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.


  • 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

Vegetables: 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)

Fruits: 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
  • Eggs
  • 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


Breads/Grains: 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

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

Fruits: Raw or dried fruit, all berries Prune juice

Milk/Dairy: Yogurt containing fruit skins or seeds Strongly flavored cheeses

Meat: 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

Fats/Snacks: 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

Misc: Beverages containing caffeine which is a stomach irritant.