Low Residue Diet – How It Works, Food List, And Recipes

A low-residue diet means food that contains less undigested products or we can say that foods that can easily be digested. The word residue refers to undigested. We eat food. We eat different types of foods. There are different materials present in those foods: some are digestible and some are indigestible. Those who are indigestible come in the group of low residue foods. People who recently had bowel surgery or people who are suffering from IBD are recommended by doctors to take a low residue diet. IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease. We will talk about IBD thoroughly further in this blog. For now, let’s see the topics we are gonna discuss in this blog ahead. Following are the topics:

  • What is a low residue diet?
  • Low residue diet food list
  • Low fat food lists
  • Low fiber low residue diet recipes
  • Should avoid these high fiber high protein foods
  • How does low residue diet work?
  • Key takeaways

These are the major topics we will discuss throughout the blog. We hope we will be helpful to you. Let’s get started with what it is. 

What Is A Low-Residue Diet?

The low residue/low fiber diet is the diet used to decrease the role of the bowel in day-to-day life. A ​​low residue low fiber diet means avoiding high fiber foods such as cereals, whole-grain bread, nuts, seeds, raw fruits, and vegetables. Residue means undigested. This diet is generally suggested by doctors for patients suffering from bowel disease such as inflammation or narrowing of the bowel, IBD, etc so that they eat less undigested food and the waste remains in the last after digestion would be less. When we eat food, that food goes to our stomach, and then after digesting food moves to the small intestine, and later that food moves to the large intestine.

That’s the last stage of the digestion process, the amount of waste remaining there moves to the excretory part of our body through the bowel from where waste is removed. Low-Residue Diet’s main function is to decrease the waste product and eat more nutritious food so that in the end, the waste product is less and the bowel doesn’t get affected. The diet may be used as a short-term therapy for the stages of gastrointestinal illness such as bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, etc. Low residue diet is also prescribed before and after the treatment of cancer. What foods can you eat on a low residue diet? Let’s have a look below.

What Is A Low-Residue Diet?

Low Residue Diet Food Lists

We hope you know by now what low residue diet/food is. It’s the food or diet which has fewer undigested products. Here, we will see some low residue foods: 

  • Meat And Animal Products

Meat and animal products don’t have fiber in them. You can eat beef, chicken, lamb, fish(no bones), etc according to your want. Eggs are also ok. You can eat them as well.

  • Grains

Low fiber Cereals(hot or cold) such as farina, cream of wheat are hot and cooked cereal, and puffed rice and corn flakes are your cold Cereals, refined white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc.

  • Fruits

There is fiber present in the skin of fruits and seeds as well. It is recommended by doctors or experts to eat fruits after peeling and you should avoid seeds as well while eating. Some low fiber fruits are recommended as follows:

  1. Ripe Banana
  2. Watermelon
  3. Apricots
  4. Papaya
  5. Peach
  6. Cantaloupe
  7. Honeydew
  8. Cooked and peeled fruits without seeds such as apple sauce, etc.
  9. Avocado
  • Vegetable

Just like low fiber fruits, you can eat vegetables also but without seeds and only after peeling. The reason behind peeling the vegetables first is that there is fiber present in its skin. You should avoid skin and seeds of vegetables if you are following a low residue diet. Some vegetable you can eat while following low residue diet is as follow:

  1. Beets
  2. Green beans 
  3. Carrot
  4. Cucumber
  5. Asparagus tips
  6. Spinach 
  7. Squash
  8. Pumpkin 
  9. Mushroom 
  10. Tomato sauce
  11. Cooked potatoes(without skin)

We just need to make sure that there are no seeds involved in these vegetables and also make sure that all vegetables are peeled. 

  • Dairy Products

Dairy products can also be included in a low-residue diet. Such as milk, etc. Milk has no fiber. But, if you are having trouble processing dairy products then you can also take lactase supplements. 

  • Sweets

You can have sweets in a low residue diet but only those who are low filtered. Following are the sweets you could eat in a low residue diet:

  1. Sugar cookies
  2. Vanilla Ice cream
  3. Rice pudding
  4. Ice pops
  5. Sherbet
  6. Plain cake
  7. Hard candy

You can have these sweets or desserts but you have to make sure there are no nuts, seeds, coconut, or any other high fiber fruit that should not be present in these desserts. 

  • Fats And Condiments

Following are some fats and condiments allowed in a low residue diet:

  1. Margarine 
  2. Butter 
  3. Ketchup
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Curd
  6. Smooth sauce 
  7. Sale dressing 
  8. Mild mustard
  9. Pepper
  10. Barbecue sauce
  11. Clear jelly
  12. Honey
  13. Syrup
  14. Soy sauce
  15. Oil
  • Snacks

Here are some snacks that you can have in a low residue diet. They are as follows:

  1. Pretzels( not whole grained varieties)
  2. Vanilla wafers
  3. French toasts
  4. White bread toasts
  5. Plain pasta or noodles
  6. Waffles 
  7. Plain white roll
  8. Crackers
  9. Melba
  10. Matzah
  • Drinks

Drinks allowed in a low residue diet are as follows:

  1. Caffeinated coffee
  2. Caffeinated Tea 
  3. Carbonated drinks
  4. Milk
  5. Alcoholic drinks are also allowed
  6. Fruit flavored drinks( but without seeds or pulps like apple, no-pulp orange, etc)
  7. Cereal beverage
  8. Strained vegetable juice

Low-fat Food Lists

Following are some low fat high fiber diet.

  • Whole-grain foods (such as oats, pasta, rice, bread, etc)
  • Lean meats
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Reduced-fat dairy (such as skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt, and cheese)
  • Lentils 
  • Whitefish
  • Noodles(whole grained)
  • Whole grain bagels
  • English muffins
  • Mustard 
  • Sauces containing skimmed milk
  • Honey 
  • Jam 
  • Salsa

These are some ​​low fat foods list. All vegetables and fruits are low-fat foods, that’s why no examples are given above with them. 

Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet Recipes

Here, we will see some amazing recipes for low residue/low fiber Diets. Let’s start with beet and carrot soup. 

  • Beet And Carrot Soup

Ingredients- 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth, 1 carrot sliced, 1 cooked beet not pickled, salt (according to your taste). It is one of low residue diet foods.

Steps- Firstly, put the slice of carrot and vegetable broth in a pan and then light the fire and start boiling them. After some time, reduce the heat and let it cook for some time. Add beets to it and again let it cook until it pours soup in blenders and pour until smooth. Then, add salt according to your taste. 

Beet And Carrot Soup

  • Chicken Soup With Pasta And Vegetables

Ingredients-5 cups low sodium chicken broth, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped potato, 1/2 cup tomato flesh with no skin or seeds, 1 bunch asparagus tips, 1/2 cup cooked pastini or other small pasta.

Steps- Firstly, put the broth, chopped carrots and chopped potato in a pan then boil them. After some time, reduce the heat and let the vegetables soften. Add asparagus tips to it and let them all tender. Lastly, add cooked pasta to it. 

Chicken Soup With Pasta And Vegetables

  • Beef Tacos

Ingredients- 6 corn taco shells, 1/2 pound lean ground beef, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, 3/4 cup shredded lettuce, 6 tablespoons chopped tomato, 6 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Steps- Put the beef in a pan and brown it on medium heat. Then, drain it well and then remove it from the pan and keep it aside. Heat the oil and put onion in it and let them fry until they become a little brown. Add garlic to it. Cook and stir it for 1 minute. Now, add cooked beef back into the pan then stir it with chili powder, pepper, cumin, and hot sauce. Remove it from heat. Add ¼ cup meat mixture to each taco. Now, top with 2 tablespoons of shredded lettuce and 1 tablespoon of each tomato, onion, and cheese. 

Beef Tacos

  • Pear And Cocoa Pudding

Ingredients- 2 cans of pear halves or quarters in juice, 1 cup self-raising flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/2 cup fine sugar, 2/3 cup butter, plus extra for the dish, 2 medium eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Steps- Firstly, preheat the oven up to 400°F. Now, drain the pears and lay them in an ovenproof dish. Add the remaining ingredients now and blend it until completely smooth. Pour a spoonful of batter over the pears. Now, spread it with a wet spoon. Let it bake for the next 25 to 30 mins. Your pear and Cocoa pudding is ready. Allow the pudding to cool before serving. 

Pear And Cocoa Pudding

  • Three-fish Terrine

Ingredients-3 1/2 ounces salmon fillet, 7 ounces fresh haddock fillet, 3 1/2 ounces undyed smoked haddock fillet, 3 1/2 fluid ounces heavy cream, 2 large beaten eggs, Salt and pepper, Paprika, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and lemon wedges, Large handful of mache

Steps- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Now take 4 ramekins, oil them and sprinkle them with paprika. Now, cut salmon fillet into thin strips and lay them in ramekins properly. Mix the smoked fishes in the food processor smoothly and inseparably together. Add ⅓ of the beaten eggs and ⅓ of cream in it then mix it until it becomes smooth. Then, keep it aside. Blend the haddock fillet and add the remaining eggs and creams. Now, add a little pinch of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and again a pinch of paprika as well. Next, place a tablespoon of those smoked fish into the ramekins and top with haddock mixtures. Now, time to place the ramekins into the roasting tray. Drop some boiled water into the tray so that it comes up about 2/3 of the way. Let the ramekins bake in the oven for the next 30 mins. Now, turn the ramekins upside down on a plate and decorate it with mache and serve it with a lemon wedge. 

Three-fish Terrine

Should Avoid These High Fiber/High Protein Foods

Here is some low-fat high fiber diet that you should avoid if you are following a low residue diet. Following are the foods with the most fiber:

  • Whole-grain foods (such as brown rice, brans, etc.)
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat or whole grain bread
  • Popcorn 
  • Berries 
  • Corn
  • Granola
  • Lentils
  • Split peas and beans
  • Raw fruits except for ripe bananas, peaches, and watermelon without its seeds and skins
  • Dried fruits
  • Raw vegetables (such as cooked or raw cauliflower, broccoli, etc)
  • Foods with seeds and nuts
  • Tough meats with gristles
  • Peanut butter
  • Figs and prunes
  • Prunes juice 
  • Delt meat

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How Does Low Residue Diet Works?

Until now, you have seen a lot of foods and fruits that come under the low residue diet. How does it work?  A person should ideally consume 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day but if you are suffering from diseases such as IBD, etc. Then, it’s suggested to them to consume only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day max. It is not advise to take foods with most fiber. You can mix and match the diet as per your choice. Here’s the Low Residue Diet menu for you according to the time:

In Breakfast:

Breakfast should be light.

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pancakes with butter
  • Caffeinated tea or coffee
  • French toasts
  • Pulp free juice
  • White-bread toast with migraine
  • Waffles

In Lunch:

  • Chicken Sandwich on French bread
  • Baked chicken breast
  • Cheeseburger (with seedless bun, onion, and ketchup)
  • Baked potato (peeled) with sour cream and margarine
  • White rice
  • Canned carrot
  • Green beans
  • Smooth salad dressing

In Dinner:

  • Pasta with butter
  • Fruit cocktail (low fiber fruits only)
  • White dinner roll with butter
  • Tender roast beef
  • White rice 
  • Cooked carrot or spinach
  • Broiled fish
  • Canned green beans
  • Baked chicken
  • French bread

Key Takeaways

You should follow the instructions of your doctor for pursuing the low residual diet. He/she will guide you on how long you have to keep a low residue diet and will also tell you the food with most fiber that you have to seriously avoid. It’s not the diet, people want to be fit or to maintain their physique. A low residue/ low fiber diet means you eat easily digestible foods. Here, this blog ends.

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