinal tract. Certain medical conditions require a low fiber diet to minimize pain and discomfort. Patients with diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or gastroparesis (weak stomach motility) benefit from a low residue diet, as well as those undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatments, or surgery. A low residue diet limits the amount of food waste that has to be moved through the large intestine. Your stool will be smaller and you may need extra water or a stool softener to have regular bowel movements. An intake of less than 10 grams of fiber per day is generally considered a low residue/low fiber diet. This diet is adequate in all nutrients and can be followed for a few weeks. However, if the diet must be strict and followed over a long period of time, the intake of fruits, vegetables, and calcium may not be adequate, therefore a multi-vitamin supplement or liquid nutritional supplement may be needed.

Key Summary Points:

  • Avoid whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Avoid any food made with seeds, nuts, or raw or dried fruits.
  • Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables. Remove skins before cooking.
  • Limit fats and milk products since these can increase stool bulk.
  • Avoid tough, fibrous meats with gristle
Food Group Foods Allowed Foods to Avoid
Meats & Meat Substitutes Well-cooked tender meats, poultry, Well-cooked fish, Canned tuna or salmon, Cheese, eggs, tofuYogurt, plain or with allowed fruit, Creamy peanut butter Tough meats with gristle, Cheese or yogurt with fruits, vegetables, seeds or nuts Chunky peanut butter with nuts, Dried, canned or frozen dried peas, beans, lentils (such as chickpeas, baked beans, kidney beans)
Vegetables Lettuce, if tolerated, Strained vegetable juice, Canned or cooked vegetables, except those listed as “avoid” Raw vegetables, Vegetables with seedsSauerkraut, Winter squashCorn, peas, celery
Fruits & Fruit Juices Canned or cooked fruits, Strained fruit juice except prune, Ripe banana, peeled apple, Canned orange/grapefruit sections with membranes removed Raw fruit (except banana and peeled apple)Dried fruit, All berries, Prune Juice
Grains & Starches Cooked white and sweet potatoes without skin, White rice, Macaroni, noodles, pasta Potatoes with skin, Brown rice and wild rice, Whole wheat macaroni, noodles or other pasta
Soups Broths, bouillon, Cream * soups made with allowed vegetables, noodles, rice or flour Soups made with ingredients not allowed
Desserts All except those listed as “avoid” Candies made with coconut, Dried fruit or nuts, Jams, preserves, marmalade
Miscellaneous All except those listed as “avoid” Olives, pickles, Popcorn, Nuts, seeds, coconut, Herbs and spices in seed form, such as celery seed
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