Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that maintains the structure of the plant. Dietary fiber includes cellulose, hemi-cellulose, polysaccharides, pectin, gums, mucilage, and lignin. Although they are chemically unrelated, they all resist digestion by the human body. It is this resistance that makes these fibers important in both the normal functioning and in disorders of the large intestine or colon.
In certain medical conditions, it is important to restrict fiber. These include acute or sub acute diverticulitis, and the acute phases of certain inflammatory conditions of the bowel — ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. After some types of intestinal surgery, a low fiber, low residue diet may be used as a transition to a regular diet. A low fiber diet is also used for a period of time after a colostomy or ileostomy is performed.
Depending upon individual food selection, the Low Fiber, Low Residue Diet is adequate in all nutrients (National Research Council’s Recommended Dietary Allowance). If the diet must be strict and followed over a long period of time, the intake of fruits and vegetables may not be adequate; and/or on a low residue diet, there may not be enough calcium included. In these cases, a multi-vitamin supplement or liquid nutritional supplement may be needed.
If a low fiber or low residue diet results in abdominal cramps or discomfort, notify the dietitian or physician immediately.
Milk & milk products (2 or more cups daily)
all milk products
Low Residue Diet only 2 cups daily of all milk products
Vegetables (3 or more servings daily)
lettuce; vegetable juice without pulp; the following cooked vegetables: yellow squash (without seeds), green beans, wax beans, spinach, pumpkin, eggplant, potatoes, without skin, asparagus, beets, carrots
vegetable juices with pulp, raw vegetables except lettuce, cooked vegetables not on Recommend list
Fruits (2 or more servings daily)
fruit-juices without pulp, canned fruit except pineapple, ripe bananas, melons
fruit-juices with pulp, canned pineapple, fresh fruit except those on Recommend list, prunes, prune juice, dried fruit, jam, marmalade
Starches-Bread & Grains (4 or more servings daily)
bread and cereals made from refined flours, pasta, white rice
whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, pasta; bran cereal; oatmeal
Meat or meat substitutes
meat, poultry, eggs, seafood
chunky peanut butter, nuts, seeds, dried beans, dried peas
Fats & oils (servings depend on caloric needs)
all oils, margarine, butter
Sweets & Desserts (servings depend on caloric needs)
all not on Avoid list
desserts containing nuts, coconut
all not on Avoid list
popcorn, pickles, horseradish, relish
This Sample Diet Provides the Following