Low Residue Diet Food List

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Do you need to reduce the amount and the frequency of your bowel movements? Then a low residue diet is exactly what you need. Low residue is just what the name suggests, the amount of waste left after the food you eat is absorbed by the small intestine. While this special diet is quite similar to a low fiber diet there are some key differences specifically as it relates to foods such as milk and milk products which would increase bowel activity rather than slow it down. Until you are suffering with some very specific ailments such as diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease or a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy this diet is not for you.

If you have been advised to go on a low residue diet your first question would be, what foods can I eat or not eat? The low residue diet food list (divided into categories) below would be a handy list to refer to when planning your meals.

Meat, Fish, Poultry and Cheese

At the first mention of any diet meat lovers freeze at the thought of having meat removed from the diet. They would be happy to know that meat is included in this low residue diet food list as long as the meats are broiled, roasted or steamed. In other words no fried or grilled meats! Meats (tender), seafood and cheeses allowed in this category include:

  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Sweetbreads
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Fish
  • Swiss Cheese
  • American Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese

 Low Residue Diet Food List

Dairy, Eggs, Fats and Oils

While milk and milk products are not usually advised for low residue diets they can be taken as long as the quantities are limited. Only 2 cups a day are allowed for milk and milk products.

  • Dairy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Lactose free milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Vegetables oils

 

Breads and Cereals

Most diets restrict the use of refined cereals and breads but with the low residue diet lots of bread and cereal are allowed as long as they do not contain whole grains like bran, oats, dried fruits and nuts and granola.

  • Refined white bread
  • Light wheat bread
  • Rye bread
  • Soda crackers
  • Refined pasta
  • White rice
  • Saltines

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are allowed to some extent. Vegetables that do not have skin or seeds can be eaten if they are cooked or canned. You can also consume cooked or canned fruits if they have the skin (all except for pineapples).

  • Cooked or canned vegetables without skin or seeds
  • Lettuce
  • Cantaloupes
  • Ripe bananas
  • Vegetable juice with no pulp or seeds
  • Fruit juices with no pulp

Desserts and Other Sweets

Low residue dieters can eat deserts and sweets if they pay attention to the content. The dishes should not contain fruits and nuts not allowed in the diet.

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Sherbet
  • Gelatin
  • Plain puddings

Others Foods

This low residue diet list is a guide but is not all inclusive. Dieters should let common sense prevail if there are observed foods that are leading to increased bowel movement then stay away from them and record it on your personal list. Some other foods not listed above that are allowed include jellies, honey, syrups, gravies (as long as they are plain) and strained soups. Tea and coffee are also allowed although there has been some controversies about whether these are low residue foods.


 
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