Your physician may have suggested you try a “low-residue” diet for conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
A low-residue diet is a diet designed to reduce the frequency and volume of stools while prolonging the time food remains in the intestinal tract.
The low-residue diet is similar to a low-fiber diet, but typically includes restrictions on foods which are high in “residue.”
“Residue” refers to undigested food, including fiber, which makes up stool. Examples include seeds, nuts, prunes, berries, raisins, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, some whole grain breads, cabbage, beans and corn.
Additionally, foods such as crunchy peanut butter, tough meats and popcorn are limited.
Foods that increase bowel activity such as dairy and prune juice are advised to be avoided as well. Ultimately, the goal of the diet is to have fewer, smaller bowel movements each day, which will ease symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas and stomach cramping.
If your physician would like you to follow a low-residue diet, it is best to discuss the specifics with a registered dietitian. Basically, on a low-residue diet, you can eat:
Grains: Refined or enriched white breads and plain crackers, such as saltines or Melba toast (no seeds), cooked cereals like cream of wheat and grits, cold cereals, like puffed rice and corn flakes; white rice, noodles and refined pasta.
Fruits and Vegetables: Peel all fruits and remove seeds prior to eating. Fruits such as ripe bananas, soft cantaloupe, applesauce, canned fruit and avocados are allowed. Well-cooked fresh vegetables or canned vegetables without seeds, such as asparagus tips, beets, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, squash (no seeds) and mashed potatoes are appropriate.
Milk and Dairy: Milk products are allowed in moderation. Milk has no fiber, but it may trigger symptoms like diarrhea and cramping if you have lactose intolerance.
Meats: Most meats are allowed on this meal plan as long as they are lean, tender and soft. Eggs are also a great protein choice.
Sweets and Snacks: Desserts and snacks such as plain cakes and cookies, gelatin, pudding, sherbet, ice pops and hard candy are fine to consume in moderation.
Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at email@example.com.