Low Residue Diet

Low Residue Diet:

A low residue diet means a food that contain very little or no residues but are high in certain other dietary elements. Residue is the undigested part of the food like fibers which contributes to the stool formation and typically a low residue diet contains only 10 to 15 grams or even less of fiber per day. Many time patients have to follow low residue diet in order to control or treat certain health ailments. Low residue diet is designed to reduce the volume and frequency of stool. Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis will have to follow this diet. As this diet reduces the volume and frequency of stool it helps to reduce the abdominal pain, flare-ups, diarrhea etc associated with these diseases. This kind of diet can followed only for a short period as it won’t supplement all the essential nutrients required for the well being of a person.

Foods that Can be Included in a Low Residue Diet:

Grain Products:

Refined and enriched white bread, muffins, bagels, buns and plain cereals like cornflakes, cheerios, rice krispies, cream of wheat, arrowroot cookies, tea biscuits etc from the grain family can be included in this diet.

Non Vegetarian Foods:

Properly cooked and tender meat, eggs and fish in small quantities are ideal for this diet.


Vegetable juices along with tender and cooked vegetables like beets, carrots, lettuce, alfalfa, cucumber, zucchini, egg plant, celery, mushrooms, green beans, peeled potatoes are good choices.


Any fruit juices other than prune juice are considered ideal for low residue diet. However care should be taken to avoid the seeds and pulp of the fruit. Fruits such as apricots, applesauce, banana, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, melon etc can especially be included in the diet.

Apart from the above mentioned foods Ice creams, milk, pudding, cream based soups, smooth salad dressing, broth based soup, honey, jelly, syrup etc can also be considered as part of this diet.

Foods that Should be Avoided:

Avoid whole grains and whole grain products from the diet. Similarly whole fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, salad dressing with seeds or fruit pieces, nuts, coconut, coarse and tough meats etc have to be removed from the diet.

Typical Low Residue Diet:


Consume half cup cereal with milk and one glass of fruit juice without any pulp.

Mid morning Snack:

White refined bread slices with honey -2 slices
Juice without pulp – one glass


White rice – half cup
Broiled fish – 3 ounce
Juice without pulp – one glass

Evening Snack:

Yogurt with no seeds – one cup
Juice without pulp – one glass


Broth based soup – one cup
Broiled chicken – 3 ounce
Pasta with butter – half to one cup
Juice without pulp – one glass