What is the low residue diet

A low residue diet is also known as the low fibre diet. The low residue diet is usually meant for patients during the pre- and post- operation. What the low residue diet is supposed to do is to decrease bowel volume. Some might even use the term “low residue diet” and “low fibre diet” interchangeably, but in reality, these 2 terms are not exactly the same. This is because low fibre foods such as dairy actually stimulate bowel movement. Similarly, foods that have lower residue would be high in fibre.

In the midst of a low residue diet, you are to watch the food that you eat. This is important as you are supposed to avoid high fibre foods. You will have to eat enriched baked foods like buns and white bread. If you love eating potatoes, you can continue eating them, but make sure that the skins are peeled. Dry cereals are also a good choice as they are high in fibre. You can choose to drink fruit and vegetable juices, but do avoid from prune juices. While eating fruits during this diet is good for the health, do avoid dry fruits like raisins.

Here is an overview of the Do’s and the Dont’s of the low residue diet:

1.       Include foods high in potassium. These foods include bananas, potatoes and vegetable juices.

2.        Increase your fluid intake. Drink plenty of plain water each day. Minimum 8 glass daily.

3.         Eat smaller but more frequent meals. Example, eat 5 small meals, instead of the usual

4.         Avoid tobacco products. Tobacco stimulates peristalsis. This may impair some people in their eating.

5.    Eliminate milk and milk products until diarrhoea is under control.

6.    Cut down on alcohol consumption as alcohol irritates the stomach.

When you are on a low residue fibre diet, your doctor might prescribe a vitamin supplement. If you have other ailments such as diabetes, your doctors will arrange for you to adopt a low residue diabetic diet. During this diet, your body might not have the necessary amount folic acid of Vitamin C. If this were to occur, you would need extra supplements. Do approach the doctor for help.

The low residue diet is not that well known among dieters. It is more commonly used in hospitals, but not for the purpose of weight loss. If you wish to try on this diet, then do approach the help of your doctor to check whether the low residue diet suits you.

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