Low residue diet, low in fiber and residue content, is basically meant for those who are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of gastrointestinal disease. The menu of this diet is prepared in way that food puts less strain on the bowels. The foods included in the low residue diet chart are light and quickly digestible. This diet basically intends to reduce frequency and volume of stools. It helps provide a phase of relaxation and comfort to the bowel muscles, so that the existing infection heals up soon.
Low residue diet is prescribed only when the gastro-intestinal has become extremely weak and is unable to handle high fiber contents. It might also be suggested before certain medical examinations. Other conditions when low residue diet can be suggested include regional enteritis, diverticulitis, colitis, 1st and 2nd stages of labor, pre and post abdominal/ intestinal surgery, during upset bowel (inflammation or irritation), during chemotherapy, before radio-therapy of lower abdomen or pelvis, before endoscopy and while preparation for and participation in space flight.
Low Residue Diet Food
As the name suggests, the low residue diet should include only those food items that leave minimal or no residue in the gastro-intestinal tract. So, make sure that, while on the diet, you intake less than 10-15 grams of fiber per day. Here is a list of food items you should consume and avoid, as a part of the diet.
What To Consume
- White bread
- Refined pasta
- White rice
- Cooked and peeled vegetable
- Peeled fruits, with less fiber content
- Pulp and fiber-free juice
- Well cooked meat, fish and egg (in limit)
- Light dairy products like yoghurt
What To Avoid
- Heavy dairy product, like cheese and butter
- Whole grain items
- Unpeeled vegetables and fruits
- Fruits and vegetable with high fiber content
- Dried beans
- Peas and nuts
- Cocoa Products
The Pros & Cons
Though the low residue diet proves beneficial in cleaning up your bowel and reducing any kind of strain on it, it can be prescribed for a very less period of time only, say for a maximum 4 days. This is because it is deficient in calories, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid and can cause extreme weakness and abrupt weight loss. The diet is meant only for immediate relief from the discomfort caused by bowel irritation and as a precaution to avoid any supposed bowel infection. After following low residue diet for a certain period of time, you should be gradual in switching on to the normal diet, as your gastro-intestinal system may not be able to handle an abrupt switch of diets.