Diet & Nutrition >> Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet

Print this page   Generate PDF

Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet

A low fiber/low residue diet is designed to reduce the frequency, volume, and bulk of stools while it prolongs intestinal transit time. In certain medical conditions (Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids etc.) and/or before and after abdominal/intestinal surgeries or cancer treatments it is important to restrict fiber intake and avoid foods that increase bowel activity. This diet may also be used to treat diarrhea and to reduce the possibility of intestinal blockage when the intestines are narrowed for any reason. A low residue diet typically contains less than 10 grams of fiber per day. Extended use of this diet may not provide required amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and folic acid because of the lack of fruits and vegetables. Supplements may therefore be recommended. It is also important to stay well hydrated, especially during active disease. Many low fiber/low residue products are available in the health food or organic sections of most grocery stores.

Foods to Include:

Grain Products:

  • Enriched refined white bread, buns, bagels, english muffins
  • Plain cereals e.g. Cheerios, Cornflakes, Cream of Wheat, Rice Krispies, Special K
  • Tea biscuits, arrowroot cookies, soda crackers, graham crackers, plain melba toast
  • Corn and flour tortillas, cornbread
  • White rice, refined pasta and noodles

Fruits:

  • Fruit juices except prune juice
  • Soft fruits: apricots, banana (1/2), cantaloupe, canned fruit cocktail, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon, citrus fruits, plums, pineapple – peel fruits when possible
  • Apple or apricot sauces

Vegetables

  • Vegetable juices
  • Tomato sauces
  • Potatoes (no skin)
  • Well-cooked and tender vegetables including alfalfa sprouts, spinach, beets, green/yellow beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms, green/red peppers, squash, zucchini

Meat and Protein Choice:

  • Well-cooked, tender meat, fish and eggs

Dairy:

  • As directed by your healthcare providers

Foods to avoid:

  • 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 and pickles
  • All beans, peas, and legumes
  • Fruit peels and hard fruits
  • Tough meat, meat with gristle
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Nuts, seeds and popcorn
  • Millet, buckwheat, flax, oatmeal
  • Dried fruits, berries, other fruits with pulp or seeds
  • Food containing chocolate, coconut
  • Juices with pulp
  • Highly spiced food and dressings, pepper, hot sauces
  • Caffeine