Low Residue Diet (Low Fiber)

  • Medical Author:
    Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

    Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan

It's important to self-manage ulcerative colitis with healthy lifestyle habits and a nutrient-rich diet. Examples of foods to include with an ulcerative colitis diet include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy products

Low residue diet facts

  • A low residue diet is a low fiber diet with added restrictions that is designed to reduce the amount of stool in the large intestine.
  • A low residue diet is a temporary eating plan with the goal of "resting" the bowel.
  • Low residue diets may be prescribed during flares of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) before or after bowel surgery, when tumors or narrowing of the intestine exist, or for other conditions.
  • Examples of foods on a low residue/fiber diet include:
    • White breads with no nuts or seeds
    • White rice
    • Well cooked vegetables without skin or seeds
    • fresh fruit like bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Dairy products
  • A low residue diet also restricts foods that increase bowel activity, and make the stools looser. These foods and drinks should be avoided, for example:
    • fruit juices like prune juice
    • bran cereals
    • legumes
    • corn
    • leafy vegetables
    • popcorn
    • cheese
  • Those on a low residue diet need to avoid foods high in fiber and whole grains and foods that contain nuts or seeds.
  • Fatty foods that increase stool bulk should also be avoided
  • Having fewer and smaller bowel movements may help relieve symptoms including abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, and gas formation.

What is a low residue diet?

A low residue low residue diet is a diet that is designed to "rest" the bowel. It is a type of low-fiber diet with added restrictions. A low residue diet is not a diet plan to follow regularly. it is advised for some people for the short term during a flare of inflammatory bowel disease here is intestinal narrowing, before or after bowel surgery, and other conditions for which it is useful to reduce the amount of stool in the intestines.

The food we eat is digested so that the body can extract the nutrients it needs to function. What's left over is "residue" or undigested food that passes through the colon (large intestine), and is eliminated as stool or feces. A low residue diet limits fiber and other substances with the goal of reducing stool volume. This results in fewer and smaller bowel movements, potentially relieving symptoms of bowel diseases that can cause inflammation, such as abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, and gas formation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/4/2016

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