Low Residue Diet : Make Your Body Great Again

Low Residue Diet is a unique type of diet that contains low fiber foods, like vegetables, dried fruits or raw fruits, seeds, nuts, cereal and whole-grain bread.  The residue represents undigested food, like fiber; such foods make up the stool. The primary goal of this diet is to activate smaller, fewer bowel movements every day.  This type of diet can reduce some symptoms like stomach cramping, gas, bloating and diarrhoea. The diet can be recommended for individuals having after surgery or flare to promote recovery.

Low residue diets can include specific grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy, meats, fat, sauce, condiments, sweets, snacks, drinks

A low-residual diet, or low-fiber diet, is a diet (i.e., a special diet) that has as its primary purpose to avoid foods rich in fiber.

A low-fiber diet decreases the fecal volume and hinders the physiological (nervous) process of triggering peristaltic segmentation and advancement contractions.

Although the common tendency is to eat little fiber compared to the recommendations (which suggest about 30g / day), in some “pathological” cases it is necessary to limit it drastically to reduce unwanted disorders or symptoms; this diet is defined as a low-fiber diet or a low-residual diet.

The function of the low-fiber or low-residual diet is to reduce the laxative effect on the digestive tract; the cases in which it may be necessary to apply it are mainly:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colitis (inflammatory, infectious, chemical, etc.)
  • Intolerances and allergies
  • Pharmacological therapies
  • Radioactive therapy
  • Intestinal resection (for cancer, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Preparations for endoscopic diagnostic tests of the intestinal tract (e.g., colonoscopy)

By logic, when restoring normal physical conditions (if possible), the low residual diet should be stopped by reintegrating the recommended dietary fiber quota.

Residue Diet

In practical terms, the low-fiber or low-residue diet is a nutritional scheme poor of fruit, vegetables, cereals and legumes that, if present, must be processed/refined in order to eliminate at least the typical external coating (peel, pericarp or other fibrous textiles, etc.) notoriously rich in this element (in essence, however, it is necessary to avoid whole grains).

Although not related to the dietary fiber intake, milk and dairy products (or foods containing them) may also be limited/interrupted in the administration of the low-residue diet.

This choice is not accidental and is based on the concept that, in most intestinal suffering, lactase enzymes present on the mucosa are drastically reduced causing bacterial fermentation of lactose and the consequences associated symptomatology (see food intolerance to lactose).

Low Residue Diet

A low residual diet has as its primary purpose the elimination of foods containing fibers.

But what are these fibers?

Fiber or dietary fiber is a plant component characterized by chemical bonds of type β and is NOT digestible for humans; however, although not considered a real nutrient, fiber is indeed a critical food component for the proper functioning of the body, especially the intestine.

The fiber is divided into soluble and insoluble, and performs numerous functions; between these:

  • It gives the feeling of satiety
  • It regulates intestinal peristalsis and favors the systematic evacuation of feces
  • Removes waste from the intestine
  • It modulates/slows the absorption of fats and sugars
  • Limit the intake of cholesterol
  • Reduces glycemic and insulin surges
  • It partially feeds intestinal bacterial flora

We can understand that the fibers are essential for our body and only after medical advice can we proceed with a low residual diet.

What Is a Low Residue Diet

In simple terms, we can answer the question “What is a low residue diet?” classifying it as a diet where the focus is on avoiding the intake of foods that contain many fibers.

These foods have specific characteristics:

  • Absence of lactose
  • Absence of spices (pepper, chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry, etc.)
  • Use of non-violent cooking methods that do not reach very high temperatures
  • Choice of digestible foods
  • Choice of easily chewable and seed-free food
  • Legumes not smoothies
  • Fruit and vegetables peeled, squeezed or centrifuged
  • Raw leafy vegetables

It is also critical to drink a lot of water, avoid hot milk and consult a doctor to evaluate the possibility of taking a nutritional supplement during this low residual diet.

Low Residue Diet Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Program is a low-calorie diet based on plant-based foods.

The emphasis is on low-energy foods that offer a reduced amount of calories in a significant amount of food. High-energy foods, on the other hand, have a high number of calories in a small amount of food.

There are no limits to the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables allowed; other low-energy foods include whole-grain carbohydrates such as pasta, whole-grain bread and rice, and peeled baked potatoes. The diet is detailed in the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight for Everybody.

The Mayo Clinic is a well-known medical facility based in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo plan focuses on long-term health rather than rapid weight loss.

The diet is based on the food pyramid (Healthy Weight Pyramid) created by the clinic using scientific principles and research conducted on the effects of low-energy foods on weight loss.

What are the advantages of a low residue diet mayo clinic?

  • The Mayo Clinic program provides guidance on how to use the food pyramid and exercise for a life of wellness.
  • People who follow the plan lose weight gradually. Once the desired weight is achieved, the person can continue to follow the plan to avoid gaining weight.
  • The procedure described in the Mayo Clinic book can be used to create an independent weight loss program.
  • Following the 12-week plan, dieters learn the principles of nutrition, portion control and the importance of physical activity.

What are the risks and precautions in a low residue diet mayo clinic?

  • People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar during the program.
  • People with other conditions such as food allergies must make changes to their menus.
  • Some types of fruit should be avoided by those who take certain medicines. Grapefruit products, some varieties of mandarins (tangelos) and oranges should not be consumed by people who take certain types of antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, tranquilizers, immunosuppressive drugs and methadone for the treatment of pain.Also, these citrus fruits should be avoided by people who take certain medications for the treatment of hypertension, HIV, hypercholesterolemia, arrhythmia (altered heart rhythm) and erectile dysfunction.
  • There is no known risk to people following the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Program. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting any weight loss program.

High Residue Diet

In the case of chronic constipation, it can be of great help to follow the so-called high residual diet. In reality, more than a real diet, it is a food style that involves the daily intake of at least 30 grams of fiber a day (the quantity that coincides with the maximum recommended daily ration) accompanied by an abundant consumption of liquids.

Those who want to follow a high residual diet must, therefore, consume in abundance fruit (both fresh and dried), vegetables (especially carrots, celery, fennels, broccoli, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and artichokes), legumes and whole grains.

But be careful not to overdo it: the intake of excessive amounts of fiber in the diet could have effects contrary to those hoped for and cause, if prolonged, food shortages, especially of minerals such as iron and calcium. If the diet does not, therefore, have any effect, contact a doctor.

Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet is a nutritional strategy based on the reduction of food carbohydrates, which “obliges” the body to autonomously produce the glucose necessary for survival and to increase the energy consumption of the fats contained in the adipose tissue.

The main foods of the keto diet are meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and vegetables.

Diabetic Diet

The diet for diabetes is a diet that is indicated to restore or maintain the blood glucose balance.

Blood glucose means the amount of glucose diluted in the blood plasma, which is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or millimoles per liter (mmol / L).

There are different types of diabetes, and for this reason, it is vital to understand precisely what kind of diabetes you suffer before starting a diet, which must be under the doctor’s supervision.


Low Residue Diet Food List

Low residue diet food is food that has low fiber content designed for reducing the quantity of stool in your large intestine, and some examples of such foods are:

  • Dairy products
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruits, like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and bananas.
  • Well-cooked vegetables without seeds or skin
  • White rice
  • White bread with no seed or nuts

The low residue diet food list provided below include those foods that enhance bowel activity by slowing the stool. Examples of such foods are:

  • cheese
  • popcorn
  • leafy vegetables
  • corn
  • legumes
  • bran cereals
  • fruit juice like prune juice

Foods that are rich in fiber, containing whole grains and foods including seeds and nuts should be avoided by individuals on low residue diet.  They should equally avoid fatty foods, which can increase the bulk of stool

Low Residue Diet Recipe

A list of low residue diet recipe is given below:

  • Grains
  • white rice, refined pasta, and noodles
  • cold cereals, like corn flakes and puffed rice
  • cooked cereals, like grits, cream of wheat and farina
  • enriched or refined white bread and plain crackers, like melba toast or saltines
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • avocado’
  • Cooked or canned fruits without skin or seeds, like canned pears or applesauce.
  • Honeydew
  • Soft cantaloupe
  • Ripe banana
  • Tomato sauce without seed
  • Cooked potatoes with no skin
  • Well-cooked canned or fresh vegetables with no seeds, like pumpkin, squash, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, beets and asparagus tips.

You can also include dairy and milk in the low residue diet recipe. However, dairy should be added in moderation

Low Residue Vegetables

These are vegetables that can further promote bowel movement. A patient having constipation can be fed with these vegetables to treat constipation since they act as laxatives. They can equally be given to a patient after cancer treatment or abdominal surgery. Examples of the vegetables are given below:

  • Zucchini and cucumber
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomato and lettuce
  • avocado
  • Cooked or canned fruits without skin or seeds, like canned pears or applesauce.
  • Honeydew
  • Soft cantaloupe
  • Ripe banana
  • Tomato sauce without seed
  • Cooked potatoes with no skin

Keep in mind that excess low residue vegetables can lead to diarrhea. Therefore, eat it with caution. Add it to each meal of the day for a better experience. They can be served either fresh or cooked, depending on what you want.

Low Fiber Low Residue Diet

This is a special diet with a goal to ensure smaller and fewer bowel movements on a daily basis.  You can use the diet for making bowel movement preparation before carrying out diagnosis procedures, like short-term therapy for acute stages of gastrointestinal illnesses, like ulcerative colitis, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease. It can also be used before carrying out colonoscopy.

Examples of foods that are classified under the low fiber low residue diet are:

  • Baked goods, like bread, made using refined white flour
  • Cold cereals that are made from refined flours, like Rice Krispies and cornflakes.
  • White rice, refined pasta, and noodles
  • Fruit juices with no pulp except juice from prune juice
  • Soft fruits, like melons and bananas.
  • Well-cooked or canned fruits
  • Vegetable juice with no pulp
  • Potato with no skin
  • Well-cooked or canned vegetables

Low Residue Diet for Diverticulitis

This is a disease caused as a result of the inflammation of the large intestine. While diverticulitis is a disease common among the aged people, it can be treated by eating the right food.

For someone with diverticulus, a low residue diet is usually recommended by doctors, and essentially, this is to reduce the volume of the bowel to enhance quick healing.

Blood Type Diet

  • Type O blood: You should eat foods that contain high protein, vegetables, fish, poultry and lean meat. You can also add foods light on grains, like beans. You can even go for dairy products.
  • Type A blood: make sure you stay away from foods, like sesame seeds, peanuts, tomatoes, lentils, buckwheat, wheat, and corn. You should also avoid chicken
  • Type AB blood: you should always consume foods, like green vegetables, dairy, seafood, and tofu. Individuals having AB blood group usually have deficient acid in their stomach. However, make sure you run away from foods like cured meats, smoked meats, alcohol, and caffeine.

You need to check your blood group if you are not aware of it already.  The outcome will tell you what you should take and what to avoid. Your blood group can determine the type of food you should take and the food to avoid. This means your shopping list can be determined by your blood group.

Atkin’s Diet

Atkin’s diet is a diet containing low carbohydrate, and it is one of the best diets for weight loss. Those who are in support of this diet are of the opinion that you can quickly lose weight when you eat much fat and protein, provided you do not consume foods rich in carbs.

More than 20 studies have been conducted over the past 12 years, and they have indicated that low-carb diets are very useful for weight loss and also bring about various health improvements.

Countless books have been authored about the Atkins diet from various parts of the world in recent times.  This kind of diet contains more of foods that promote weight loss than low-fat diets. They increase HDL and blood sugar, various health markers and triglycerides. The food never raises LDL, despite being rich in fat.

Final Thoughts

The information provided above indicate several Low residue diets that can help stimulate bowel movement, albeit slowly.  While several foods can be added to your low residue diet, some other foods should be avoided, like coconut, seeds, whole grain products, dried or raw fruits, many of the natural vegetables, some cooked vegetables, tofu, lentils, beans, cheese, and crunchy peanut butter and so on.  You can add low residue foods to any meal of the day, be it breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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