The Low-Residue Diet – Everything You Need to Know
October 14, 2022
October 14, 2022
Low-residue diet refers to a low-fibre diet. Fruits and vegetables have a large amount of fibre, improving digestion. Therefore, it’s generally advisable to eat high-fiber food products. In a low-residue diet, you must avoid fruits with fibre and check the packaging before eating any packaged food. A low-residue diet has its pros and cons.
Health professionals recommend low-carb diets for various clinical situations and illnesses. Until recently, doctors recommended only liquid diets for bowel preparation before colonoscopies and colorectal surgery. Numerous studies have shown improved or equal intestinal hygiene in patients who have eaten a low-residue diet rather than consuming only liquid foods. A low-residue diet is usually prescribed to patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Healthcare advisers recommend low-carb diets for one reason: to reduce the risk of increased inflammation by reducing colon function and allowing bowel relaxation. It is also beneficial for patients with infectious colitis or malignant diverticulitis.
If you are unsure about what to include in the diet, it is always best to take the advice of a nutritionist. Here is a sample 7-day diet plan that might help you plan your low-residue diet. It is an accumulation of some fibre-free food products that you can eat in a low-residue diet. However, the given general plan is a sample.
Breakfast – White toast, canned tuna with low-fat mayonnaise, and apple juice;
Lunch – Tomato soup and Canned vegetables;
Dinner – Yogurt, very ripe banana and white toast with butter;
Breakfast – White toast, boiled eggs, avocado;
Lunch – Smooth butter on white bread, ripe banana slices, skim milk;
Dinner – Poached chicken, tomato sauce, and cheese
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, mashed sweet potato (without skin)
Lunch – Meatloaf, mashed potatoes (without skin), white bread;
Dinner – Poached chicken thigh, boiled carrots, white rice;
Breakfast – White flour waffles and apple juice;
Lunch – White rice, cooked salmon, mayo and sesame oil sauce, cooked mushrooms;
Dinner – White pasta, cheddar cheese, tomato sauce, ground beef, etc.
Breakfast – White flour pancakes, cooked and strained blueberries, ripe banana, yoghurt;
Lunch – White egg noodles, cream, peeled cooked carrots, mayonnaise, sauteed asparagus tips;
Dinner – White tortilla, chicken soup, cooked diced tomatoes (without skin), sour cream, etc.
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, mashed sweet potato (without skin), skim milk;
Lunch – Sweet potato and cream soup, sauteed asparagus tips;
Dinner – Chicken soup with peeled, cooked potatoes and carrots, dinner roll
Breakfast – Applesauce, white muffin, skim milk;
Lunch – Egg salad made with mayonnaise, white bread, and soft melon;
Dinner – Minestrone made with white pasta, cooked peeled vegetables and canned tomato sauce, white dinner roll with butter
In a low-residue diet, there is no complete avoidance of any food product. The chief point is to avoid adding anything that contains fibre. For example, fruits like oranges have a high fibre content. But if you want to incorporate them into your diet, you can go for orange juice. It automatically eliminates the fibre content.
Food products with low-fibre content are:
1. Bread, Cereals, Rice, and Pasta
3. Milk and Dairy Products
5. Meats, Poultry, Fish, and Eggs
6. Fats, Condiments, and Beverages
Knowing what you cannot eat in a low-residue diet is more important.
1. Bread, Cereals, Rice, and Pasta
3. Milk and Dairy Products
5. Meats, Seeds, and Nuts
6. Fats, Snacks, Condiments, and Beverages
Doctors recommend a liquid diet before a colonoscopy or bowel surgery. The process is called bowel prep, where the bowel system prepares for the surgery.
It is vital to keep the colon clean before performing a colonoscopy. As per a study, a low-residue diet is effective for intestinal preparation before a colonoscopy.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common disorder involving chronic digestive tract inflammation. The types of inflammatory bowel disease include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. In this disease, the digestive tract swells up, which causes discomfort and pain during bowel movements.
The fibre content increases the stool size, making the patient uncomfortable. In addition, since the digestive tract becomes very sensitive, fibre-rich food might cause extreme pain. Hence, it is vital to follow a low-residue diet if you are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. However, it is essential to consult the doctor about the condition beforehand.
Diarrhoea causes loose, watery stools (bowel movements). Acute diarrhoea is a type of diarrhoea that lasts a short time. It is a common problem and can occur in any age group. It usually lasts about one or two days, but it may last longer according to the seriousness of the condition.
If you have diarrhoea, it is advisable to eat low-residue food. With a low-residue diet, less stool gets formed. Therefore, it gradually relieves the symptoms of diarrhoea. It is also helpful in case of bloating or gas issues.
Many people follow a liquid-only diet. However, it is vital to switch back to solid food sometimes. The body will resist the change if you suddenly shift to a solid diet after a long time of a liquid diet. Therefore, it is essential to make the shift gradually and not abruptly. The low-residue diet helps in this transition.
Gastroparesis is a disease that causes delayed gastric emptying. If you are suffering from gastroparesis, a low-residue diet will be helpful. According to a study, diarrhoea is the general cause of gastroparesis. It makes the stomach feel full shortly after starting the meal. It can also be cured by following a low-residue diet.
A low-residue diet is good for your digestive health if you have some type of IBD or require colon surgery. The direct shift from a liquid to a solid diet would be detrimental to the gut. The low residue diet is efficient for transitioning from a liquid to a solid diet.
Fibre content is vital for a healthy body, and a low-residue diet prohibits fibre consumption. However, a low fibre diet may cause constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, heart disease and some cancers. Therefore a low-residue diet is suitable only for specific conditions.
Avoiding certain foods can cause you to skip essential nutrients, which may lead to certain nutrient deficiencies. If you have been prescribed a low-residue diet, consult a doctor about when you can shift to a regular balanced diet. It is better not to continue the low-residue diet for longer since it may also cause blood sugar fluctuations.
If you are following a low-residue diet, it will reduce bowel production in the body. Fibre softens and expands the size of your stool. It promotes good bowel health. Constipation or irritable bowel syndrome can result from a low-fibre diet.
Fibre gets broken down gradually once it enters the stomach. Due to the slow breakdown of fibre, your stomach remains full for a long time. If you start feeling hungry soon after your meal, there is a possibility that you need more fibre in your body. If you start eating more, you will gain more weight which can cause high blood sugar or diabetes.
A low fibre/low residue diet is a diet that aims for fewer and decreased bowel movements each day. It limits dietary fibre to less than 10-15g per day. Health professionals recommend a low-residue diet only when individuals suffer from specific health conditions. However, one should not follow it for an extended period.
It is generally advisable to eat high-fibre food products. In a low-residue diet, you must avoid fruits containing fibre and products like nuts, seeds, coconut, jam, marmalade, pickles, olives, relish, and horseradish. Make sure that you avoid all desserts containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, or made from whole grains or bran.
The pros of a low-residue diet include bowel preparation before surgery or colonoscopy, which helps cure inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gastroparesis. It is also beneficial for people transitioning from a liquid to a regular balanced or solid diet. The cons of the low-residue diet include reduced bowel movement. It may also cause excess hunger and result in weight gain. It can also cause nutrient deficiencies if continued for an extended period. Therefore, it would be best if you continued a low-residue till it is required.
A. There are a large number of options for a low-residue diet. You can include refined grain products like white bread, cereals, pasta, white rice, juices without pulp or seeds, meats, fish, and eggs. Furthermore, you can eat various other vegetables like carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, etc. You need to ensure that the vegetables are well-cooked and seedless. One can also consume dairy products like milk, yoghurt, puddings, and cream-based soups.
A. Yes, one can eat a salad on a low-residue diet is completely fine. You need to make sure that the vegetable is not high in fibre. You should cook the vegetables soft, peeled, and without seeds. In addition, you can include well-cooked or canned vegetables, no skins or seeds, eggplant, beets, carrots, asparagus, yellow squash, spinach, pumpkin, and potatoes.
A. Low-residue diet refers to the low fibre content in the diet. In a low residue diet, you must avoid products with fibre, typically consumed if you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or gastroparesis. It is advisable to follow the low-residue diet only if the doctor has prescribed it.
A. Yes, you can eat cheese on a low-residue diet. In a low-residue diet, you can consume other dairy products like milk, yoghurt, custard, ice cream, and cottage cheese. Although you need to be very sure that you do not eat yoghurt or ice cream containing nuts. You cannot eat nuts in a low-residue diet.
A. Yes, you can eat macaroni on a low-residue diet. Macaroni and cheese are both low-residue products. But if you plan to eat out, ensure you do not include any other fibre-containing food product in your macaroni and cheese.
A. Yes, mashed potatoes are advisable in a low-residue diet. However, you must ensure that you peel off the potato properly. It would be best if you were sure not to eat the potato peel. Also, do not add any other high-fibre ingredients to your mashed potatoes.
A. Pizza is considered low-fibre food if you have the regular white pizza flour crust. Therefore, if you plan to make a pizza at home, it is advisable to go through the list and make it according to that. Do not put in any fibre-containing product. On the other hand, if you are willing to buy a made pizza, ask for the ingredient list before consuming it.
A. Vegetables you can eat in a low-residue diet include eggplant, beets, carrots, asparagus, yellow squash, spinach, pumpkin, and potatoes. You must ensure the vegetables are peeled, without seeds, and cooked appropriately. You can also eat well-cooked and canned vegetables without seeds, lettuce, and strained vegetable juice.
A. It is best to avoid fried food on a low-residue diet. It might harm the system by slowing down the digestive process. In addition, you should completely exclude any fried potato in the form of french fries or potato chips.
A. You should not carry on this diet for more than five days, or it might start harming your digestive system. A low fibre diet can lead to constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. It is best to avoid a low-residue diet if it is not necessary.