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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

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Should You Try a Low-Residue Diet?

What You Can Eat continued...


Animal products don't have fiber. You can eat beef, lamb, chicken, fish (no bones), and pork, as long as they're lean, tender, and soft. Eggs are also OK.

Fats, Sauces, and Condiments

These are all on the 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 satisfy your sweet tooth on a low-residue diet. These desserts and snacks are OK to eat in moderation:

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


Safe beverages include:

  • Decaffeinated coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages (caffeine can upset your stomach)
  • Milk
  • Juices made without seeds or pulp, like apple, no-pulp orange, and cranberry
  • Strained vegetable juices

Foods to Avoid

While you’re eating this way, stay away from:

  • Seeds, nuts, or coconut, including those found in bread, cereal, desserts, and candy
  • Whole-grain products, including breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, rice, and kasha
  • Raw or dried fruits, like prunes, berries, raisins, figs, and pineapple
  • Most raw vegetables
  • Certain cooked vegetables, including peas, broccoli, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn (and cornbread), 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
  • Crunchy peanut butter, jam, marmalade, or preserves
  • Pickles, olives, relish, sauerkraut, and horseradish
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit juices with pulp or seeds, prune juice, or pear nectar

Sample Menu

As long as you follow the general guidelines for the diet, you can mix and match as you like. There are many meal options to choose from on a low-residue diet, such as: 


  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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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