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Aug 3, 2011 12:38 PM

Low residue diet

I'm on a low residue diet for two weeks due to an attack of diverticulitis. For me, the worst part is not being able to have fruits and vegetables. If you've ever been on this kind of a diet and you have creative ideas for meals, please share. I had to do this once before and it got old very fast.

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  1. since i have never heard of this diet, I checked out the mayo-clinic-can eats while on a low residue diet...sounds like most junk food is ok to eat, just nothing healthy : )

    * Refined breads, cereals, crackers, chips and pasta with less than 1 gram of fiber per serving (Note: Ideally, look for products with zero grams of dietary fiber per serving.)
    * White rice
    * Vegetable juices without seeds or pulp
    * Fruit juices with no pulp
    * Milk, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, and cream-based soups and sauces (strained)
    * Tender meat, poultry, fish and eggs
    * Oil, margarine, butter and mayonnaise
    * Smooth salad dressings
    * Broth-based soups (strained)
    * Jelly, honey and syrup

    Are these all ok for you to eat? , maybe with these ingredients the CH can pick some good recipes (maybe on home cooking side) for you to give a try.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ROCKLES

      Thanks ROCKLES. I know what I can and cannot eat, i was just hoping someone out there had some interesting way to spin the foods listed above. This is the exact diet I am following, by the way.

      Something funny just occurred to me: I'm actually like a reverse vegetarian. I'm really missing being able to eat fruits and vegetables. Anyone have some good recipes for mock-asparagus...maybe made out of chicken? :)

      1. re: ttoommyy

        Now thats funny!!

        You really should post on the home cooking site, there are probably lots of cooks that can offer ideas. Although I would probably use this as an excuse to pig out on Kraft mac and cheese

      2. re: ROCKLES

        In effect aren't you saying that the essence of healthy eating is lots residue? A GI doctor would be the first to admit that this diet is the opposite of what they normally recommend. They also recommend a low residue diet prior to an 'inspection'.

        What besides fruits and vegetables do you normally eat? Under this diet, I think my consumption of eggs would go up.

        Inclusion of smooth salad dressings in this list doesn't make much sense, since salad is out. There isn't anything in the list that give the crunch we associate with salads. What you will be missing most is a contrasting texture. You can still get the flavors of fruits and vegetables - if you are willing to take the time to juice them.

        1. re: paulj

          "A GI doctor would be the first to admit that this diet is the opposite of what they normally recommend. They also recommend a low residue diet prior to an 'inspection'."

          My GI doctor put me on this diet for the reason that fibrous foods irritate and add to the discomfort of the diverticulitis.

          1. re: paulj

            I am on this diet now for a few weeks and the only raw vegetable that I am allowed is a small amount of chopped green lettuce-so I make that my "salad".

        2. My SIL was on a similar diet for a couple months. I made a few vegetable based soups -- pea, leek and lemon, carrot/Ginger -- then pureed them and double strained them. That gave her the illusion of vegetables without the pesky fiber. I also got a good white sandwich loaf from a fancy French bakery so she wasn't eating Wonder Bread. She used it for toast, tuna sandwiches and grilled cheese. Braised meats over egg noodles were good for her as well. Since this is pretty much the opposite of what I would regularly eat, I would chow down on homemade waffles and eggs while I had the chance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: maxie

            Thanks maxie. Those are some good suggestions.

            Seems like the consensus is to pig out on comfort foods. Sounds good to me!

          2. Sorry if this is indelicate, but without fiber what kind of hellish BMs are you having? Do you have to drink prune juice to counteract the lack of fiber? (Isn't hard stool dangerous for the intestine also?)

            4 Replies
            1. re: pdxgastro

              Prune juice is a source of fiber, though. 3 gms per cup.

              1. re: mcf

                I wonder if, in this case, whether the distinction between insoluble and soluble fiber matters?

                1. re: paulj

                  I gather it's fiber with 'edges' that can get caught in the diverticuli that is the problem.

                  1. re: pdxgastro

                    Fish oil, btw, can accomplish what one might otherwise use prunes for.

            2. I suffer from this excruciating issue as well. For those who don't know, the low residue diet is only during an active flare. I try to eat a very high- fiber diet (lots of beans!) including the commonly avoided stuff like nuts and seeds. According to my GI, they are an issue for some, not all. Honestly, stress seems to be a much larger trigger for me than any food. That being said, my favorite flare food is mashed potatoes- they are comforting, and can be served with a lot of different toppings to add variety. Mushroom and cheese omelets are another fave.

              1. I was hospitalized once with diverticulitis and had one more flare up. The low residue period will be relatively bland and monotonous for chowhounds.
                I remember Ritz crackers and vanilla wafers. Jell-O. Vanilla yogurt. Rice. Baked fish. Roast chicken.

                Make a parfait with the gelatin, yougurt and vanilla wafers.

                I played around with add-ins to white rice. Some finely chopped vegetables, chicken broth, etc.

                Mark Bittman's version of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's fried rice, topped with crisp ginger and a fried egg. So you may get a gram of fiber from the ginger, but it's a very fine gram!

                ROCKLES helpfully mentioned Mayo Clinic, and this page states "Most canned or cooked fruits without skins, seeds or membranes" are generally allowed and lists canned peaches and applesauce on a menu.