Foods for a low-residue diet include white rice, bananas, tomato sauce without seeds, plain pudding and animal products, such as beef, lamb, fish and eggs. Drink options include water, strained vegetable juices and decaffeinated coffee, tea or soda.
A low-residue diet is designed for a person with an inflammatory bowel disease. It consists of foods that are easy to digest while limiting high-fiber foods. This diet plan is typically recommended after surgery or when symptoms of the disease are flaring up, to reduce bowel movements and ease those symptoms. Since the diet excludes many nutrients, it's a short-term plan.
On a low-residue diet, the skin and seeds of fruit and vegetables are removed, as these contain most of the fiber. Whole-grain foods should be avoided. Milk is allowed in moderation since it doesn't have fiber, but the lactose can cause stomach irritation. Animal products also don't have fiber, but any meat should be lean and soft, without gristle. The dieter should avoid smoked or cured deli meats.
Each dieter's body handles food differently, so foods that cause flare-ups in one dieter may not affect another. To find out what foods his body can handle, a dieter can keep a food journal, tracking everything he eats for a few weeks and how he feels after each meal.