Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans  >>  Questions Asked  >>  Health Advice

Low Residue Diet

What is Low Residue Diet? I heard about this from a friend, can you tell me something more about this?
(March 8, 2011)

Low Residue Diet

One of the main reasons a low residue diet is prescribed for an individual is to reduce bowel activity. A low residue diet aims to limit the amount of undigested or partially digest food material that reaches the intestine, thereby reducing the volume and number of stools passed. A low fiber low residue diet may be a part of the treatment in case of diverticulosis, a condition in which pouches occur in the inner walls of the colon. When these pouches get inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. A low residue diet ensures limited bowel activity, allowing the body to heal the inflammation in cases of ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis.

Among medical procedures before which doctors advise a low residue diet, colonoscopy, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and abdominal surgery are important. It is necessary to start a low residue diet a couple of days before a colonoscopy and have only a liquid diet a day before the procedure so that the bowels  are empty and the doctor gets a clean picture of the colon during the procedure.

Though people use the terms interchangeably, a low residue diet is not the same as a low fiber diet. Food that forms a part of a low residue diet is necessarily low in fiber. Beverages like coffee or tea, though low in fiber, can stimulate the movement of bowels. A typical low residue diet has less than 10 grams of fiber per day and is far more restrictive than a low fiber diet. So, dieticians advise that a soft, low residue diet should be followed only for a limited period of time, until the digestive tract problem is solved or becomes less severe.

A low residue food list includes all kinds of foods of animal origin like various kinds of meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products like milk and cheese. Low residue diet foods may also be white bread, pasta and crackers, but breads and cakes that have seeds and nuts should be avoided.  A low residue diet menu would make a fast food lover happy because it includes buns and meat, fries, and mayonnaise, but no raw fruits and vegetables. Cooked and canned vegetables and fruits are used in low residue diet recipes in place of fresh vegetables or fruits. Strained soups and fruit juice without pulp can help to ensure that smooth stools are passed without strain by those with digestive tract problems.

With a low fiber diet, diverticulitis can be brought under control, and once rested, the colon can function normally. Gradually adding fiber to the diet will reduce the strain on the system. 

To sum up, a low residue diet helps reduce the volume and frequency of stools. The aim of such a diet is to limit the volume and frequency of stools. Such a diet also prolongs the intestinal transit time. A low residue diet contains very little fiber, but should not be mistaken for a low fiber diet.  Foods such as prune juice, milk and milk products that increase your bowel activity are usually restricted from your diet.
Submitted by C N on March 8, 2011 at 04:49


Low Fiber Diet

The low residue diet or the low fibre diet is a diet restricted in fibre. It is used in the transition period, after surgery, during convalesence. Conditions such as diverticulitis or bowel problems call for a low residue diet. A low residue diet is recommended for a long time after the performance of ileostomy. Such diets decrease the volume of the stools and also the frequency of stools. A low fibre diet decreases the intestinal transit time. About 10 to 15 grams of fibre or less is recommended on a daily basis.

Foods that increase the bowel activity namely prune juice; milk products and milk are also restricted. Caffeine, tough meat, whole grain breads, dried beans, juices with pulp, raw vegetables, whole grains, millet, oatmeal, dried fruits and crunchy peanut butter are abstained from.

Margarine, butter, white bread, well cooked vegetables without skin, broth, strained soups, well cooked fish; yoghurt and milk are included in the low residue diet. The first and second stages of labour also call for a low residue diet. Crohn's disease, chemotherapy, ulcerative colitis, intestinal surgery, bowel inflammation, before space flight, prior to colonoscopy and radiation therapy are certain other conditions that calls for a low residue diet.
Submitted by E L on May 13, 2008 at 04:03


Read more questions in Health Advice
Log In Here Close