What Is a Low-Residue Diet?

It’s a diet that limits high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, raw or dried fruits, and vegetables.

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



Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-White bread, white sourdough bread, English muffins, plain scones and bagels, pancakes, white pitta bread, plain naan bread, plain chapatti, white flour.

-Refined breakfast cereals such as: Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K, rice porridge.

-White rice, pasta and noodles, sweet potatoes and potatoes (no skin), plain crackers or breadstick.

-Plain biscuits no seeds, plain sponge cake made with white flour.

-Wholemeal, rye bread, all fruit/nut breads, including walnut, granary or fruit muffins or scones and pastries with fruit/dried fruit.

-Wholegrain cereals such as: All- Bran, Weetabix, muesli, oat porridge.

-Brown rice, brown pasta, cous cous, semolina, polenta, quinoa, buckwheat, pearl barley, teff, millet, wheat germ, wholemeal noodles, popcorn.

-Biscuits or cakes made using: oats, dried fruit or dried coconut or nuts.



Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Well-cooked fresh vegetables or canned vegetables without seeds, such as asparagus tips, beets, carrots, squash, capsicum (no seeds and no skin), pumpkin, zucchini, eggplants, tomato sauce (no seeds), strained vegetable juices. -Raw vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, corn (and corn bread), onions, cauliflower.



Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Banana, soft cantaloupe, honeydew, papaya,  avocado, durian, canned or cooked fruits without seeds or skin, such as applesauce or canned pears, or stewed apple or pears, fresh squeezed no pulp orange juice and no pulp centrifugate .

-Smooth peanut butter, nuts butter or seeds butter.

-All fruit skins, stalks, seeds and stones.

-Raw or dried fruits, such as prunes, berries, raisins, figs, and pineapple, dried coconut,  smoothies with pulp.

-Whole nuts, seeds, including pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.


Milk and dairy products

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Milk, cream, sour cream, crème fraiche, hard cheese, soft  cheese, smooth yoghurt, Greek yogurt, paneer. -High fat cheese like gorgonzola, brie, camembert, blue cheese, creams, milk solids, condensed milk or powder milk or cream, butter, ghee, margarine.

-Coconut milk or cream.

-Any milk products containing fruits, nuts, seeds or cereals.

-Be sure that all the dairy products are made from pasteurized milk.

-Use lactose free products and hard cheese if the consumption of normal milk and dairy increase your symptoms.


Meat and alternatives

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-All meats, poultry, fish, eggs and plain/firm tofu. – Tough meats with fat and smoked or cured deli meats, stews, goulash, boiled meat, ragout. Skin of the chicken and fish, fatty meat, processed meat or fish (like meat balls, salami, fish balls, etc..). Organs, kidney, brain and liver.

-Quorn and legumes like beans, lentils, peas, baked beans, soya beans, edamame, tempeh, silken tofu chickpeas, etc…

– Cook the meats without adding sauces or other fatty gravies.

– Remove all the visible fat before cooking, especially the skin of the chicken and fish.


Snack, Sweets, Condiments and Beverages

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Water (1,5-2 liters/day), including herbal tea, light barley coffee, chamomile, apple juice, herbal tea, carbonated beverages and coffee. Juices made without seeds or pulp, such as apple juice, no-pulp orange juice, and cranberry juice, strained vegetable juices.

– Clear vegetable soup and broth without fat.

– Smooth jam or marmelade, honey, maple syrup.

-Ice cream containing fruit and nuts, cakes, puddings and pies containing any of the following: wholemeal flour, dried fruit, nuts, dried coconut and any fruits you have been advised to avoid.

-Soup with pieces, such as minestrone.

-Jam or marmalade with skin, peel or pips, chocolate with dried fruit, nuts or seeds, coconut.

-Wholegrain mustard, pickles, relish.

– Use low fat cooking methods like boil, bake, grill, steam and stir-fry (max few times per week).

-Caffeine can irritate the stomach, and give you intestinal discomfort, so do not exceed.


How does my plate look like?


Portion size

Half plate of vegetables

  • Take 1 portion of vegetables in every main meal.
  • Take 1 portion of fruit or fruit juices or for breakfast and as a snack during middle morning and/or afternoon.

A quarter plate of grains

  • Depending on your age and gender, take 4-6 portions a day.


A quarter plate of protein (to use 3 times a day) to choose among:



  • Use  3-4 egg yolks per week. If you want to exceed the consumption, you can take egg white.
  • Portion size: 2 eggs or 1 egg + 1 white.


Poultry and meat

  • Limit red meat like beef, pork, mutton, duck to 1-3 times a week. Prefer chicken and turkey.


Fish and seafood

  • Consume fish 3-4 times per week.


Dairy Products

  • Use 1-2 portions of milk or yogurt per day (preferably during breakfast or snacks).
  • Use not more than 1-3 portions of cheese per week. For the hard cheese you have the portion above, for the soft cheese or low fat cheese you can double the portion.




  • Legumes are not allowed in a low residual diet. You can try to have once a week firm or plain tofu and monitor your symptoms.
  • Portion size 120 – 140 g.

Healthy fat

  • Use one portion of spread during breakfast or as a snack.
  • Use 3-4 tablespoons of good oils per day.

Source pictures: www.healthhub.sg; www.eatrightontario.ca