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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

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Low-Residue Diet

Low-Residue Diet: Foods to Enjoy continued...

Milk and Dairy

Milk products are OK to eat, in moderation. Milk does not contain fiber, but it may trigger symptoms such as diarrhea and cramping for some people with lactose intolerance. As an alternative, using lactase supplements or eating lactose-free products may be options.

Meats and Protein

You can enjoy most meats, including beef, lamb, chicken, fish (no bones), and pork, as long as they are lean, tender, and soft. Eggs are also OK to eat.

Fats, Sauces, and Condiments

All of the following condiments are fine to eat on a low-residue diet:

  • Margarine, butter, and oils
  • Mayonnaise and ketchup
  • Sour cream
  • Smooth sauces and salad dressing
  • Soy sauce
  • Clear jelly, honey, and syrup

Sweets and Snacks

You can still satisfy your sweet tooth on a low-residue diet. The following desserts and snacks are OK to eat, in moderation:

  • Plain cakes and cookies
  • Gelatin, plain puddings, custard, and sherbet
  • Ice cream and popsicles
  • Hard candy
  • Pretzels
  • Vanilla wafers

Drinks

Safe drinks to enjoy on a low-residue diet include:

  • Decaffeinated coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages (caffeine can irritate the stomach)
  • Milk
  • Juices made without seeds or pulp, such as apple juice, no-pulp orange juice, and cranberry juice
  • Strained vegetable juices

Low-Residue Diet: Foods to Avoid

While on a low-residue diet, these foods or drinks are generally avoided:

  • Seeds, nuts, or coconut, including those found in bread, cereal, desserts, and candy
  • Whole-grain products, including whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, rice, and kasha
  • Raw or dried fruits, such as prunes, berries, raisins, figs, and pineapple
  • Most raw vegetables
  • Certain cooked vegetables, including peas, broccoli, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn (and corn bread), onions, cauliflower, potatoes with skin, and baked beans
  • Beans, lentils, or tofu
  • Tough meats with gristle and smoked or cured deli meats
  • Cheese with seeds, nuts, or fruit
  • Peanut butter, jam, marmalade, or preserves
  • Pickles, olives, relish, sauerkraut, and horseradish
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit juices with pulp or seeds, prune juice, or pear nectar

Low-Residue Diet: Sample Menu

There are many meal options to choose from on a low-residue diet. In fact, you can even buy cookbooks that specialize in low-residue meals. Here are some meal options to get you started:

Breakfast

  • Decaffeinated coffee with cream and sugar
  • Cup of juice, such as no-pulp orange juice, apple juice, or cranberry juice
  • Cream of wheat
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Waffles, French toast, or pancakes
  • White bread toast with margarine and grape jelly (no seeds)

Lunch

  • Baked chicken, white rice, canned carrots, or green beans
  • Salad with baked chicken, American cheese, smooth salad dressing, white dinner roll
  • Baked potato (no skin) with sour cream and butter or margarine
  • Hamburger with white seedless bun, ketchup, and mayonnaise -- lettuce if it doesn't worsen your symptoms

Dinner

  • Tender roast beef, white rice, cooked carrots or spinach, white dinner roll with margarine or butter
  • Pasta with butter or olive oil, French bread, fruit cocktail
  • Baked chicken, white rice or baked potato without skin, and cooked green beans
  • Broiled fish, white rice, and canned green beans

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