Holistic Approach to Wellness

Low-Residue Diet

This diet is designed to reduce the frequency and volume of fecal output while prolonging intestinal transit time. Indigestable carbohydrate intake is reduced by limiting ingestion of fruits and vegetables to limited amounts of well-cooked or canned vegetables and canned, cooked, or very ripe fruits, and by replacing whole-grain breads and cereals with refined products. Legumes, seeds and nuts are omitted. It’s a diet that limits high-fiber foods, like whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, raw or dried fruits, and vegetables. The basic idea is that you’ll eat foods that are easy to digest and you’ll limit those that aren’t.

“Residue” refers to undigested food, including fiber, that makes up stool. The goal of the diet is to have fewer, smaller bowel movements each day. That will ease symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach cramping.

Your doctor may recommend this diet for a short time when you’re having a flare, or after surgery to help with recovery. But it’s not a general eating plan for all people with IBD.

Crohn’s can make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients from food. Ask your doctor to suggest a nutritionist who can make sure your diet is right for you. He can also let you know if you need any vitamin supplements.


Buy breads and cereals made from refined wheat and rice. Avoid whole-grain products with added bran.

Remove skin from vegetables and fruits before cooking.

Avoid any food made with seeds, nuts, and raw or dried fruits.

Limit milk and milk products to 2 cups daily.

Sample Menu:


cranberry juice (1/2 C)
puffed rice cereal (3/4 C)
canned peaches (1/2 C)
white toast (2 slices)
margarine (2 tsp)
jelly (1 tbsp)
2% milk (1/2 C)


lean beef patty (3 oz)
hamburger bun without seeds
mustard (1 tbsp)
ketcup (1 tbsp)
canned fruit cocktail (1/2 C)
vanilla wafer cookies (2)
2% milk (1 C)


strained tomato juice (1/2 C)
breaded baked chicken (3 oz)
white rice (1/2 C)
cooked carrots (1/2 C)
white dinner roll
margarine (2 tsp)
sherbert (1/2 C)
2% milk (1 C)

Afternoon Snack:

applesauce (1/2 C)
saltine crackers (2 squares)

Evening Snack:

fruit ice (1/2 C)



Refined breads, toast, rolls, biscuits, muffins, crackers, pancakes, and waffles.

Enriched white or light rye bread or rolls.

Saltines, Melba toast

Refined ready-to-eat cereals such as puffed rice and puffed wheat

Cooked refined wheat, corn, or rice cereal

Strained oatmeal, grits and farina

Refined cold cereals made from rice, corn or oats (Rice Krispies, Cornflakes, Cheerios)

White rice, refined pasta, macaroni, noodles

Most tender cooked and canned vegetables without seeds such as carrots, asparagus tips, beets, green or waxed beans, pumpkin, spinach, squash (acorn) without seeds, potato (no skin), pureed or cooked strained lima beans, and peas (no skin)

Most canned or cooked fruits, fruit cocktail, avocado, canned applesauce, apricots, peaches, pears (all without skin and seeds), pureed plums and ripe bananas
Strained fruit juice


Milk, mild cheese, cottage cheese

Yogurt (no berries)

*limit milk/milk products to 2 cups per day


Ground or well-cooked, tender beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork, fish, shellfish, and organ meats


Smooth peanut butter


Margarine, butter, vegetable oils, mayo, cream substitutes, crisp bacon, plain gravies, and salad dressings
Broth, strained cream soups (no corn) made with allowed ingredients


Salt, soy sauce, ketchup
Mild spices in moderation, white sauce
Sugar, honey, jelly, syrup
Lemon juice, vinegar, vanilla and other flavoring extracts
Decaffeinated coffee, herb tea, caffeine-free carbonated beverages and fruit drink


Any bread product made with whole-grain flour or graham flour, bran, seeds, nuts, coconut, or raw or dried fruit, cornbread, and graham crackers
Any whole-grain, bran, or granola ceral, oatmeal and cereal with seeds, nuts, coconut or dried fruit
Bran, barley, brown and wild rice

Raw vegetables and vegetables with seeds, sauerkraut, winter squash, and peas

Raw or dried fruit, all berries
Prune juice

Yogurt containing fruit skins or seeds
Strongly flavored cheeses

Tough fibrous meats with gristle, shellfish with tough connective tissue
Meats prepared with whole-grain ingredients, seeds, or nuts
Dry beans, legumes, peas and lentils
Chunky peanut butter
Raw clams and oysters

Any made with whole-grain flour, bran, seeds, nuts, coconut, or dried fruit
Nuts, seeds, and popcorn
Pepper, chili pepper and other hot sauces
Chocolate, raisins, seeds, seed spices, pickles, olives, nuts, mustards, spicy mustards and ketchups, relish, horseradish, vinegar
Highly spiced salad dressings
Jam or marmalade with nuts and seeds

Beverages containing caffeine which is a stomach irritant.


Source: www.msgastrodocs.com

Note: Best to work with a nutritionist with a focus on a holistic approach to GI wellness as this diet does not contain optimal foods for the most part.