Low Residue Diet

A low-residue diet, with less than 10-15 grams of fiber daily, is often recommended in the management of diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, bowel inflammation, new colostomy/ileostomy or recent intestinal surgery.  Dietary guidelines by food group are listed below. For additional guidance and to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition, speak with our dietitian.

Milk and Milk Products:

  • Choose up to 2 cups of low-fat milk products including yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk, kefir or sherbet. Limit cheese to 1.5oz per day.
  • Avoid milk products with nuts, seeds, granola, fruit or vegetables added to them.
  • Avoid all milk-containing products if you are lactose intolerant. Choose milk and yogurt alternatives made from soy, rice or almond.

Breads and Grains:

  • Choose grains with less than 2g of fiber per serving like refined white breads and cereals (e.g. Special K, Corn Flakes, and Rice Krispies), cream of wheat, white pasta, and crackers, pancakes and waffles made from refined white flour.
  • Avoid refined grains with seeds and nuts.
  • Avoid whole-grains like quinoa and brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, popcorn and whole grain breads, crackers and cereals.

Vegetables

  • Choose vegetable juice without seeds or pulp and canned and well-cooked vegetables without seeds such as yellow squash, spinach, pumpkin, eggplant, potatoes without skin, green beans, wax beans, asparagus, and carrot.
  • Certain vegetables like lettuce and cucumber (without seeds) may be tolerated raw.
  • Avoid vegetable-based sauces and soups with seeds.
  • Vegetables to avoid include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage/sauerkraut, lima beans, mushrooms, okra, onion, parsnip, peppers, potato skin and sprouts.

Fruit

  • Choose fruit juice without pulp and canned, soft, well-cooked fruits without seeds or skins such as applesauce.
  • Raw fruits that can be enjoyed include very ripe apricots, bananas, cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Avoid berries, raisins, dried fruit, figs, prunes and prune juice and all fruit skins.

Protein:

  • Choose tender, well-cooked poultry, fish, lean beef, eggs (cooked until yolk is solid), tofu and smooth nut butters (like almond or peanut; limit to 2 Tablespoons per day).
  • Avoid tough, gristly, fatty and fried meats as well as those highly processed like sausage, hot dogs, bacon and deli meats.
  • Avoid nuts and chunky nut butters.
  • Avoid dried beans, peas and lentils.

Fats:

  • Limit fat to less than 8 teaspoons per day.  Acceptable fats include oils, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, cream cheese and smooth sauces and dressings.
  • Avoid coconut and avocado.

Others

  • Smooth condiments are acceptable. Avoid chunky relishes and pickles.
  • Avoid spicy foods.
  • Avoid desserts that contain any ingredients listed that are not OK to eat like berries, nuts or coconut.
  • Avoid chocolate and caffeine.
  • Speak with your doctor about whether alcohol is acceptable for you.

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