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Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet

A low fiber/low residue diet is a diet designed to reduce the frequency and volume and bulk of stools while prolonging 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 in cases of diarrhea or to reduce forming blockages when the intestinal tract is narrowed for any reason. A low residue diet typically contains less than 10-15 grams of fiber per day. Extended use of this diet may not provide required amounts of vitamin C, calcium and folic acid due to the restrictions on fruits and vegetables, so supplements are often recommended for patients following this diet for long-term management. Also, staying well hydrated is important, especially during active disease.

FOODS TO INCLUDE:

Grain Products:

  • Enriched refined white bread, buns, bagels, English muffins
  • Plain cereals e.g. Cheerios®, corn flakes, Rice Krispies®, Kix®
  • Tea biscuits, soda crackers, graham crackers, plain melba toast
  • Corn and flour tortillas
  • White rice, refined pasta and noodles
  • Hot cereals: Cream of Wheat®, instant oatmeal

Fruits:

  • Fruit juices except prune juice
  • Soft fruits: apricots (peeled), banana (1/2), cantaloupe, canned fruit cocktail, honeydew, peaches (peeled), watermelon, plums (peeled), pineapple
  • Apple (peeled)
  • Canned fruit: peaches, pears, mandarin oranges

Vegetables:

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

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, products made with whole grain products, bran, seeds or nuts
  • Raw vegetables and pickles, lettuce
  • All beans/legumes
  • Fruit skins
  • Tough meat, meat with gristle
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Nuts, seeds and popcorn
  • Millet, buckwheat, flax
  • Dried fruits, berries, grapes, fresh oranges, other fruits with pulp or seeds
  • Food containing coconut
  • Juices with pulp
  • Highly spiced food and dressings, pepper, hot sauces
  • Caffeine (limit to 1 cup/8 ounces per day)
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