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Low residue diet
A low residue diet is a type of diet that restricts certain types of food to reduce the amount of indigestible material (residue) in the colon. This type of diet is often recommended for individuals with certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, as it can help reduce symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
The low-residue diet was first introduced in the mid-20th century as a way to manage symptoms in individuals with gastrointestinal conditions. It was believed that reducing the amount of residue in the colon, it would decrease the amount of inflammation and irritation in the gut.
A low residue diet typically involves limiting high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and raw fruits and vegetables. Instead, individuals on a low residue diet are encouraged to consume low-fiber foods, such as white bread, white rice, and well-cooked or pureed fruits and vegetables.
A low residue diet typically includes the following foods
- White bread, crackers, and pasta
- White rice and potatoes
- Well-cooked or pureed fruits and vegetables (such as applesauce, bananas, and cooked carrots)
- Tender, well-cooked meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Fatty or fried foods
- Clear liquids, such as water, tea, and clear broth
On a low residue diet, individuals are typically asked to avoid the following foods
- High-fiber foods, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and raw fruits and vegetables
- Raw or dried fruits
- Raw or undercooked vegetables
- Tough, chewy, or fibrous meats
- Whole nuts and seeds
- Coconut and dried fruits
- Foods with skins or seeds, such as tomatoes, berries, and cucumbers
- Fried foods
- Carbonated beverages
One-week meal plan for low residue diet
Here is a sample one-week menu for a low residue diet:
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, white toast, and fruit juice
- Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato, and a side of potato chips
- Dinner: Baked salmon, white rice, and steamed carrots
- Breakfast: Cream of wheat cereal with milk and sugar, and a banana
- Lunch: Turkey and cheese sandwich on white bread, with a side of apple sauce
- Dinner: Roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans
- Breakfast: Yogurt with honey and sliced peaches, and white toast
- Lunch: Baked chicken with white rice and a side of pureed carrots
- Dinner: Grilled fish, white pasta with tomato sauce, and a side of fruit cocktail
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk and sugar, and a side of melon
- Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich on white bread, with a side of tomato soup
- Dinner: Baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, and steamed spinach
- Breakfast: French toast with syrup and fruit juice
- Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich on white bread, with a side of baked chips
- Dinner: Beef stir-fry with white rice and well-cooked vegetables
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, white toast, and a side of fruit salad
- Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with lettuce, cheese, and a low-fat dressing
- Dinner: Baked salmon, white rice, and pureed carrots
- Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup and a side of fruit juice
- Lunch: Turkey and cheese wrap with lettuce and low-fat dressing, and a side of applesauce
- Dinner: Grilled steak, mashed potatoes, and well-cooked green beans
This menu is just a sample and may need to be adjusted based on individual needs and restrictions. A registered dietitian can provide guidance on appropriate meal planning for a low residue diet.
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